As CEO at General Electric, Jack Welch was an energetic force, a visionary who saw far past the bottom line, while never forgetting the importance of those double rules. In his "boundaryless" view of his company and business in general, Welch foresaw the
by Norm Kamikow
September 1, 2002
As CEO at General Electric, Jack Welch was an energetic force, a visionary who saw far past the bottom line, while never forgetting the importance of those double rules. In his “boundaryless” view of his company and business in general, Welch foresaw the crucial role enterprise learning played in the ongoing development of each and every human asset, from the chairman to the intern.
Welch, of course, was right. It is incumbent upon businesses to provide the type of training, learning and educational opportunities workforces need. From new-hire training that ensures processes and systems are respected to developmental programs for sales forces, managers or executives, corporations must take charge of learning initiatives that arm employees to compete and excel. That’s the ultimate win-win situation. The employees win new opportunities for advancement. The company wins with increased productivity, better retention, heightened customer satisfaction and more resources to grow in new directions.
You don’t need to take my word for all this. Studies are dotting today’s business landscape, each with impressive statistics showing employee education as a significant driver in the most successful organizations. For instance, the Meta Group recently reported that organizations that manage human capital wisely increase shareholder value by 13 to 20 percent. What’s more, KPMG released a survey showing 75 percent of organizations view knowledge management as playing an extremely significant role in improving competitive advantages.
But it’s not just about development. It’s about staying ahead of the curve. The Hudson Institute is predicting that by 2020, 60 percent of the jobs will require skills that only 20 percent of the workforce now possesses.
It’s in this shifting climate and with those future needs in mind that we introduce you to CLO, Chief Learning Officer. CLO is being launched now to help you help your company, your employees and your customers. “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” the old commercial told us, and that’s a message worth repeating. Your corporation is a large collection of talents waiting to be tapped, potential needing recognition and realization. The role of the chief learning officer, by any name, is to be the bridge that connects those talents with the right training, transforming employees into more productive workers and managers into tomorrow’s business leaders.
These are not easy tasks; they’ll take effort on the part of all involved, from the learner to the executive covering the costs. But in uncertain economic conditions, training and education become even more important. Companies like yours may be tightening belts, but that only increases the need to properly prepare your people. How can you do more with less? By teaching your team best practices, by showing them new processes, by ingraining in them the ability to learn new things and apply them appropriately.
Sound important? Of course. Sound easy? Of course not… but what worthwhile is simple? On your shoulders falls the responsibility for developing thousands, changing processes, altering the way in which staff, managers and fellow executives think about the present and future. Those who get it will sing your praises; those who don’t will be hurdles to clear.
We’ve designed CLO, Chief Learning Officer to be your right hand, your resource, your tool of the trade. We’ll talk about best practices in corporate education; we’ll offer advice, assistance and guidance. Case studies, market research, expert columnist and, yes, your peers will share the inside views you need to advance your company, advance your people, advance yourself.
As you read this, our premiere issue, I invite you to come on board. Share your ideas and your experience. Take advantage of the resources we are building for you, both online at www.CLOmedia.com and in print. If you reside in the United States, sign up for a free subscription and urge your peers and associates to do the same. And, of course, let us know what you think and what we can do to make our magazine more helpful to you.
Editor in Chief