Video production: Andrew Kennedy Lewis
Michael Kennedy, associate vice president of talent and learning at the National Basketball Association, talks about the future of the CLO role and why aspiring CLO should continue to ask “why.”
Read the full transcript of Kennedy’s interview below:
Within five years because I think this is a transition that’s underway – I think the talent first mindset is becoming more prevalent for the CLO, and I think that’s really gratifying. I’d like to think that part of what I’ve brought to my role is more of a mindset toward identifying root causes and finding solutions and innovative solutions, rather than just waiting to react to whatever problems are going on. But I think moving even farther along those lines where we’re going to be much more involved in talent management. And even if CLOs don’t necessarily take over the role of talent management, or the responsibility of talent management, I think that there’s going to be much closer integration of those functions, and that in the future of the CLO, maybe first and foremost, their responsibility is going to shift more toward not overseeing curriculums, per se, but really having a line of sight to talent within an organization. How that talent is progressing through the organization, and what needs to happen in order to maximize the way that talent is deployed and strategically aligned with the needs of the organization. Developing people so that there’s better preparation for the best people to be in the best places.
Ask why more. That’s ultimately where I think we have been and can continue to make progress is to be less chained to some of the principles and theories that we’ve followed in the past and look more closely at the science, being more critical in our thinking. Nothing that happens in classrooms, online, anywhere that a learner is exposed to a learning opportunity – any CLO should be able to, and is obligated to be able to answer the question, “why.” “Why is it that the learning option for this person at this time?”
The more that any CLO, any aspiring CLO, is getting comfortable with that question and knows is always able to answer the questions: “Why is that the choice that we made? What’s the data? What’s the science behind it? Or at least what’s the principle that informs that?” That’s the single most powerful thing that we can do to both be successful and build credibility within our organizations.