The Dawn of the CLO
As the business environment continues to evolve, multiple industries, including the Health and Human Services industry, need to constantly develop new and exciting positions. Over the last 25 years, we have seen the introduction and advancement of one of the most innovative and rewarding positions, the Chief Learning Officer (CLO). This position was first introduced by General Electric to assist the organization with corporate learning strategies that would streamline the organization’s business objectives. As the years have progressed, we have seen this position develop into a comprehensive and essential position within organizations.
Driving Organizational Change
When this position was originally created, the main purpose was to ensure the company’s employees were equipped with all of the knowledge needed for their specific position’s duties. Since then, this position has become much more. An article by the Huffington Post identifies the CLO as wearing multiple hats, including Metrics Officer, Talent Manager, and Leadership Consultant. When these multiple functions come together to form the CLO position, it gives this individual the opportunity to fully analyze the organization and the employees to develop strategies to improve overall performance.
Overtime, the CLO’s job is becoming increasingly more comprehensive. This position requires a familiarity with subjects such as talent acquisition and leadership development. This allows the CLO to ensure that employees are equipped with the necessary materials to continue to grow within the organization in a way that benefits the company. We are currently entering a period where a younger generation is being introduced into our organizations. To guarantee these individuals are learning the skills they need and evolving with the organization, they will need constant access to the proper training materials and growth opportunities.
Although a large piece of the CLO’s position is education-based, exposure and experience also two key components that fall under their responsibility. A statistic released by Deloitte states that 70% of learning typically happens outside of a formal program. By looking at what the organization may need and focusing on informal techniques for skill development, the CLO will be able to make sure employees are constantly developing and enjoying the process.
The CLO in the Future
Although this position is continuing to grow in popularity with many organizations, it has yet to be implemented in the vast majority. Many organizations are, however, beginning to acknowledge that having a CLO can enable the organization to modernize. As our organizations continue to adopt current trends and practices, such as mobile learning and cloud-based technologies, the CLO will have to champion these new implementations and innovations. Many organizations incorporate different talent and learning management software as a tool to help develop their workforce, In fact, studies are showing that corporate training investment has increased to over $70 billion, establishing education as a key differentiator to succeeding in today's market. Is your organization investing in employee education this year?