Episode 4: Karen Kocher on Linking Learning to Strategy

Microsoft’s Head of 21st Century Skill Development on the Evolving Role of the CLO

After a career spent primarily in internal learning and development roles, Karen Kocher took a new turn in 2017. As Microsoft’s general manager for 21st Century jobs, skills and employability, she has a broad mandate to work inside and outside the Seattle-based technology company to develop a pipeline of talented people who can fill the jobs companies like hers need to be successful.

Microsoft is a company at an interesting place – it’s a massive legacy technology business yet simultaneously trying to be more more like a start-up disruptor. To make that shift, CEO Satya Nadella is pushing the company to operate in different ways than past leaders and Karen finds herself at the vanguard of those initiatives. In many ways, it’s the perfect meld of experience and opportunity.

In this podcast recorded in Seattle at our CLO Breakfast Club event, we talk to Karen about what her new role means for other internal learning executives, how she built her credibility and confidence by focusing on evidence-based practice and what she sees as the critical capabilities of successful learning leaders.

Show Notes:

Chief Learning Officer 2013 Profile: Karen Kocher

Quartz: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Takes Control of the Microsoft Narrative With His Book

Mike Prokopeak