Evaluating Your Association Offerings

By Association Adviser staff • August 24, 2016

Chief Learning Officers are becoming an integral part of associations.


This session at ASAE’s 2016 Annual Meeting & Expo by Amy Riccardi, CEO of HCM2020, LLC started a strategic-level conversation about how Riccardi said associations can create an environment for learning and innovation and how most associations could benefit from creating the role of Chief Learning Officer or Chief Human Capital Officer.

A Chief Learning Officer (CLO) would be a person on staff who looks at the association’s offering as a whole to identify opportunities for new programs and be responsible for organizational learning and talent development; whereas, a Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) would be in charge of coordinating all people-related efforts across an organization.

Amy Riccardi, HCM2020
Amy Riccardi, HCM2020

The CLO or CHCO would play an essential part in communicating internally and externally on new projects, educating staff and members on what they needs to know when, and crafting key messages for the industry. They would play a big picture role in creating teams that include diverse thinkers who can look at the data your association gathers from different angles, and they should look at new projects as both an art and a science, or, in other words, they should look at the data on a program’s effectiveness while also approach it with a creative mind.

Riccardi said the CLO or CHCO would also be charged with identifying trends across the profession so the association can stay relevant to members, compete with other for-profit organizations, and position the organization as a leader in the industry. While some of the role would be creating new programs, it would also be identifying existing programs that are non-revenue generating. There may be a reason to keep long-term, existing programs that do not generate revenue, but a CLO would need to understand the reasoning behind keeping such programs.

Remember, it’s about them, not you. There are often costs in terms of staff and volunteer, but there are other sources that contribute to success or failure. Having transparency about these factors is key.


Amy Riccardi, MEd, has more than 20 years of experience as a management consultant and helps CEOs and executive teams reach their fullest potential. She is a masterful facilitator who helps implement a proven yet simple set of timeless management principles to help businesses attain even greater success.