CLO as Founder

The role of the CLO in 2021 looks a lot like a startup founder.

“Will the founder always strive to do great work that is legendary, with people who are spectacularly awesome? Will this commitment translate to recruiting amazing people who want to work with the founder and each other? Have you ever been in a situation where you and a team were pursuing total excellence? A great founder will not just seek this or hope for this, he or she will demand this.”

– Mike Maples, Founding Partner at Floodgate, Investor in Twitter, Lyft, Sonos….

Today’s companies are being transformed by multiple disruptions: technology, digitization, volatility, diminishing geographic boundaries, tougher competition, more demanding customers, and skill shortages.  These disruptions are mandating new approaches to all aspects of business.

As businesses battle these disruptions, L&D organizations need to go through their own transformation. A transformation that enables them to create unmistakable value for their companies. This transformation is more than just a step change. It will require L&D organizations to think afresh and recalibrate their teams, products & services, value proposition, execution model and stakeholder communication.

Just as the success of a startup is reliant on its founder, the success of the transformation of L&D depends on its leaders acknowledging the need for transformation and then taking on the role as founders of the new L&D.

Chief Learning Officer 2.0

In 1991, when Jack Welch made Steve Kerr GE’s (and possibly the world’s first) Chief Learning Officer, the business world and the world of learning looked very different. A quarter of a century later, it is time to take a fresh look at the position and the key role it plays in ensuring that learning is running at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. There are three primary roles for a founder of a startup that should be the focus for the CLO as well. These are; define and keep the vision & value proposition, attract and retain the best talent for their team, and grow the investment.

With a focus on these three critical roles, leading CLO’s will have a fighting chance in these rapidly changing times. (more to come…)

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