Any great-performing organization has several “must-haves” in order to drive performance. At the top of the list are:
- Great talent
- Strong ability to execute and move faster
- Great relationships – internal and external
- Constant learning and improvement
Whether you are a practitioner, a business leader or C-Level executive, to drive great performance you must think of how learning, talent and performance really happen. Many executives mistakenly think that their team, aka their “talent,” is a constantly evolving and dynamic talent base. It is not.
Talent, if not nurtured, if not “managed,” is static. It has an expiration date like food or a gallon of milk.
Executives must think about learning as “future state”, i.e., making sure your team is learning for the future tasks and job roles that you may have to take on.
Talent is only as good as today; it is current state and can become obsolete very quickly if you’re not learning skills for the future.
I know of many former top sales, marketing and business leaders who had great “talent” 10 years ago. Many of them are now struggling in the workforce and have had to settle for non-leadership roles.
They became obsolete. They ignored having balance on their teams, and most detrimental, they didn’t see learning for what it really is among executive ranks: a business tool to ensure your investment in your company’s talent doesn’t become irrelevant or obsolete.
Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth.
Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company's growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results.
Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company's global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike's tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations.
Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries.
Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits.
Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.