From Left to Right: Shaun Rozyn (executive director, Corporate Education, GIBS), Alwyn Klein (senior manager, Learning and Performance, MTN, 2014 CLO winner) Dean Retief (CLO, Nedbank, 2013 CLO winner), Wilhelm Crous (managing director, Knowledge Resources)

Knowledge Resources, a leading knowledge provider to the world of work, established the Chief Learning and Development Officer of the Year Award in 2013. This award was established to recognize and honor a learning and development professional who had demonstrated excellence, implemented innovative practices, and made a significant contribution to the learning and development profession in South Africa. The 2013 recipient of this award was Dean Retief, CLO, Nedbank; and this year’s 2014 Chief Learning and Development Officer of the Year Award went to Alwyn Klein, senior manager, Learning and Performance, MTN. Second place was awarded to Dr. Tracy Potgieter (Group Talent and Learning manager of Coca-Cola SABCO), and third place went to Heidi Volschenk (director of Learning and Development of KPMG). “The calibre of entries was phenomenal and it was very tough to decide on the overall winner,” says Wilhelm Crous, managing director, Knowledge Resources. The award was presented at an award cocktail function on October 22, 2014, held at the Hyatt Regency in Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa.

When submitting their entries, the nominees should have been able to provide evidence of metrics of learning and development activities that were directly linked to their organization’s goals and strategy, as well as have demonstrated innovative and leading practices in learning and development as a profession and not necessarily just within their particular organization. The individual should have demonstrated consistent excellence and made a contribution to the profession over a number of years. Judges were also looking to see how the learning function led to performance improvement and overall bottom-line results. The entrant should have also have been able to demonstrate continued investment in his or her own professional development.

Ultimately, Alwyn Klein was selected because his nomination was aligned with the judging criteria, and he demonstrated strong leadership and passion for continuous learning. He has invested considerably and constantly in developing his team and himself.

Alwyn was the first person living in South Africa to attain the Association for Talent Development (ATD)–formerly American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)–Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP®) designation. After achieving the International Society for Performance Improvement’s Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) designation, Alwyn became one of five known people at the time, worldwide, to be dual-credentialed with these two premier designations.


From Left to right: Heidi Volschenk (director of Learning and Development, KPMG, third place winner) , Alwyn Klein (senior manager, Learning and Performance, MTN, 2014 award winner) Tracy Potgieter (Group Talent and Learning manager, Coca-Cola Sabco, second place winner)

Someone asked Alwyn once why he spends so much time and effort developing his team. His answer was to share a story from his professor at university, “You know you are successful as a teacher when your pupils surpass you.” That has become one of his personal philosophies since then. By June 2013, eight of his nine managers attained the CPT designation.

Alwyn provided an innovative and a solid track record of multiple initiatives within MTN that has affected the overall positive performance of the business, with accurate measures to evaluate success. Under Alwyn’s leadership, MTN implemented many innovations and new technologies and frameworks to enhance MTN’s learning offerings, one of these was a world first. His philosophy of learning, tenacity, and breadth and depth of experience came through very clearly in the submission.

When asked, Alwyn accredited much of the success of the team in transitioning to performance thinking to their hard work, sacrifice, and team work. “With nine CPTs in one company, speaking the same language, using the same models, we were always going to be successful. I am very proud to have worked through this with such an amazing group of workplace learning professionals,” he said.

Knowledge Resources and the Gordon Institute of Business Science, the two sponsors of this prestigious award, would like to thank and congratulate all the submissions received and acknowledge the great work being done in this profession.

For any questions relating to this award and future nominations, please contact Debbie Atwell of Knowledge Resources (083 651 1664) or email at Debbie@knowres.co.za.