Chief Learning Officer
October 2019

Editor’s Letter


Learner, Know Thyself
Mike Prokopeak Editor in Chief
C

oaches learn just as much from their players as their players learn from them. When the person you’re coaching is your own kid it’s even more so.

I was my son’s soccer coach last year. Pick any player from his team of 7- and 8-year-olds and it was guaranteed they had more playing experience than their head coach. We had a good season despite that. They learned to play as a team, developed fundamental skills and had fun. Well, most of the time they did.

During one game, a loose ball squirted out of the pack right at my son’s feet as he stood a couple of yards from the other team’s goal. He had a clean shot on goal for his first score of the season. He hesitated and in that moment a teammate swooped in for the goal. He was mad at the kid.

So before the next game I took my son aside and counseled him to act fast. If the ball comes anywhere close give it a swift kick and go. Don’t think, just follow your instinct, I told him. Without missing a beat, he said, “But Dad, my instinct is to think.”

OCTOBER 2019 | Volume 18, Issue 8

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CLO Contents June 2019
Megan Torrance
Megan Torrance
on the cover: Photo by KEITH LANPHER
10
Megan Torrance of TorranceLearning shares her career journey; Airbus’ Louise Kyhl Triolo talks about shifting organizational culture and mindset; and professionals share what they’re reading.
38
Profile
Sarah Fister Gale
CLO Gladys Brignoni brings private-sector insights to the United States’ fifth military branch.
60

Case Study

Sarah Fister Gale
PwC’s digital upskilling efforts have turned everyday employees into ardent advocates for change.
62

Business Intelligence

Ashley St. John
One of the biggest challenges L&D leaders face with technology adoption is how to establish and align a technology strategy with business goals.
CLO Contents June 2019
Don’t Let Workplace Stress Become Distress
Don’t Let Workplace Stress Become Distress
The Path After the MBA
Overcoming Tech Paralysis
A Strategic Approach to Digital Learning

Feature

24
Danny Weill
How CLOs can help improve employee well-being in the workplace.
42
Sarah Fister Gale
Tuition reimbursement for higher education is a waste of money if employees can’t use their new skills.
48
Ashley St. John
With the speed of technological innovation, how can you prioritize what is best suited to your learners’ needs?
54
Matthew Murray and Nicolai Chen Nielsen
Given the rapidly evolving digital learning landscape, a clear digital learning strategy is critical.

Experts

16
Rosina L. Racioppi
Do It Yourself, But Don’t Do It Alone
18
Josh Bersin
VR Makes Learning Authentic, Memorable
20
Jack J. Phillips & Patti P. Phillips
Narrative and Numbers
22
David DeFilippo
Learning to Adapt
66
Caroline Stokes
EQ and Reskilling in the Age of AI

Resources

4
Learner, Know Thyself
Your Career


Your Career


Career Advice From

Megan Torrance

chief energy officer, TorranceLearning

Megan Torrance, chief energy officer at TorranceLearning, answers our questions about her career and the time she’s spent in the L&D space.
Career Advice from Kathleen Gallo
Megan TorranceHow did you start your career in learning?

I snuck up on it! In college, I had the amazing fortune to work in an HR department during the early days of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I was hired as a graphic designer, but soon was writing content for their training implementation statewide. After getting a bachelor’s in communication and an MBA, I joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), learned Authorware (an early e-learning authoring tool) and how to write training guides … then was never staffed on a project where that was my role. I was managing projects for large shared service center implementations and working my way through the back office functions that nearly every business shares: payroll, personnel admin, payables, receivables, billing, reporting, etc., and finally ended up helping UnitedHealth Group with their learning management system implementation. It was their first enterprise LMS and their software company’s first LMS, too. Once we got that system up and running, I worked for the software company LearnShare with their new LMS implementations and training for a few years. Finally in 2006, one of those clients asked, “Can you build the training that goes into my new LMS?” And that’s when my work in custom course development really got its start.

