Welcome to Chief Learning Officer magazine. I returned from my sabbatical just in time to read the first issue. The magazine has certainly carved out a stimulating dialogue between CLOs and key vendors. What’s needed now is to include heads of business units in this dialogue. Increasingly, business unit managers are having a more active role in how to use learning as a strategic marketing tool. While I was in London this summer, I spent time with the head of global learning for Rolls Royce. It turns out that learning at Rolls Royce has become an important way to enter new markets. For example, when Rolls Royce entered China, it did so by forming a strategic partnership between Rolls Royce Global Learning & Development and the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC). This partnership resulted in launching a jointly operated Training Centre in Tianjin for the development of new skills for the entire aviation industry. This has brought the CLO of Rolls Royce into a whole new dialogue about new skills needed for the aviation industry in China.
As heads of learning, we need to insert ourselves into the new business arena for the enterprise. This means having a vision and strategy for learning directed at partners and key stakeholders in an industry. With the obsolescence of knowledge and skills running at a record pace and the continuing need for talent management, the entire enterprise needs the expertise of a chief learning officer. I will look to Chief Learning Officer magazine and its resources to start and expand on this exchange.
Author, “Corporate Universities: Lessons in Building a World-Class Workforce”