The Need for a Chief Learning Officer

What do we understand by a Chief Learning Officer? it is quite simple to answer that. We can define CLO as a senior business executive who is responsible for making strategies for the employees associated with their learning & development, training, credentialing and more. It is the task of a Chief Learning Officer to drive the corporate strategy and align the progress of people with the business goals of the enterprise.

On a regular basis, the functions carried out by a company’s CLO include keeping a check over training prerequisites, assessing prominent human resource procedures, supporting learning and development for organizational internal processes and ensuring that the learning sessions are powerful & thought-provoking. However, over the years there has been an expansion in the work responsibilities of CLOs in organizations all over the world.

Chief Learning Officers can no longer simply focus on educational programs and learning management systems (LMS). Now they are actively involved in driving essential changes throughout the organization. They empower teamwork, innovation, bottom-line results, and productivity. Also, CLOs play a crucial role in sharpening employee expertise, upgrading skills valuations, and skills development strategies.

Corporate learning function, that counts as one of the highest objectives of a Chief Learning Officer and empowers business revolution, is quite difficult to manage. Different companies adopt different models for learning & development. These models comprise of a centralized model, a federated model, and an anarchy model. Let us try to understand the concept that they are based on and also how they function.

  • Centralized model:

In a centralized model, all ‘programs’ emerge from one single group called the “Corporate University”. This centralized training group is responsible for all decisions & funding in the organizations. It manages all important functions starting from budgets & technology to strategy and vendor partnership.

The model works best for small companies & demands the need for a CLO for not only managing and organizing the enterprise but also maintaining coordination among various business units for running the organization without any turbulence.

  • Federated model:

A federated model is very common amongst large organizations where responsibilities are divided between a centralized training group & some local training groups. The federal issues such as leadership development, vendor management, the learning management system, a content development service etc. are handled by the centralized training group while the other group takes care of more limited and local needs.

  • Anarchy Model:

In an anarchy model, there is no proper delegation of authority to any group. The model is very common among conglomerate enterprises where it is easier to develop training programs and content by those who are closer to the problems, and not by a federal group.

It is the CLOs duty to build an appropriate model for an organization & also prepare a constitution for it. Apart from this, the learning business plan of the company is also built, managed, measured & coordinated with the HR by the Chief Learning Officer.

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