Small Bites - Megan Torrance answers our rapid-fire questions.
The most important part of learning
The most important part of learning is:
Reflection, synthesis, applying in new ways. This is how you know you’ve “got it” — not a multiple-choice post-test.
The most overrated trend in L&D is:
I’m going to get myself in trouble with good friends and colleagues here … microlearning and gamification (yes, both!). These are incredibly powerful techniques that are ready to be worked into our “normal” routines for creating great learning experiences instead of thinking of them as buzzwords or something new.
The most overrated trend in L&D
Your Career


Your Career


What Are You Reading?
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
By Daniel H. Pink
Listened via audio book and it was great research-based info with a companion time hackers guide. I’ve implemented many of the recommendations and I’m more thoughtful about how I use my time. Great book!
Melissa Phillips
— Melissa Phillips, training and communications leader, Georgia-Pacific LLC
Your Career


Your Career


Top of Mind
Intrapreneurship and unleashing the child within By Louise Kyhl Triolo
Career advice from Louise Kyhl Triolo, head of culture, VP of intrapreneurship, Airbus.
Louise Kyhl Triolo - Airbus
Louise Kyhl Triolo - Airbus

Is it really possible to shift culture and reinvent large organizations, especially those established for decades? Honestly, for those of us who have truly pushed the transformational envelope within and throughout large systems — it’s a constant challenge, demanding seamless effort, focus and very creative thinking.

As a cultivator of the intrapreneurial spirit, I’m always pushing the conventional boundaries to help leaders see differently and help organizations transform. My latest attempt is this: inviting children into the workplace to help envision the future of business!

Growing Diverse Talent


Do It Yourself, But Don’t Do It Alone
Embrace the power of reaching out By Rosina L. Racioppi
Rosina L. Racioppi

Rosina L. Racioppi is president and CEO of Women Unlimited Inc.

O

ver the years, I have found the concept of “doing it yourself, but not doing it alone” exceptionally helpful to me personally, to our Women Unlimited participants and to organizations as a whole.

“Doing it alone” is often symptomatic of larger problems. For women, it can signal two career-stymieing obstacles: perfectionism and risk aversion. For organizations, it can mean being out of touch with best practices, innovative trends and demographic shifts.

Too often women believe that to prove themselves, they have to do it all. We often see this trend among talented women as they begin our development programs. They are reluctant to delegate, to seek out others for advice and information, or to develop much-needed internal and external support networks.

As these women begin to recognize that trying to do it all themselves has limited them and held them back, they become more willing to reach out to others, resulting in extraordinary benefits to both them and their organizations.

BEST PRACTICES


VR Makes Learning Authentic, Memorable
Virtual learning comes to corporate training By Josh Bersin

Josh Bersin is an industry analyst and founder of Bersin by Deloitte.

I

’m always a little skeptical about new tools. Virtual reality is no exception.

A while ago, I paid my first visit to STRIVR, a company founded by Stanford football players to teach quarterbacks situational awareness on the field using VR. With great skepticism, I put on the glasses and headset to see what the company had done for corporate training. I was blown away.

First, the STRIVR team put me into a simulation of a Walmart store during Black Friday. The scenario was designed to help an employee understand how to serve customers in very difficult situations. I felt like I was actually in a store, working in a pressured situation. As I went through tasks, the system coached me on what and what not to do.

ACCOUNTABILITY


Narrative and Numbers
Measure success with stories and data BY Jack J. Phillips and Patti P. Phillips
Jack J. Phillips, ROI Institute chairman
Patti P. Phillips, ROI Institute president and CEO

Jack J. Phillips is the chairman and Patti P. Phillips is president and CEO of the ROI Institute.

R

ecently, a person involved with soft skills programs described an issue she was facing. She had communicated the value of various soft skills programs to her executives using anecdotes and comments. She was proud of the stories about these programs, but one nagging question remained: Do you have actual data? She also received feedback that her stories needed structure. She needed a thought out process with stories and data.

Our ROI Methodology provides a framework for categorizing, collecting, analyzing and reporting six types of data (reaction, learning, application, impact, ROI and intangibles). This framework presents a profile of success with qualitative and quantitative data often collected at different time frames from different sources. Numbers, by themselves, can be boring. When collecting data, always provide a place for respondents to provide comments, which will provide the basis for the narrative. A narrative in a story format makes the results interesting, engaging and memorable. The key is to have both numbers and narrative.

Reaction data will have measures to show that participants perceived the program to be relevant, important to their success, and something they would use and recommend to others. In a place for comments, one participant in a program on building trust noted, “This is the most significant professional development program I have attended in my 22 years of work. It was timely and just what I needed.” That brief but powerful story leaves a lasting impression.

