Are you a NextGen Chief Learning Officer? If yes, then you probably have one of the most exciting jobs in the industry today. While organizations frantically try to come to terms with disruption all around them, the Chief Learning Officer (CLO) in the enterprise is going to take the center stage. Organizations need to continuously skill, upskill and reskill their workforce at an incredible pace to stay ahead of the curve. Who else can help an organization in future other than its Chief Learning Officer? Here are 7 ways, you as the CLO can make a difference to your organization:
- Align with the Business
Consider yourself a business leader and not just an enabling leader or support function leader. Align your function in a manner that it can enable the organization to realize its goals. Merely driving employee performance and development is not enough. You need to drive organizational performance. You are not just a strategy enabler. You are a key contributor to ‘strategy making’ and a key strategy accelerator too. Determine how your training function can improve your organization’s revenues, operating margin, customer satisfaction, employee experience and productivity. The question you need to ask is- “Is my function solving the pain areas of the business? Is my function enabling my organization to go the next level of maturity?”
- Create a Learning Vision
You must develop a learning vision for your organization. This vision should not be merely the vision of the L&D function. It has to be the vision of the entire organization. In today’s knowledge economy, where human capital is the most valuable asset, no organization can survive without a shared learning vision. Are you game to develop the learning vision of your organization and shape that into reality? Do you have the dream to build a NextGen future-ready organization?
- Hire People with Growth Mindset
If you have a lofty vision, you need to have brave-hearts to translate the dream into a reality. Hire the best because you have a mammoth task on hand. You need go-getters and risk takers. They should be fearless and prepared to take risks. They need to experiment and try out new ideas. You need people who can be effective in the midst of ambiguity and chaos. In an uncertain business environment, where speed and agility are the critical success factors, you cannot afford to have people who have a fixed mindset and believe that change is not possible.
- Run the L&D Function like a Start-up
As the Learning Leader, you need to run your function as a StartUp. Start-ups have lean and agile teams where everyone in the team is free to try out new ideas. Failure is not only accepted here but is often encouraged. Innovation is the hallmark of a good startup. The L&D function, to succeed has to run like a swift and nimble startup. The team members must be willing to experiment and fail. They should quickly move on to a new idea if an earlier idea fails.
- Adopt the new trends
Interesting and new trends are emerging in the L&D space every day. New ways of training design, development and deployment are evolving every now and then. Most of these trends are being powered by technology. The CLO not only needs to keep pace with the new trends, she should be a trendsetter herself. She should have a strong appetite to adopt new trends, methods and practices.
- Drive a Mindset Shift
It is not enough if you are running fast. The organization needs to keep pace with you as well. As a NextGen CLO, this is going to be one of your biggest challenges. The leadership team as well as employees across the organization must be equally ready to appreciate and adopt your path-breaking ideas. Your workforce consists of multiple generations. While one generation may jump at your forward-looking ideas, another generation may be averse to them. You need to muster your energy to drive a paradigm shift in the organization.
- Deliver and Demonstrate Value
The last but not the least, your strategy and execution must lead to tangible as well as intangible outcomes for the business. A Clear impact on the top line, bottom line, productivity, customer and employee experience etc. needs to be seen. If your intent and potent do not translate into outcomes, that would pose a serious threat to your function. You should not only deliver outcomes but also demonstrate the value they bring to the business.
As a NextGen CLO, if you have a challenging yet exciting journey ahead. Are you ready to embark on the journey?