I attended the Fall 2015 CLO Symposium recently, and the main topic was the Future of Learning. As learning leaders, keeping up with what’s to come is paramount to our careers. Our organizations rely on us to be on the cutting edge not just when it comes to learning — we have to keep up with what’s happening in our markets and with the talent pool.
I was fascinated by Editor-in-Chief Mike Prokopeak’s opening comments about the way technology is continuing to influence our world. By the way if you missed the conference, you can still catch the Fall 2015 CLO Symposium Virtual Edition beginning Nov. 17.
He said, “We can now summon a virtual army to develop content. Pretty soon algorithms will be able to create content automatically.” So, what’s this mean for us as learning leaders? From my perspective, we need to send people out into the world to learn as much as they can about this new area and have them bring back the information to implement. As learning leaders, we do not have to know how to write the algorithms or how to find the army of content developers, but we do need to know how to ask the right questions to decide what content is right and when it’s right for implementation in our own scenarios.
The learning profession as a whole will have the opportunity to once again step up and become more strategically linked to the business. As learning leaders, this means going back to school to learn how to more about the businesses we are there to support.
There are three excellent programs I have found for this:
- The CLO Accelerator program launched recently; it’s a 1 ½ day program for learning leaders that takes place just prior to the CLO Symposium. CLO Accelerator is for individuals who are new, projected or aspiring to assume the role of learning executive. The curriculum was developed by Human Capital Media in partnership with Gerry Hudson-Martin, former learning leader at John Hancock Financial Services and Marriott International. The next one will be happening in April 2016.
- Penn State has an education doctorate, D.Ed., for chief learning officers. This executive-format program is designed to prepare the CLO and other senior-level executives for success as learning and talent development leaders.
- Harvard Business School has an outstanding program called Leading Professional Services Firms. I personally attended this one in 1998 and found it to be incredible. They use their popular case study method to analyze real company situations, and the seven-day intensive program is worth every minute of your time. After all, running a learning function as a business is a true professional services business.
What programs have you found that learning leaders can benefit from? Share them with us and we will let everyone know.