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Developing Skills to Reach Business Outcomes: Learning Forum’s Brian Hackett and Richardson Consulting’s Brian Richardson

by Dani Johnson and Stacia Garr | September 27th, 2023

The importance of creating skills-based organizations is no longer a theoretical discussion: it’s now a practical reality. To ensure that businesses reach their desired outcomes, it is necessary to ensure that their workforce has the skills needed to get the job done.

Brian Richardson and Brian Hackett are deeply entrenched in helping business leaders discuss and develop the skills initiatives needed to improve their organizations’ metrics.

In this in-the-weeds discussion, we learn from both Brians’ breadth of experience to hear what it takes for businesses to bring skill building to the forefront. 

Who are Brian Richardson and Brian Hackett?

Brian Richardson is the founder of Richardson Consulting, a consulting group that holds round tables on strategy, culture, data, analytics, and skills. He helps business groups network to learn from each other how to create best practices for developing skills.

Brian Hackett is the founder of The Learning Forum, a research and networking organization for senior executives of large organizations which shares frameworks and other tools for its members to develop their skills strategies.

What they have found is that CEOs don’t care about skills; they care about results. This is why it is important to develop skills initiatives that are focused on the outcomes they will provide. When skills work is focused on results then the initiatives are more apt to succeed. 

Start somewhere simple soon

The rate at which technology is developing is causing jobs to change so quickly that companies need to find successful ways to have their employees develop new skills. This is why a skills-based approach to business is so valuable. Brian recommends using the 4S model: Start somewhere simple soon. 

Businesses need visibility, accountability, and integration 

Organizations want more skills-based workers, but they need to be able to understand what their workers’ skills are. By understanding what what employees can do rather than simply understanding their job title they can utilize the tools they need to better implement their skills. 

In any skills-based organization, it is important to have visibility, accountability, and integration of important skills throughout the organization. This will help develop a skills culture throughout the organization. 

To understand the skills needed to level up, businesses should deconstruct the work that is done. Deconstructing work improves workflow efficiency, innovation, and the employee experience.

What is important to build a skills initiative

A skills-based approach to business will help businesses solve problems with infrastructure. It doesn’t matter whether the organization uses a taxonomy or ontology approach. What is important is when and where they start. Usually, skills initiatives are sponsored by the L&D departments, but this doesn’t have to be the case. What is important is that they are done well with an objective in mind. A targeted approach to learning can work at scale. 

Listen in to discover which of the six skills elements are done well according to the Brians. By listening to this episode you’ll also learn the importance of governance, data collection, and partnership in skill-building initiatives. Press play now.


Resources and People Mentioned

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