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A New C-Suite Member, the CLO, Will Direct Learning, Development, and Digital Business Transformation

July 5, 2021
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Read Time:
8
min

Collaboration and coordination are the two elements that lead to a healthy and productive workplace. However, as essential as these elements are, it’s often hard to achieve them. The pandemic has made it difficult for companies to direct learning, development, and digital transformation. That’s where the role of a Chief Learning Officer comes in.

Remote work often favors a cloud-based work interface and swift communication between team members. To guarantee that workers are comfortable with cloud platforms, they need good training. As such, CLOs develop digital transformation strategies while facilitating learning and development for their employees.  

Chief Learning Officers in Response to Covid-19

Unlike traditional Chief Learning Officers, typically associated only with formulating skill-based courses, the contemporary C-suite CLO engages in more impactful and dynamic planning.

Due to COVID-19, industries had to adopt remote work culture practically overnight. Companies attempted to set up protocols and regulations that enabled this dramatic shift. However, the isolation from on-site teams, office environments, and socialization made the task of going remote all the more difficult.

Chief Learning Officers arose as the primary problem-solvers to tackle this challenge. They came up with leadership strategies, skill development procedures, and implemented remote work technologies to create productive virtual office spaces. CLOs did this by studying online trends, utilizing their experience, assessing their employees, and implanting leadership tools.

The organizational framework CLOs came up with aimed to make virtual office spaces convenient and comfortable for employees. It improved not only the technical aspects of work but also provided employees the mental health resources they needed to adjust to their new lifestyle.

Another major transformation in CLOs is their management philosophy. CLOs now assess the emotional quotient as an essential factor. This approach helps companies build a robust workforce with a healthy work-life balance. 

Organizational Problems Faced by Businesses and their Solutions

The Jigsaw Jumble

Dan Stotz is a leadership development practitioner who came up with the term 'Jigsaw Jumble.' The Jigsaw Jumble refers to the chaos created by the incoherent collection of multiple models, vendors, and management strategies throughout different levels of an organization. When companies can’t decide on a coherent management strategy, it creates confusion among team members. The problem is exacerbated when this confusion spreads across different departments and divisions of the company. For organizations that do manual data collection and documentation, Jigsaw Jumble is amongst the most common issues faced.

The Solution to the Jigsaw Jumble

To solve the jigsaw jumble, companies need to assemble their disparate management strategies into a complete puzzle that makes sense. Instead of siloed departments, companies should connect them. That way, departments can work together to meet company goals. 

CLOs are the ones who can make fragmented departments come together cohesively. To do this, they build a multilevel structure with business management software solutions. These automated solutions provide cloud-based data storage, an integrated data repository, and real-time data across departments. This shift towards digital transformation ensures that all critical information and data is sorted, secured, and accessible.  

Departmental Conflicts

Large and medium sized companies can struggle to collaborate between departments. This can lead to department siloes that have departments working independently – instead of cohesively. Department siloes can lead to departmental conflicts that hurt collaboration, information exchange, and socialization. Instead of focusing on work, employees focus on departmental disputes – which hurts productivity. Unfortunately, the rise of remote work has only exacerbated this problem. 

The Solution for Departmental Conflicts

Overcoming departmental conflicts requires long-term planning and deliberate management practices. CLOs help resolve and prevent these conflicts by promoting interdepartmental virtual activities and workshops. In these, employees from different departments can interact and bond. In addition, periodic training and regulated collaborations help transform companies into synchronized workplaces. This results in better productivity and preparedness for future challenges.

Leadership Clashes

Most companies have hierarchies organized by departments, roles, and responsibilities. And, generally hierarchies have more than one leader. However, multiple leadership positions can lead to power struggles, which result in strained manager-employee relationships. 

The Solution to Leadership Clashes

To prevent power struggles, CLOs design power structures that have limitations for both leaders and their subordinates. CLOs can use tech like SaaS-based business management solutions to create clear boundaries between the departmental leaders. CLOs also promote leadership training to work on the communication, administrative skills, and coworker interactions. 

Wrapping It Up

Chief Learning Officers are essential to preventing organizational conflicts and helping companies work towards their goals. Be it a pandemic, difficulty in data assessment, internal conflicts, or lack of an ethical work structure, Chief Learning Officers are instrumental in planning, informing, and formulating a solution. Plus, CLOs can help companies successfully implement a digital strategy that creates a collaborative, harmonious environment for remote workers.

A Chief Learning Officer possesses the skill and knowledge to help a business succeed and outperform its competitors.