ON THE FRONT LINE


Learning to Adapt
What we can learn from man’s best friend By David Defilippo
David DeFilippo is principal of DeFilippo Leadership Inc., executive learning officer for Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business and an executive coach at Harvard Business School.
“C

hange is the only constant” is often cited as the mindset shift leaders need to adopt with today’s rapid business cycles, burgeoning technological advancements and geometric power of social networks. Heraclitus’ quote is rooted in his theory that life is in flux and therefore constantly changing as a normal course. Contemporarily, for organizations this reality means adapting or risking competitive relevance, and for individuals the forces of change mean learning and adapting or being left behind in the workforce.

Given the enormity of these pressures on organizations, educational institutions and even government agencies to keep up, I was recently drawing inspiration from our family dogs, present and past. We are dog lovers — always have been — and I suspect we will always share our home with at least one or two canines by our side. Over the years, I have marveled at our dogs’ ability to adapt, internalize and live with significant change.

How CLOs can help improve employee well-being in the workplace.
By Danny Weill
Employee well-being plays an important role in business profitability and growth, with higher levels of mental and physical health linked to increased productivity and, ultimately, better company performance. Yet, it’s a factor that’s all too often overlooked, and people are feeling the impacts of stress more than ever. With study after study proving that stress is manifesting in alarming ways, from increased rates of high blood pressure and heart attacks to depression and anxiety, employers and HR leaders should be concerned, since often the cause of this stress is work.
Don’t Let Workplace Stress Become
How CLOs can help improve employee well-being in the workplace.
By Danny Weill
Employee well-being plays an important role in business profitability and growth, with higher levels of mental and physical health linked to increased productivity and, ultimately, better company performance. Yet, it’s a factor that’s all too often overlooked, and people are feeling the impacts of stress more than ever. With study after study proving that stress is manifesting in alarming ways, from increased rates of high blood pressure and heart attacks to depression and anxiety, employers and HR leaders should be concerned, since often the cause of this stress is work.
Sponsored Content
Sponsored Content
Helping Leaders Embrace Change through Coaching

Change can be overwhelming and difficult, especially if it’s constant. Seventy-seven percent of HR practitioners and leaders report that their organization is in a state of constant change. It’s especially so for those tasked with helping to implement change across an organization.

It’s been reported widely that organizations’ change management initiatives experience a high rate of failure. In fact, 85% of organizations can cite at least one failed change management initiative within the last two years! Both the human and the financial costs associated with a failed change initiative can harm an organization, so it’s important that organizational success is not left to chance.

This change management dilemma prompted the International Coach Federation (ICF) to partner with the Human Capital Institute (HCI) to conduct research on how organizations navigate change. The top cited reason for why change is unsuccessful is resistance from employees. Further, less than a quarter of our survey respondents indicated confidence in their employees’ change capabilities. What can leaders do to address this resistance?

Sponsored Content
Sponsored Content
Why is there so little traction on our most critical skills?
By: Michelle Eppler, Ed.D., Associate Vice President, Human Capital Lab, Dean, College of Continuing & Professional Education, Bellevue University
Do a quick google search on “soft skills” and you’ll get millions of articles about the impor-tance of these skills. By now it’s safe to say that nearly every Learning and Development leader understands that soft skills are the key to workforce competitiveness and agility.

Agility is important because, with the pace of change in job requirements, those who know how to learn (i.e., listen, communicate, collabo-rate, think critically, etc.) will be the first to adapt to new ideas, skills, and jobs.

Nothing is as effective at creating workforce agility as soft skills. In fact, they’re so important, we call them Power Skills™. In a recent study of nearly 600 learning and development leaders we produced with Human Capital Media and Chief Learning Officer, it was clear that Power Skills are critical. Sixty-three percent of respon-dents said they have a substantial or critical gap in these skills – three times the number of technical or functional skills gaps. And for many organizations, the gap is widening.

Sponsored Content
Sponsored Content
Creating Growth With Marketing Analytics (In 4 Steps)
By: Darden Professors Rajkumar Venkatesan and Paul W. Farris
The question of how to leverage big data has inspired conferences, university courses and degrees — and CMOs in sore need of guidance on what all those numbers are saying. What each organization needs is its own analytics system that is focused on customer behavior. It should be actionable, future-facing and support the organi-zation’s broader strategy.

