What is the Role of the Chief Learning Officer in Today’s Sustainable Businesses?

image: instructing“The title of chief learning officer, or CLO, is one that first showed up in the mid-1990s, then appeared to fade away. But now it appears to be coming back into vogue. The return of the CLO reflects the seismic shift in the way many corporations now approach their environmental futures.”

This introduction to the recent GreenBiz article, Why the Chief Learning Officer is a CSO's New Best Friend, summarizes some of our own sustainability consulting beliefs about today’s workforce needs.  Traditional business skills are expanding to include a whole new wave of ‘sustainability’ understanding that must be woven into the fabric of the organization.  As the article explains, the CLO’s goal is to create more skilled, engaged and satisfied workers:

  • Identify and engage your high-potential staff based on traditional and non-traditional knowledge and skill sets.
  • Link strategic business sustainability planning and talent planning.
  • Spend less time on lower-value, day-to-day talent management activities.
  • Create and hold green teams accountable for talent engagement and development.
  • Enable your HR team beyond routine interactions to develop and manage sustainable talent.

Our sustainability consulting practice follows trends beyond the current job market, and we see an increasing demand for a new kind of business contributor.  Aligned with a growing demand for alternative skills is an increasing desire amongst current and prospective job seekers to translate personal eco awareness and business sustainability passions into career ambitions.  We believe this convergence of business sustainability value and personal interest could be one path to stabilizing the global job market, and the Chief Learning Officer is a vital resource in this pursuit of business sustainability.

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