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The CLO as Chief Change Officer
Change is a big part of business, but organizations don’t always manage it well. Here’s a chance for learning leaders to build best practices directly into their companies’ transitions.
When it comes to change management, organizations could use a boost.According to a study by professional services firm Towers Watson, many organizations struggle when it comes to managing broad, sweeping changes, such as implementing a new HR system or adapting to a new technology. And much of the time, the study found, organizations fail in their change projects because they can’t keep them on schedule and on — or under — budget. Of the roughly 600 organizations surveyed by Towers Watson, only 44 percent reported they had been able to stay on schedule in their change initiatives; 47 percent said they were able to hold team members accountable on project deadlines; and 48 percent said they stayed under budget.Given the abundance of disruptive technologies continuing to rock the fabric of how organizations operate — and the development role of the learning leader — such news should be viewed as an opportunity for CLOs, said Holly Miller, a senior consultant with Towers Watson and one of the authors of the study, “The Truths About Change: What It Takes to Get It Right.”Learning professionals can leverage their development position to inject leaders with the competencies needed to manage change projects. Miller said, “At the beginning of a change initiative [we ask], ‘What is it going to take to get employees ready for these changes?’ And nine out of 10 of our clients are going to say we need to have some learning activities.”The Towers Watson study identifies six areas, or skills, that every organizations needs to get change management right — leading, communicating, learning, measuring, involving and sustaining — and Miller said organizational learning is at the heart of many of these areas. In fact, five out of the six, it could be argued, link directly to the core responsibilities and capabilities of an organization’s top learning professional, said Doug Upchurch, strategic consultant to the executive at Insights, a leadership development consultancy. Upchurch said when it comes to change management initiatives, the CLO is like “the grease to the whole process” — the leader who is absolutely vital in making the initiative run smoothly.
Microlearning — Size DOES Matter
June 20th 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
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