To make better business decisions, managers should be able to answer marketing questions by:

  • Determining which data are relevant.
  • Selecting the appropriate technique for analysis.
  • Performing analysis to gain insights on the relationship between marketing activities and customer behavior.
  • Using predictive models based on experiments or historic information to simulate hypothetical situations, in order to identify the ideal combina-tion of marketing activities.
  • Linking insights and the optimal marketing mix to wise marketing decisions.
Sponsored Content
Sponsored Content
The value of business education collaboration
New research uncovers the connection between business education and lifelong learning.
By Tim Harnett
The United States economy shows no sign of slowing. In July 2019, the unemployment rate was 3.7%, little changed from previous months.1 In this tight labor market, sourcing workers will become tougher.

A recent survey indicated recruiters already face challenges. Three-quarters of HR profes-sionals with recruiting difficulties identified a shortage of candidate skills as a roadblock to filling job roles.2 Mitigating this skills gap will require a multifaceted approach from both businesses and educators to develop workers who are ready to tackle the jobs of the future.

Profile


Guardian of the coast
CLO Gladys Brignoni brings private sector insights to the United States’ fifth military branch.
By Sarah Fister Gale
Gladys Brignoni
Gladys Brignoni is not your typical military officer. She was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and moved to a small town in Indiana as a child. She spoke no English, and at the time English as a second language curriculum was uncommon. “I had to work really hard to learn the language on my own,” Brignoni said. That obstacle started her down the path to a career in education.

Brignoni received her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, and later her master’s and doctorate from Indiana University. When she landed a job as a professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, she was thrilled. She taught students of all levels and ages, many of whom were the children and spouses of military personnel. “I loved seeing the lightbulb go on when they learned something,” she said. It was her first brush with the military and foretold a future to come.

Tuition reimbursement for higher education is a waste of money if employees can’t use their new skills.
By Sarah Fister Gale
I

f you think your company doesn’t have an MBA sponsorship program, you might want to look again. While many large organizations don’t have a formal policy in place, when local leaders identify high performers interested in continuing education, they often just make it happen.

That can be a good thing and a bad thing, said Daniel Szpiro, dean of the school of professional programs at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. “In these cases, the ultimate decision-makers are people who are closest to that employee, and who understand their potential better than someone in a corporate learning and development office.” However, when these sponsorships occur ad hoc, companies have no way to track the return on investment or to set goals for how the company will benefit from providing this expensive piece of education.

Tuition reimbursement for higher education is a waste of money if employees can’t use their new skills.
By Sarah Fister Gale
I

f you think your company doesn’t have an MBA sponsorship program, you might want to look again. While many large organizations don’t have a formal policy in place, when local leaders identify high performers interested in continuing education, they often just make it happen.

That can be a good thing and a bad thing, said Daniel Szpiro, dean of the school of professional programs at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. “In these cases, the ultimate decision-makers are people who are closest to that employee, and who understand their potential better than someone in a corporate learning and development office.” However, when these sponsorships occur ad hoc, companies have no way to track the return on investment or to set goals for how the company will benefit from providing this expensive piece of education.

As we head into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it’s easy to feel like a deer caught in digital headlights. With the speed of technological innovation, how can you prioritize what advances are best suited to your learners’ needs?
By Ashley St. John
It has become widely accepted that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. Coined by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, the concept refers to how technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and the “internet of things” are merging with the physical lives of humans, “blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.”

It can be a bit frightening when you consider the rate at which things are changing — like trying to envision the spatial size of the universe. As Schwab wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs in December 2015, “The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.”

As we head into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it’s easy to feel like a deer caught in digital headlights. With the speed of technological innovation, how can you prioritize what advances are best suited to your learners’ needs?
By Ashley St. John
It has become widely accepted that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. Coined by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, the concept refers to how technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and the “internet of things” are merging with the physical lives of humans, “blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.”

It can be a bit frightening when you consider the rate at which things are changing — like trying to envision the spatial size of the universe. As Schwab wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs in December 2015, “The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.”

Overcoming Tech Paralysis
The digital learning landscape has rapidly evolved and is fundamentally different today than just five years ago. Given these developments, it’s critical to have a clear digital learning production strategy.
By Matthew Murray and Nicolai Chen Nielsen
Do you have moments when you realize you don’t have a clear grip on your digital learning ecosystem? For example, when you speak with a potential vendor, only to find out they’ve already run an event with a business group in another region? Or when a business partner points at a popular app on their phone asking, “Why can’t we do this?” and you don’t have a good response? Or when you see a line item for licenses in your budget and you have to ask your production manager what it’s for?

