Best Practices CEO Award: Profile of Adam Miller, CEO of Cornerstone On-Demand

best ceo award

Adam Miller, Founder and CEO, Cornerstone OnDemand

Adam coaching his children’s AYSO and tournament soccer teams.

Adam has won in the following categories:

Software Development

Organizational Learning

Talent Management

Adam Miller has a deep-rooted belief that putting employees together who are smart, cool, dependable and visionary creates a meaningful, enriching work environment that people will want to be a part of in the long run. In 1999 he decided to take that idea and start Cornerstone OnDemand, which helps companies realize the potential of the modern workforce through cloud-based learning and talent management.


A significant part of Miller’s role as CEO of Cornerstone is player and coach. He gets his hands dirty in the operations of the company, working with the Product Development team and getting involved with hiring and mentoring.


Miller also ensures that Cornerstone practices what it preaches, so he provides programs to support his employees. One example is Cornerstone Development Days—one day every few months where Cornerstone employees drop what they are doing for a day simply to learn something new – whether that’s mastering Java Script or learning to make cake pops. At the most recent Development Day, more than 1,400 hours of training were delivered over the course of two days.


Cornerstone has put this same passion to work with more than 2,800 organizations around the world, including BMW, Nestlé, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, T-Mobile, Flextronics and Abbott Laboratories, as well as the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the University of Southern California, and Team Rubicon. Miller’s approach is what helps set him apart and help these companies.


Talent management has become increasingly important. Due to technological advances, globalization and changing workforce demographics, organizations are investing more in people management and development. They realize the significant impact their human capital can have on the success of their businesses. Continued learning and reskilling is paramount. But how to best approach this? In that past, it was all about automation and reviews.


Miller sees the future of talent management to be less about automated processes and annual reviews, and more about empowering employees and using compassion to make sure their reach their highest potential. Employees are the frontline advocates of any organization – they truly make or break a business. Miller and his team believe that the most successful brands are those that champion their employees and give them opportunities to realize their full potential.


Cornerstone Learning has been built over 17 years of continuous development. More than 80 percent of its 28 million active users take advantage of its learning and development solution. It provides deep capability around all types of organizational learning, with flexibility for different types of organizations. This learning ranges from instructor-led training, e-learning and video learning, to collaborative learning, mobile learning, just-in-time contextual learning and much more.


Cornerstone also offers access to a library of more than 30,000 learning titles—unique and inspirational training methods such as curated TED Talks, which Cornerstone clients can use to deliver a new, innovative approach to professional learning and development.


One of Cornerstone’s clients is Western Union, which has become a worldwide leader in payment services, with 10,000 employees across 59 countries. But as the company continued to grow and evolve, they came to realize that their learning and talent management initiatives were not evolving at the same pace.


Since investing in Cornerstone’s unified talent management suite, Western Union has been able to significantly transform their people management and development initiatives. By creating a consistent learning experience, the company has not only reduced learning costs, but they have also been able to improve the learner experience. Additionally, the company has seen an increase in employee engagement, thanks to enabling self-directed learning opportunities so that people can drive their own professional development.


In helping their clients, Miller and his team focus on developing deeper, richer learning experiences for modern workers, reimagining people management as a system of engagement rather than a system of record, and bringing powerful data science models to HR, Cornerstone’s clients are able to make smarter, more data-driven talent decisions using people analytics.

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BPI Staff
Best Practice Institute is an award-winning leadership development center, think tank, product development incubator, solutions provider, peer network, research institute and online learning portal with more than 10,000 corporate and individual learning members around the world. BPI's entire subscriber base includes over 42,000 managers, coaches, directors VP's, SVP's, and C-level's of branded, "household-name" Fortune 500/Global 1000 organizations worldwide. BPI has been named to Leadership Excellence magazine’s “Best in Leadership Development” ranking since 2011. BPI corporate and individual members are located in about two dozen countries on five continents, including executives and employees the majority of Fortune/Global 1000 organizations.BPI's faculty includes over 200 experts and world-renown thought leaders. Typically, BPI faculty members teach as professors or Chairs of Departments at Ivy League Schools and/or have contributed a wide-body of original research, innovative publications and practice to the field of management and leadership. The organization reaches more than 500,000 HR leaders, and management professionals around the world each month.