Chief Learning Officer Responsibilities & Role in Leading the Learning Process

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So, what responsibilities does a Chief Learning Officer have? Training is a field that, for most people, either you know a lot about it, or you know nothing at all about it.  The role of a CLO is still relatively new, so, let’s demystify Chief Learning Officer responsibilities today.

A Chief Learning Officer is an individual who is part of a unit. This unit is made of so many people who are being trained. This means that this individual, too, is a student in this system. You may have multiple learning officers, if your approach to training involves many groups of people, rather than one giant unit. Probably best to do that, as I’ve pointed out in the past, talking about organizational learning and how dynamic and effective it can be.

So, what does this person or people do? Well, they’re in charge of monitoring the progress of their fellow students within their unit. They’re not an authority to whom the others report in a hierarchical style, but they are a pivotal position. They monitor the others, interact with them, and are their immediate turn-to when stumped or unsure of something. In a larger organization, you may be too preoccupied for on-the-fly open door policies all the time, so they may need this middle man to go to in lieu of yourself. It’s sad, but that’s how it goes.

These learning officers will then report to you and show progress of themselves and their teammates, and indicate any concerns they have or that have been voiced by those in their units. This is to be sure that anything you miss when your door isn’t open to all, you still hear about by proxy.

You will then give this Chief Learning Officer or the multiple officers their goals for the next length of time, and address concerns they may have. So, they’re basically team leaders, in a learning role. They’re not separate from the system, but they’re part of its control.

In choosing your Chief Learning Officer, be sure to profile people without significantly large egos. Choose people with leadership skills and possibly ones with prior experience or knowledge of the task, if they happen to have any.

Now, we’ve demystified Chief Learning Officer responsibilities rather simply and cleanly here. They’re just learning team leaders because you can’t micromanage everyone, you’re busy. A training professional would take a book to explain this to you, and they’d do it with, gasp, diagrams. I hope I did a better job here.

Jason Silberman
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog
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