Into the Crystal Ball

With the end of the year approaching faster than employees can run to a plate of free holiday cookies, a few organizations typically take this time to cull their collective wisdom in an effort to predict the coming trends for the new year.

Among them is Bersin & Associates, which this morning released their view into the 2011 crystal ball: Enterprise Learning and Talent Management 2011: Predictions for the Coming Year — Building the Borderless Workplace.

In a brief chat yesterday afternoon with Josh Bersin, the Oakland, Calif.-based firm’s president and chief executive officer, he said the main themes of the coming year will be globalization, collaboration and employee re-engagement, as organizations shift to a global, borderless workplace in 2011.

“Companies are significantly shifting their new investments towards China, India, South America, to the growing parts of the economy, and they don’t have their people enabled to fulfill on that,” he said. “This is forcing HR to globalize learning and development and HR programs, as well as its own operational structure.”

In fact, Bersin research found that 17 percent of all organizations cited “globalization” as one of their top three business strategies in 2010 — three times the percentage of midyear 2009.

In addition to pressing outwards, Bersin said companies must also turn the lens back on themselves to ensure proper engagement levels are met.

“We have found that HR needs to look at their culture, because there’s been two or three years of upheaval at companies, and you can implement social networking all you want, but there’s really cultural issues underneath it that still need to be addressed.”

In addition to engagement, organizations will be re-focusing their energies on creating more innovative processes in 2011, Bersin said.

That’s based on their research that found 34 percent of all HR and business leaders now cite “driving innovation” as one of their top three talent challenges, up from only 14 percent last year.

“How do we create a culture of collaboration and innovation? Those are problems that companies haven’t thought about the last two or three years,” he says.

For access to the full report, click here.