Questions from the CLO Executive Network


Clark Quinn and I kicked off a meeting of the Chief Learning Officer Network at Symantec’s offices in Mountain View on Wednesday. We talked of working smarter, the imperative to change, the ins and outs of informal learning, and why mobile learning is inevitable.

Clark concluded our 90-minute opener by destroying myths about generational differences, brain-based learning, and learning styles.

The Executive Networks hosts plumbed the audience for questions our presentation had raised. We broke into groups to discuss:

What’s the role of the CLO as learning shifts from push to pull? What capabilities does the 21st century training department need? How do we go about shifting from what we already have in place? How does this fit with existing standards, compliance requirements, and regulatory boundaries?

My breakout group discussed:

  • This is way too much to figure out in a 45-minute breakout session.
  • The CLO must take a broader role, getting out of the learning silo and into the broader job of improving the way the business works.
  • The CLO needs to focus on experienced workers, not just novices; on customers and partners, not just employees.
  • Neither compliance nor formal learning are going to disappear. However, both can be made more effective.
  • Should the CLO role include working to change the organizational culture? Probably. Also, facilitating peer-to-peer learning.
  • Connect the enterprise with a technology like Jive. Concomitantly, reduce investment in formal learning.
  • New foundation skills are critical thinking and managing in the face of ambiguity.
  • Payback from implementing social networking is collaborative content development and getting input from all sides (Q&A page).


One thought on “Questions from the CLO Executive Network

  1. Kelly Meeker, OpenSesame

    The CLO role seems to morphing into the role of the old “management consultant” or “process consultant”. You used to hire Accenture to come in and evaluate how you managed employees and shared information and identify your top performers: and now that’s an internal role.

    Not only must a CLO be an excellent process diagnoser & improver, s/he needs to be up on current technologies to suggest those key interventions where a new application or network can make a difference.

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