July 16, 2009
learning 2.0

The CIO & CLO are the new Band of Brothers

It reasons to stand that if an organization wants to truly build a connected and collaborative culture (moving from command and control to cultivate and coordinate as Malone has taught us) the CIO and CLO need to become strategic partners.

I don’t necessarily care where the CLO reports into per se, but I do suggest these two individuals seek out a union not dissimilar to John and Yoko.


  • Training is an event thinking lends itself to classic ID and a classroom/eLearning model only – CIO doesn’t really care about this
  • Learning is a connected, collaborative and thus continuous process is the merging of formal learning with informal/social learning with all social computing applications – CIO is definitely interested in the latter and the CLO is immersed in the former
  • CLO wants to ensure people are smart … CIO wants to ensure people are connected and able to do their jobs efficiently and effectively
  • Employees don’t care where content, SME’s or knowledge resides in the organization – they just want to consume or contribute to it quickly and efficiently (and both the CLO and CIO are critical stakeholders in this type of scenario)

I would make the case that the CLO and CIO offices might actually merge one day. We’ll still need a CIO, don’t get me wrong, but the CLO might become the CCLO (Chief Collaboration and Learning Officer) and ensure the human element remains prevalent as these concepts merge. Perhaps the CCLO reports into the CIO.

Cross and Quinn call it a Chief Meta Learning Officer, but I’m not 100% comfortable with that term, as I don’t think anyone knows what it means. (their concepts – yes – 100% agree)

Regardless, the formal-informal-social learning paradigm quest begins with the CLO reaching out to the CIO and stating “let’s be the new Band of Brothers”.

2 Replies to “The CIO & CLO are the new Band of Brothers”

  1. On the merge idea: since historically these two roles have been taken by individuals who have risen through the technical ranks with their background and experience being in either IT or learning and development where from within the ranks of the Gen X or Millennials (Gen Y) are we most likely to find these CCLO’s? What is the path through the organization that you feel best leads to taking on this role?

    Since learning currently is under the domain of the CHRO/EVPHR/SVPHR/VPHR, how does the HR side stay connect now that the CCLO is tied more closely to the CIO? Does you envision learning being it’s own vertical, separate and distinct from HR?

    Technology is pushing the overall concept you’re espousing at a rate faster than corporate culture ever will and I think that’s a good thing.

  2. Interesting questions.

    #1) I actually don’t know. I argue that the CCLO type of leader needs to be a triple threat: business acumen; technology/2.0 acumen; and learning acumen. Perhaps it’s an opportunity for concurrent B.Ed programs to entertain – ie. a specialty role from day 1 of the B.Ed program.

    #2) Likely path – you will either come with a 2.0 background and be immersed in the ‘learning’ org as a learning technologist, and then learn the business side … or … you will be a learning/business specialist, and be immersed in the CIO’s office and learn that side of the house.

    #3) CCLO and HR – beauty of the matrix – I believe, probably in hindsight, that the CCLO has dual reporting into the CHRO and the CIO

    #4) Learning & Collaboration (ie. the office) ultimately should be run as a center-lead organization (not centralized / not decentralized) tied into the CIO and CHRO office, but potentially reporting up into the COO as well.

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