Chief Digital Learning Officer. Is that a thing yet?

Another dose of shameless self-promotion here. I do think there is a purpose though, so bear with me…

In a few weeks I am presenting at the CDO Forum on the topic of “Developing a Digital Learning Service for the New Workplace”. As you can see from the agenda, this is not an eLearning or L&D event. It is a cross-industry forum creating a space to share stories about digital challenges and developments from a wide range of organisations. The central theme is digital transformation (however this is interpreted, it the central theme of almost everything these days). It is an event for Chief Digital Officers – now a frequently used, if not common, job title and another symptom of the shifting landscape.

In preparing for and promoting the event, I was invited, along with other speakers, to answer some interview questions by way of introduction to the themes of the conference. Answering these questions required some careful thought. They are simple enough in their articulation but need a broader consideration than a typical eLearning treatment. They deal with the structural and cultural change of businesses and their customers, so L&D is only one lens through which to address the puzzle. The thrust is to compare L&D with other professions and services. This might be a little uncomfortable as the digital revolution plays out and a lot of catching up is taking place, or needs to in my humble opinion.

Here are those questions and my answers. See what you think and maybe take a pass at your own answers. I wonder if you find it as testing as I did?

the Chief Digital Learning Officer

On reflection today, there is a perspective required for these questions which may not be available in most organisations. Something like a view from the Chief Digital Learning Officer. This would be an equivalent role to that of the CDO but focused on learning activity and outcomes. A role with command of technology, products, and services and with a strong grasp of learning content and activity in and around the workplace. In the main, I think these two views are separated into two roles, leaving digital development and delivery as a specialism rather than the mainstream offer of a whole team or department. That is not the typical remit and span of control of the CDO which beings all those strands into one point in the business.

If a digital transformation of a learning service is to succeed I think that separation needs to be become redundant. Are there any CDLOs out there?




Leave a Reply