GSK x Filtered | The purpose of skills

By Filtered

24 minute read

In 2018, only 30% of businesses saw reskilling as even a top 5 priority. This year, 93% have it at number 1. The pressure’s on to build skills into organisational capabilities. But how do you do so in a way that is both purpose and performance driven, whilst keeping employee experience front and centre?

To help, Filtered's Toby Harris joined Martin Peart, People Effectiveness Director at GSK, at Learning Technologies Digital to discuss issues like:

  • Diagnosing the skills your organisation actually needs
  • Linking them to learning content
  • Finding out which of your content libraries actually works
  • Balancing business and employee aspirations
  • Keeping the technology human

Watch them drill into the purpose of skills below: 

We've also added a full transcript below so you don't miss a thing!

Andrew Jacobs: Good afternoon, just, everybody. Welcome to the third session of day three of LTDX21. My name is Andrew Jacobs and I'm moderating, hosting, working my way through the sessions with you this morning. I'm really keen to get into this session, looking at the purpose of skills with GlaxoSmithKline and Filtered and delighted to be able to introduce Toby Harris from Filtered and Martin Peart from GlaxoSmithKline who are going to be running the session for us this morning. A couple of points about the session. This one is highly interactive, so you will need to use the chat.

How nice to see Toby has already put in the chat. We will also be using the questions as well, so please make sure that you put your questions in there so we can pick up on those. Also, if you are tweeting anything about the sessions, please use the #LTDX21 and we'll look out for any tweets that you have out there as well. You don't want to hear from me. You've come to the session because you want to understand this rescaling issue that we've got going on. Without further ado, I'll hand over to Martin and to Toby.

Toby Harris: Thank you very much, Andrew, for the very warm intro. Appreciate it. I think we'll just start off just by saying a few words about ourselves. You can go first. Tell us who you are and what you were doing and what you're currently doing. This is the best way to approach this.

Martin Peart: Thanks, Toby. My background is actually in transformation, system and process-based transformation. More recently, from about five years ago, I moved into a broader learning and development role looking at not just technical skills but leadership skills and professional skills. Most recently, I'm focusing on leadership development, team performance. I'm currently three weeks into a new role which I'm still getting my head around but is focusing more on skills for our new consumer healthcare organisation.

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Toby Harris: It's a huge amount of relevant experience here. I'm really looking forward to the insight you can share on some of the questions that we're looking at. I'm Toby. I'll be asking and answering and doing some of the discussion for the questions we're covering today. I'm Director of Product Marketing at Filtered. As many of you will know, Filtered really specialises in understanding skills, understanding how content and other things are linked to them and trying to make that connection getting the right content, linked to the right skills in front of the right people.

I'm humble in front of people like Martin who have been in a real-world experience, just how difficult this is to do. I'm grateful that we've been able to work together on some stuff to explore these difficult challenges. All of the questions here are really open to the audience as well. Andrew, as a moderator, is going to be pinging me and Martin the text of stuff that you're saying in the chat. We'll try and respond to it because let's be honest, there isn't really the robust level of research or knowledge about what we're doing with skills, particularly the way it's changed in the past few years.

This is definitely an open question for everyone and it's going to be a collaborative experience, try and get to a model for the purpose of skills and what we do with them. Martin, the first question, and I think it's just useful to start with this. Please, can you try and define for me and everyone actually, how do you define a skill? There are so many ways to define that. 

Martin Peart: Yes, but definitely are. It's taken me a while to get to a point where I'm actually able to express it, I think. I think at a really simple level, a skill is something which allows you to complete a task or an activity. I think that's applicable to everyday life. I think probably the context of the conversation today will be more around work and careers. Actually, if you roll that up as well from an organisational perspective, it's about how organisations are actually able to achieve their objectives and to grow. 

Toby Harris: Is there a difference between being able to do something in terms of a task that you need to do and being able to perform something on a regular basis, an activity, something that's more habitual?

Martin Peart: Yes, I think there is. I guess some examples of that, if I think about my everyday working life, I am an intermediate -- or average is probably a better word -- user of Excel. Whenever I need to do the tables, I still need to get a little bit of help from an online course and register a two-and-a-half minute video that allows me to remember how to do the pivot tables that I only really do once or twice a month. That's quite different actually, if I think about the more important development, I need to focus on longer-term. Storytelling, actually, something I've been trying to work on over the past year or so.

