Thoughts from Thought-Leaders: What Every CLO Should Do More Of

By: Paris Armstrong - Marketing Coordinator
03/26/2019

At the last edition of the CLO Exchange, we met some truly inspiring thought-leaders who are transforming the L&D space, including those from Bank of America, Facebook, Southwest, AAA, Siemens, and many more. Through interactive discussions and small-scale networking, they were able to share experiences, give advice, and gain valuable insights from their executive-level peers.

Working hand-in-hand with Thoughtexchange and their community intelligence software, we gathered these industry leaders for a roundtable-style discussion in which they were asked the following question: “What are some things organizations must do more of to transform and remain competitive?”  

Each participant anonymously shared their thoughts and rated each other's answers. These are their top 10 highest rated responses:

1. Keep up with the latest trends in technology, and be willing to actually invest in them to build ecosystems. Innovation is a must in order to scale and stay relevant. Over the last decade, technology has transformed every industry, and those that didn’t adapt lost market share. 

2. Measure, quantify and learn from your mistakes. Just because you can’t measure everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t measure anything.

3. More women in leadership. It goes without saying, but diverse leadership leads to diverse ideas – and diverse ideas often lead to the greatest (and most profitable) innovations.


4. Place emphasis on learning outcome, not cool new delivery methods. What matters most in Learning is that it’s easy to access, easy to digest, and easy to share. 

5. Focus on a clear vision that ensures everyone is working towards a common goal. Knowing where you’re headed and why increases likelihood of results and efficiency.

6. Get better at measuring the impact of learning. This will foster the notion that L&D is a profit-center vs. a cost center.


7. Remain agile, move quickly, and be willing to take risks. Change is inevitable and un-ending, so these are critical to maintaining a competitive advantage. Waiting for the perfect idea/solution will only push you out of the market.

8. Identify, develop, and execute competencies that fulfill a balanced equation of company benefit and team member benefit. Teams need to take away life skills just as much as they need to be certified in functional requirements.

9. Allow (and encourage) trial and error on training solutions and design in order to innovate quickly and avoid stagnation.

10. Talk to and listen to learners THEMSELVES. They will tell you what’s effective, what works, and what they didn’t like.


Though these answers are incredibly insightful on their own, they’re merely a broad-level roadmap for L&D success. Truly transforming processes to remain competitive in today’s workforce will require a more hands-on approach from executives, which includes dedicating time to meet face-to-face with peers, bench-marking strategies, and actively exploring new technologies.

We’re excited for a new group of the world’s top L&D leaders to experience these in-depth discussions at our upcoming CLO Exchange East, taking place May 8-10 in Atlanta, GA. Request an Invite here to join the conversation!