ANSWER - In my considerable professional experience helping many firms create go-to-market CLE curricula for clients and prospects as well as helping invent many major, revenue generating programs - overall - in the firms that use CLE programs as a business/client development tool most effectively, the idea/concept most often originates from a Practice Group or a particular lawyer(s). The reason it is most effective when a lawyer(s) originate(s) the concept/idea is because their buy-in/commitment is much greater, and as a result their time, attention, preparation and follow-up tends to yield measureable results in terms of new business.
In order to get a Practice Group/Department thinking about it, drafting a one or two page summary or business case of what other law firms and/or Practice Groups are doing it (especially competitors), what they are doing and how/when can be persuasive.
Depending upon the firm and its’ professional staff, the CLE crediting process, requirements, reporting etc. are often handled by the firm's professional development staff while the production, planning, implementation and follow-up of the programs themselves by various members of the firm's mkt/busdev staff and/or Practice Group support. In firms that do not have professional development staff, the firm’s mkt/busdev staff does it all (and it can be a lot of work, so key is to scale strategically and realistically). If I can provide any additional information, please let me know. Hope this helps!