The Skills Obsession

Why Skills?

It seems like everywhere we look, people are talking about skills. Upskilling. Reskilling. Skill gaps. Skills data. In short, there seems to be a skills obsession.

In this podcast season, we talked to thinkers, writers, leaders, and practitioners about the current state of thinking on why and how we are managing skills at the people and organizational level. We specifically cover topics such as:

  • What are organizations’ overall purpose in focusing on skills, both now and in the future? What are they actually doing, and what is their aspiration?
  • How are organizations identifying, quantifying, and communicating about skills?
  • How are employees being involved in the identification, validation, and upkeep of skills? To what extent do employees “own” skills?
  • What are the different roles of technology in understanding, quantifying, and maintaining skills?

Thanks to our Sponsor

This series on Skills is being sponsored by Workday. A special thanks to them!

Today, the world is changing faster than ever, and you can meet those changing needs with Workday; it’s one agile system that enables you to grow and re-skill your workforce. Workday is a financial, HR and planning system for a changing world.



0: The Skills Obsession: Opening Arguments

Dani Johnson & Stacia Garr, Co-founders & Principal Analysts

RedThread Research


Chris Pirie

Learning Futures Group

1: Designing the Skills Future

Lisa Kay Solomon, Futures and Design

Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford

2: The Price of Skills Debt

Matthew Daniel, Principal Consultant 

Guild Education

3: The Realities of Building a Tech-Enabled Skills Framework

Madhura Chakrabarti, Global Head, People Analytics 


4: Learning the Many Languages of Skills

Nuno Congalves, Global Head of Strategic Capability Building


5: Why L&D Needs to Lose The 'Men in Black' Mindset

Satnam Sagoo, Director of Learning and Organizational Development

British Red Cross 

6: A 'third' age of human capital management

Greg Pryor, Senior VP, People & Performance Evangelist 


7: Why Skills Inventory is a Nut Worth Cracking 

Rob Lauber, former Chief Learning Officer


8: What a Mindset of Enablement Actually Looks Like

Karen Kocher, Global General Manager, Talent & Learning Experiences & Workforce of the Future