It can be challenging for learning leaders to actively manage and tell a convincing story about the digital tools and platforms we have in our portfolio. We tend to focus on one or two larger systems (learning management systems or learning experience platforms), often at the expense of our complete range of tools and platforms.

A Strategic Approach to Digital Learning
The digital learning landscape has rapidly evolved and is fundamentally different today than just five years ago. Given these developments, it’s critical to have a clear digital learning production strategy.
By Matthew Murray and Nicolai Chen Nielsen
Do you have moments when you realize you don’t have a clear grip on your digital learning ecosystem? For example, when you speak with a potential vendor, only to find out they’ve already run an event with a business group in another region? Or when a business partner points at a popular app on their phone asking, “Why can’t we do this?” and you don’t have a good response? Or when you see a line item for licenses in your budget and you have to ask your production manager what it’s for?

It can be challenging for learning leaders to actively manage and tell a convincing story about the digital tools and platforms we have in our portfolio. We tend to focus on one or two larger systems (learning management systems or learning experience platforms), often at the expense of our complete range of tools and platforms.

A Strategic Approach to Digital Learning

Case Study


PwC’s Digital Revolution
By Sarah Fister Gale
P

wC may be best known as a tax and auditing services firm, but its consultants are expected to be knowledgeable about all financial and business trends. These days, most of those trends involve some level of digital transformation.

“We have a lot of conversations about what it means to be digital,” said Joe Atkinson, PwC’s chief digital officer. While everyone has a different answer to that question, the constant thread is that digital knowledge for PwC employees can’t be theoretical. PwC clients rely on their consultants to help them navigate the digital landscape and to implement solutions that will make their businesses more efficient. “So all of our upskilling efforts have to be focused on business outcomes, client outcomes and people outcomes,” Atkinson said. This realization led to PwC’s current digital upskilling journey, which began two years ago and continues to evolve.

“Digital upskilling has to be a focus for us as a knowledge organization,” said Sarah McEneaney, digital talent leader for PwC in Chicago.

Business Intelligence


Technology Choices Need to Be Strategic
One of the biggest challenges L&D leaders face with technology adoption is how to establish and align a technology strategy with business goals.
By Ashley St. John
C

hief Learning Officer is uniquely situated to see all the new and interesting things organizations are doing with technology in their learning and development functions each year, thanks in large part to our LearningElite and Learning In Practice awards programs.

Take, for example, KPMG, one of the LearningElite 2019 top five. In 2018, the company launched its Experience Disruptors and Trends Series, technology-enabled simulations that challenge teams of participants to perform in the role of their clients and navigate a shifting business landscape. AT&T, also in the 2019 LearningElite top five, has prioritized the virtualization of all of its content, a tremendous undertaking. They are more than halfway to that goal, and 100 percent of retail training is completely virtual. At the CLO Symposium on Oct. 14 in Chicago, the winners of the 2019 Learning In Practice Technology Award will be announced. The companies range in size from 1,700 to 1.5 million employees and sport a number of ambitious initiatives: One is utilizing gamification to better engage learners across 48,000-plus stores in 145 countries; another embedded a customized, fully mobile-enabled project management and learning tool into its LMS.

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In Conclusion


EQ and Reskilling in the Age of AI
Tying reskilling to career development By CAROLINE STOKES
Caroline Stokes
Caroline Stokes is founder of Forward, an executive headhunting and executive coaching company for global innovation leaders, and author of “Elephants Before Unicorns: Emotionally Intelligent HR Strategies to Save Your Company” (Entrepreneur Press, 2019).
W

ith decades of artificial intelligence scaling ahead of us, technology is evolving faster than ever before. That means it’s more important than ever for people leaders to continually provide skills-based training so team members may gain comfort with the technology, giving their organizations an edge in the marketplace.

There are two key components you need to think about to successfully reskill your workforce. First, carefully consider where your organization needs to go and which technology would best aid your progress. Second, get buy-in from your teams.

Before you decide to reskill your team, let’s examine the simple yet crucial first step of considering where you want your organization to go. From there, you can determine whether you actually need to implement a new technology or process. If the answer is yes, you may then develop a plan to reskill whichever teams most need to adapt.

Leaders who take this important first step deploy strategic thinking and appreciative inquiry to where their organization needs to go and how to get it there.

Thanks for reading our October 2019 issue!