The Creation and Evolution of the Chief Learning Officer Role: Perspectives from the First CLO" /> The Creation and Evolution of the Chief Learning Officer Role: Perspectives from the First CLO" />

Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2018 - 38

The Creation and Evolution of the
Chief Learning Officer Role:
Perspectives from the First CLO
By Jasmine Martirossian, Ph.D.

The concept of CLO has long roots
in finance, with CLO standing for
"collateralized loan obligation." However,
CLO standing for "chief learning officer"
and as a member of the C-suite is a
relatively new concept and role. GE was
the first company that pioneered this
role and created the title in 1994 when
Steve Kerr stepped into that position.
Wanting to know exactly how this role
originated, I thought what better way
to do that than to speak with Steve
Kerr himself, who is now a frequent
keynote speaker and an international
management consultant.

| 38

The Creation of the CLO Role
In 1989, GE had launched its famous
"Work-Outs," and that's when Steve
Kerr met Jack Welch, the legendary
CEO of GE. At the time, Kerr was the
dean of faculty at the University of
Southern California business school.
This partnership led to transformational
initiatives whereby they ripped out
the old-fashioned passive suggestion
system at GE, replacing it with a call to
ongoing improvements with a slogan
of "Finding a Better Way Every Day."
This undertaking started as a drive to
change the GE culture in 1989. It took
five years before it led to the creation of
the CLO role.

Serving as a long-term consultant for
GE, and to Jack Welch, Welch offered
Kerr a full-time position running the
leadership
development
function.
Even before title discussions emerged,
Kerr started exploring how to craft this
role to maximize its relevance to the
organization (note that while GE did
have a leadership development function
previously, it did not have a CLO role at
the time).
Kerr started asking himself and other
leadership team members what he
should start doing, stop doing and keep
doing. As the discussions progressed, his
colleagues suggested that Kerr should
have a title that reflected the nature of
what he was doing, so "chief education



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - November/December 2018

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016sales
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015outsourcing
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015leadership
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008spring
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