Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

Seven Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Learning Organization

 -  4/16/12

Failing to avoid these mistakes may lead to high volatility in your learning organization, namely irregular funding, changes to the CLO function and inconsistent learning programs.

Whether you’ve built a learning organization from the ground up or were promoted to the position, as chief learning officer you’re called to serve the company by fostering a culture of learning at every turn. Since all business demands continual adaption to changing tides in the economic environment, a learning organization itself needs to preserve its function as the tiller of the company, because it’s surprisingly easy to drift off course. Let’s look at some common mistakes that can trip up CLOs and, by extension, have hurt the entire learning enterprise.

Mistake No. 1: Failing to Make the Transition From Tactical to Strategic Thinking

If you’re promoted to the position of CLO or learning director, realize that you’re responsible for strategy now. CLOs are at risk to fail if they are not able to move away from their former tactical mindset. A director’s job description is vastly different from that of an operational manager — so start acting like a director. You’re not responsible for training people anymore. Rather, you have a strategic role, first and foremost. You should be focused on strategy, relationship building within the organization, managing your managers, resource allocation and performance.

Mistake No. 2: Getting Your Program Funding at the Last Minute

Building a successful corporate learning function is much like building a house. Before you start, there needs to be a discussion with the bank about financing. Too often, those in corporate learning discuss learning projects — sometimes for months — before obtaining solid financial backing from upper management. This is putting the cart before the horse. Who is going to pay for this new program? And if funding doesn’t come through, you’ve just wasted a lot of time in meetings and planning with nothing to show for it.

Before you get started, discuss how the program will be funded with your financial backers. You’ll need funding during the program design, an understanding about how this learning gain will pay for the program and funding going forward. Many believe it is enough to just think and talk and work on a great idea without getting “the bank” involved early. This is a grave mistake and often the overlooked component in failed projects.

Article Keywords:   learning from mistakes  


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