Dr. Steve Kerr, First Chief Learning Officer, Senior Advisor to Goldman Sachs
Dr. Kerr is currently a senior advisor to Goldman Sachs, following a six-year term as a managing director and Goldman’s chief learning officer. Before joining Goldman, he was General Electric’s CLO and vice president of corporate leadership development for seven years, where he worked closely with Jack Welch and led GE’s renowned leadership education center at Crotonville. After leaving Goldman he again worked with Welch, serving as co-founder and the first executive director of the Jack Welch Management Institute. Dr. Kerr has also served on the business school faculties of The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California, where he was dean of the faculty and director of the Ph.D. program. He has authored or coauthored six books and more than 80 journal articles, and his writings on leadership and “on the folly of rewarding a, while hoping for b” are among the most cited and reprinted in the management sciences.
The former Chief Learning Officer of General Electric and Goldman Sachs shares his advice for improving workplace efficiency and communication.
In the 1980s, General Electric caught the business world’s attention with its unparalleled dedication to effective leadership—and the impressive uptick in organizational profitability that followed. Steve Kerr was on the front lines of this movement, serving as the organization’s (and the nation’s!) first Chief Learning Officer (CLO). This title, which refers to the person who heads up the distribution of critical company knowledge, has since been implemented at hundreds of companies.
After earning the title at GE, which at the time operated across 28 industries with over 300,000 employees, Kerr later moved on to Goldman Sachs. He built processes at both companies to facilitate effective communication, ensuring that turnover wouldn’t prevent valuable skills from being shared and developed across all levels of the organization.
In his considerable experience as CLO, Kerr uncovered a few guiding principles for more efficient leadership. These are his top four tips.