There’s a very old story with very modern implications, and I know you know it. This story has transcended the status of fable, in fact, and become a metaphor commonly used in today’s business world. It’s this: The cobbler’s children have no shoes.
I’ve heard that phrase more than once at industry gatherings such as our CLO Symposium, where learning executives often lament an amazing irony: the fact that learning and development teams are so busy serving the needs of others they neglect their own continuing education. Let me add a wrinkle to that legend: Sometimes the cobbler has no shoes either.
Well, try this on for size: We’ve put together a program to shoe the cobbler, his or her children and the generations that follow in their footsteps.
Welcome to the CLO Academy.
You’ve no doubt seen a spate of continuing education programs pop up recently, with e-mail marketing proudly trumpeting this solution or that. We’ve watched these efforts keenly, while working more quietly to develop the most thorough program designed to serve the needs of current and future learning professionals. While others were rushing to market, we were sending out requests for proposals to 65 leading higher education institutions. The end result is a comprehensive solution developed in partnership with Capella University, whose proposal most closely dovetailed with our research and innate understanding of your needs.
We began building the CLO Academy back in spring 2004, when we conducted a Business Intelligence Board survey of 464 learning executives asking them about their future needs. Although many of the responses related to the business as a whole, a clear need emerged for developing the L&D team properly. Respondents labeled the need to understand learning and development processes as a critical competency now and in the future, and more than 61 percent of respondents looked to team-building as a strategic objective.
So we cobbled together a program for the cobblers and their children. Registration is now available, but the CLO Academy officially kicks off Sept. 10 to 12, when we start the process with a CLO Colloquium gathering at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Va. Working with Capella’s instructional designers and other expert academic advisers, we’ve outlined a real-world, strategy-based curriculum that will start with group learning projects at the Colloquium and advance to individual courses of study in three distinct tracks: Learning Management, Learning Effectiveness and Learning Leadership.
Each track includes courses focused on critical competencies such as needs assessments, leadership, strategic planning and organizational structure and design. Visit www.clo-academy.com for more detailed information, and of course to register yourself, your direct reports and other professionals in your organization. While you’re on the site, be sure to review the list of guest speakers and expert faculty for each quarterly Colloquia—it’s an amazing list of high-powered learning executives who have, quite literally, defined the industry.
Make no mistake: This is not your father’s degree program. You’ll see a very future-focused program that taps into all manners of modern learning delivery, from the group discussions at the live Colloquium to asynchronous, instructor-led, online education. You’ll meet mentors and widen your personal and professional networks as you find peers who will take the rewarding journey with you. At the end of that journey, upon completion of each track, you’ll receive academic credit from Capella that you can apply toward a post-graduate degree.
None of this is intended to be easy, and anyone offering that isn’t looking beyond your wallet. Our goal with the CLO Academy program is to raise the bar for workforce development professionals by properly shaping current and future generations of learning professionals.
Look down for a second. How are your shoes? Do you have team members who are metaphorically barefoot? Is your learning organization prepared for any contingency that occurs as time marches on?
There’s another wonderful old cliché that comes to mind, this one about acceptance: If the shoe fits, wear it. The CLO Academy is made to order. No loafers allowed.
Editor in Chief