New Bersin & Associates Research Shows High-Impact Learning Organizations Generated Three Times Higher Profit Growth Than Their Peers

Bersin & Associates Unveils the First High-Impact Learning Organization Maturity Model, Showing How to Build a Strong Learning & Development Function

Aug 29, 2012, 10:45 ET from Bersin & Associates

OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Bersin & Associates, the leading provider of membership programs that deliver research-based best practices in HR, talent and learning, today announced new research that shows companies with high-impact learning organizations (HILOs) generated, on average, three times higher profit growth in 2008-2011 than their peers. To help organizations achieve similar results, Bersin & Associates also unveiled its first-ever HILO Maturity Model™, which lets Bersin & Associates members assess their organizations' learning & development function and provides a proven roadmap to improve performance and impact.

The findings and the maturity model both appear in The High-Impact Learning Organization Series and are summarized in a WhatWorks® market brief titled "High-Impact Learning Organization: Key Findings and a Maturity Model." This report is part of a series about how to build a HILO and contains new quantitative and qualitative findings based on nearly 300 organizations that Bersin & Associates studied. Bersin & Associates defines a HILO as an organization that is exceptional at delivering employee capabilities that drive business impact.

"The new High-Impact Learning Organization report is the first in a groundbreaking series of research-based models, tools and information that address the need to effectively train the workforce – one of the most important challenges organizations now face," said David Mallon, vice president, Research, for Bersin & Associates. "Our research found three key factors that predict success for a learning organization: using a variety of sophisticated learning measurement and evaluation techniques; developing a modern and efficient strategy to create and use learning content; and focusing heavily on the organizational programs to build a 'culture of learning' throughout the organization. Our tools and research show companies precisely how to build these capabilities and implement a business-driven L&D function."

Scotiabank, one of North America's premier financial institutions and a Bersin & Associates member since 2005, exemplifies the organizations that rely on Bersin & Associates' HILO research and related consulting services.

"At Scotiabank our objective is to ensure our learning programs are effective, efficient and aligned with our business," said Linda White, VP, Global Performance & Learning, Scotiabank. "Our WhatWorks® membership and the research-based consulting provided by Bersin and Associates helped us develop learning strategies that were not only tailored to our needs but also supportive of continuous development for Scotiabank's learning functions."

The High-Impact Learning Organization Series describes additional key trends:

  • Learning & Development (L&D) has never been more important to organizational success. Filling talent and skills gaps are among the most critical needs for organizations today. New Bersin & Associates research shows that only five percent of organizations believe their managers are fully capable of managing to growth. Companies are trying to develop a lean, high-performing workforce while addressing the need to reduce operating expenses and expand into new markets.
  • Despite learning's high profile, few learning organizations are seen as strategic by the business. Fewer than half of learning organizations feel that they are perceived by their stakeholder leadership as proactive, strategic and acting as a partner. In fact, nearly one-fifth of organizations are seen by leadership as entirely reactive, tactical "order-takers."
  • With the pressure for transformation has come wide-spread confusion about where to focus internal change efforts. Corporate training teams face tremendous confusion in a new world of social networking, mobile computing, globalization, and tremendous pressure to build skills.  The research shows inconsistent agreement on priorities among learning executives, resulting in confusion about where to focus.  There is also substantial concern among these executives that their L&D teams need reskilling and may not be capable of keeping up.  

"These new findings underscore the need for ongoing research and for the maturity model we're unveiling today," said Mark Vickers, senior analyst, Learning & Development, Bersin & Associates. "Through the use of our new tools organizations can predictably assess their current capabilities and put in place proven plans for improvement."

The full report is available today: $1,495 for a PDF. For more details, go to:

Those interested in learning more about Bersin & Associates and its WhatWorks® membership may email or call (510) 251-4400.

About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates is an award-winning provider of proven people strategies that leaders and their organizations need to deliver exceptional business performance. Our WhatWorks® research membership gives Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 HR professionals the research-based information and tools they need to drive bottom-line impact for their organizations.

Members use our insights and tools to design and implement best practice solutions, benchmark against others, and select and implement systems. A piece of Bersin & Associates research is downloaded every minute during the business day. More than 5,000 organizations worldwide use our research and consulting to guide their HR, talent and learning strategies.

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David Mallon

SOURCE Bersin & Associates