That will be continuous. It will not just involve watching a two-and-a-half minute video, it'll be more around actually applying it, probably taking some feedback from other people on how I've been doing with it and looking at the different aspects and the context in which I need to apply it.

Toby Harris: Firstly, well done for admitting you still need help with Excel in a live forum broadcast to so many people, and it's going to be recorded. I actually think it's genuinely important that you did that because there's something here about understanding where things are critical to a role and they need to occupy headspace for the individual concerned. Your example of storytelling, how good am I at doing this? Am I getting better at it? Then there's other things that could fit into the category of skills for some people. Let's say you're a power BI analyst, then I think your Excel skills are mega important, but for many of us are things we can leave in external memory banks.

There's something here about getting to the core of what's important. I think Ross Stephenson has come in to give us a definition of skill equals technical competence, but then behaviour equals everyday habit. Maybe it's behaviour, maybe that's what you should be thinking about as well. I don't know how you respond to that.

Martin Peart: I guess the classic approach the L&D professional would take would be to look at skills and knowledge and behaviour in terms of any development that you're looking for from individuals, I absolutely agree with that.

Toby Harris: There's another question, a more challenging one, say from Katherine about on the basis of your definition of a skill, is something that enables a person to complete a task, how would you differentiate a skill from a tool? 

I like this one. I've got my own answer on it, but you go first, Martin.

Martin Peart: I'll give it a whirl, Toby, thanks for putting me in the spot first. I think the skill is how it's done and the tool is what might be used to do it, I guess, would be the difference I would probably apply to it. By the way, just the addition to those as well, what I've come to realise over the past few years is that there are lots of different definitions of what are skills, what are behaviours, and where the tools fit into it. I think that's all completely fine. I think the important thing is when you're leading on a piece of work around this, that you and all of your stakeholders that you're working with, that you are all reasonably aligned around what skills are, what behaviours are, what tools might be, because they honestly differ from organisation to organisation.

Toby Harris: Yes, that's very true. One person's tool is another person's skill and it is an organisation. I think what you said, and I think Adrian has come in to highlight this in his reply in a way, is that, there is a sharp difference, I think between a skill and a tool because a tool may be an enabler to deliver a task. We know that tools change our ability to do things, but the assumption that the object is doing anything is deeply troubling, I find. You don't put tools in front of people and that magically allows them to get a job done.

We see this. I've seen this time and time again, and I think it's a real issue actually, with some of the performance consulting approaches we take where we look and think, "Oh, what these people need is checklist." We put the checklist and job done. They don't need the skill, they need a checklist. We watch as people don't use the checklist, people ignore it, they put it in a drawer. A big example of this like sharing iPads onto, let's say nursery or childcare workers, and then watch as they don't use them. All of the data that was being shared with parents just dries up. We can't just say, "You need a tool to get a job done," but unless that tool actually changes what's in your brain, there's some skill development there. It doesn't really work. 

Martin Peart: I was going to say, I agree. I think around that, it comes back when you look at skills development or implementing new tools, it means you need to look at it holistically. Does the individual have the appropriate time and space to learn a new skill or to learn how to use the new tool? Is there a system or an infrastructure in place that allows them to do it and sometimes gives them the guide rails to actually use it as well?

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Toby Harris: Yes, absolutely. There's a lot of stuff coming through, from David Dunn on the chat, which is really relevant to our next point. I think maybe you can factor in some of the stuff that's being said here because we're talking now about data about skills. That building skills is quite difficult and takes time and requires, as you said, knowledge, behaviour, tools and the systems to support that, to make that happen. How on earth do you prioritise them, Martin? How do you do it? I think this is one of the issues and I've seen loads of solutions to it. One really interesting solution.

It's just pick five where you've got a good intuition you need them and get started and learn from that, or the opposite approach, which is bringing a big consultancy is going to spend six months coming up with a comprehensive framework. How do we do it or more specifically, how do you do it?

