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Rompers, new friends, L&D and learning: what we learned in a day at the CLO Exchange in Atlanta

Ah, the CLO Exchange elearning event: a frenzied, 18-hour triathlon of presentations, one-on-one meetings and coffee-drizzled network “breaks.” It felt a little like a reality show – one with a deep-voiced tagline reading, “Who will learn the most and who will be listened to the most?”

A photo of LEO Learning's Rose Benedicks discussing measuring business impact at the CLO Exchange elearning conference in Atlanta 2017

Rose Benedicks keeps the room intrigued at her CLO Exchange elearning masterclass in Atlanta

As much as I jest about the amount of energy required to take on this event, it was worth it for the experience and intimate brand exposure. I also got to spend time with our new colleague from partner company NetDimensions, Sheila Sylvestre.

The future of elearning

After the ice-breaker breakfast, we kicked off the day with the LEO presentation. Called ‘The Future of Learning – Six Trends That Will Change Behaviors’, the presentation was designed by our Director of Strategic Design Andrew Joly and presented by yours truly.

I’m proud to say that hardly anyone went to the concurrent session – they were all in ours! There were so many questions from the participants that I didn’t get to finish the presentation but I did get to enjoy interacting with many of the attendees later on in the day.

A photo of LEO Learning's Rose Benedicks discussing measuring business impact at the CLO Exchange elearning conference in Atlanta 2017

Sheila and I made some new friends from the other one-on-one sessions, including Syniverse and Habitat for Humanity International

Key things I learned at CLO Exchange

  • A lot of companies, LEO included, are using technology-enabled omni-channel strategies to deliver learning programs. We are no longer using page-turning elearning. Within a single delivery or a full blended learning program, we are using an array of modes – performance support, stories and scenarios, live learning, mobile tools, checklists when talking to managers, links into the the organization’s performance systems and so on. The point is, with omni-channel, LEO is providing solutions that change behaviour because they align, deliver, and sustain the learning.
  • “Learner-centric” is different from “learner-focused”. I admit I’ve been thinking for years about the difference between the two, but meeting intimately with CLOs and other senior L&D thinkers helped me articulate it. Learner-centric is a steeper form of learner-focused training and really means everything the training does is focused on the learner. It means, for example, going so far as to spend more resources supporting that front-line person – even more than the customer. This enables them to deliver the best possible customer experience.
  • And, therefore, the next thing I learned: there’s a trend towards single-sourcing performance support materials as customer support tools. A good example of this is Home Depot, who presented on how they’ve implemented a guided performance-support system for any tool in the store. The customer/sales reps have a mobile device on them at all times and, together with the customer, walk through a few key questions to help problem-solve and get the customer exactly what he/she needs. I should add that my description here is massively simplified as this system has points, leaderboards, quick games and in-store challenges.
  • There was a lot of discussion around working with a partner versus internal solutions. The benefits of internal solutions are obvious: an internal team is able to focus only on the business and its needs/solutions, plus they know the business better than a vendor ever could. However, the vendor approach offers huge benefit, especially to time-poor organizations who might know their own business but may not be in the business of creating engaging learning. In LEO’s case, we’re on the forefront of innovation with our learning technology and training solutions, always focused on the business and industry. It was interesting to see that we’re actually doing these things already… things that some companies are only just starting to dabble in.
  • And on a less serious note, I also learned that it is possible to go seven hours without using the bathroom. Also, you shouldn’t wear a romper (a one-piece suit – kind of like a onesie but more suited to business attire) if there’s a risk of only having 45 seconds every seven hours to use the bathroom. This is true even when said romper is your go-to presentation outfit!

After 18 awesome hours, I came away from the CLO Exchange day jazzed up for the next opportunity to get LEO out there and learn from senior leaders in the L&D space. As always, if you’d like to get in touch, contact us today.

Rose Benedicks is a Programme Director at LEO.

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