When it comes to business, things are not the way they used to be. Globalization & advancements in technology are changing every facet of business today. In this article, I am going to talk about Chief Learning Officer, a position that was introduced in the 90’s & has gained major relevance in today’s business scenario as organizations have realized how important their presence is for achieving success.
Before moving forward, let us discuss what a Chief Learning Officer exactly is.
What is a CLO?
As the name suggests, a Chief Learning Officer is responsible for creating strategies, goals & policies related to managing the corporate learning direction of an organization. So, the training & development programs required for keeping the knowledge of an organization’s employees up-to-date are handled by a CLO. But that is not all that they do as CLOs are also responsible for building long-term strategy, maintaining the corporate culture, recruiting along with retaining the most talented employees of an organization.
The responsibility for organizational change is on the shoulders of a Chief Learning officer. As per a study carried out by IBM, the capability to drive change is the main differentiator between organizations that are high-performing & their counterparts. So, you can imagine how crucial it is for any organization to hire a CLO.
Now let us focus on how a Chief Learning officer contributes to driving change in a firm.
The three primary ways a CLO drives change
- Observing what competitors are doing to learn from it.
This strategy is mostly adopted by pharmaceutical organizations but it can be applied to nearly every company or industry. What we usually notice about organizations in the pharmaceutical business is that they wait for their competitors to launch a drug before they themselves do so. Which is because they first want to observe the customer feedback along with the market messages of their competitors before they launch their own new drugs on the market. This way they can charge the same kind of drugs at a lower price and ensure success.
The point is that by observing the strategies of the competitors, a Chief Learning Officer can make sure that the change is pushed in the right direction.
- Understanding the employees fear of change
It is commonly noticed that employees do not really like when changes are made in an organization. Which makes complete sense as it is quite natural for people to fear change as it causes high levels of stress because of the involvement of risk in it. So, rather than forcing authority, a CLO needs to make an effort to understand the reasons for an employee’s fears and acknowledge those reasons as well.
- Influencing the Influencers
In most cases, a Chief Learning Officer believes in observing the moves of the competitor companies and acknowledging the fears of the employees, however, in exceptional cases where the time & resources do not allow them to do so, they are required to influence the influencers.
To survive in today’s business world, being mediocre does not work, so it is one of the Chief Learning Officer’s responsibilities to take an organization towards greatness.