Martin Peart: Yes. I put three different lenses on prioritising skills. I think that depending on the type of organisation you're in and probably the size as well, to an extent, it may influence how you go about it and the problem that you've got to solve. If I think strategically is one lens, what are the priority skills strategically that the organisation wants their employees to be focusing on, would be one way to do that. I think there's another lens around, if it's a specific project, or a specific problem, which isn't enterprise-wide or organisation-wide. What are the specific skills you might want there for that particular group of people you're working with to develop.

I think, from an individual perspective, there's also priority skills that individuals may want to work on. Sometimes those individual skills may be aligned to these strategic skills, maybe aligned to a particular problem or a project which has been worked on, actually might not be either. My skills development around storytelling, for example, that's not necessarily something which features on our strategic skills at GSK at the moment specifically. I think that would be good. The three lenses that I've come put on prioritisation.

Toby Harris: Those lenses do make a lot of sense. I think this is a question from Andrew himself. Has there been an issue of urgency over importance because of the pandemic when you're prioritising skills? 

I'll give the example in March last year, it was all about learning how to use Teams, Zoom or Skype. I guess underlying that is like, how does this model help us so far? Have we maybe been neglecting stuff that is important for the organisation because of things that seem really, really urgent to develop and redirecting all our efforts there in terms of prioritisation? 

I think we might have lost Martin briefly, while he comes back, I'll try and answer Andrew's question myself based on our experience.

I didn't think that this has been an issue in the way that you're suggesting in a big way, because actually, they coincide so much, the urgency of developing some of these skills, mainly communicating digitally is going to be important to all of Martin's levels, that individual effectiveness at projects and strategically. I think it's also created more time, more air time in the organisation for skills, more bandwidth, more investment opportunities to build content or develop courses that are generative of new skills. I don't think it's too much of an issue and if anything, it might be an unlocker, it might have liberated us to think really hard about skills.

While I'm here, I just wanted to come back to another point that David made about identifying skills. Basically, redoing competency frameworks has a little value about connecting to opportunities. I think that's a very good point, and I think, again, Martin's model of looking at what is strategically important, what is important at a project level, and what is important at the individual level, does help with that. An individual is likely to develop a skill or skills, which are linked to the immediate opportunities that they have an insight, the stuff that's changing.

A team is going to be likely to need certain skills to realise an opportunity that's ahead of them, and strategically there's coup opportunities. One warning, I would say is if you sell people the idea of skill development on new opportunities, you might find yourself in a pretty tricky HR situation because we could be talking about a one to two-year lag to develop a major new skill for someone. You can't go around offering gigs and opportunities and new jobs to everyone in the company all the time. That's the important part of HR, but I think always having a hard link between skills and opportunities might miss some of the aspects of developing potential for the future.

Martin, you're back. I'm not sure how much you've caught of that, but maybe this question about maybe opportunities are the key to prioritising skills more than anything else. 

I'll move on. I'm sure he'll be back. This is internet stuff that happens when you're trying to do this. The next point we have here which we'll get to is linking skills to content and on whatever content comes into this equation. This is some work we did specifically with Martin and GSK on trying to understand how some priority skills were linked to the content and they had. I want to open this up because I feel this challenge of linking skills to content is something that almost gets in the way.

It's something that maybe isn't the highest value compared to as Andrew, you're saying about ensuring there's ongoing on-the-job practice and getting to behaviour change, and yet that content question just seems to be bugging us all the time. What libraries do we have? How are they matched against the skills which we're trying to prioritise? Oh, they all have different skill frameworks linked to them, and they all have different ontologies or whatever you want to call them. It seems to be an issue from the idea about ongoing practice.

I'm going to be asking Martin when he's back about what his approach was to linking skills to actual content and dealing with that content problem.

I wonder if this might be a moment for people to share in general, what is the relationship between skills and content? We know that I feel the content does play an important role to develop a skill like if you want to share knowledge or share techniques, you need some form of digital content, but maybe it gets too much of an emphasis in the overall picture. I'll leave some time if anyone wants to come in to the chat, but obviously, no worries if you don't. Martin's back. 

Martin Peart: Hopefully, I'm back for good this time. Sorry.

Toby Harris: We've just moved on to this question of, how do you link skills to content? We're also talking about what is a content problem that you have to face at GSK and how did skills help you to solve it? What was the technique there?

Martin Peart: Yes. First of all, after you've identified the right skills and technically linking the content, you might use a number of different platforms to do that and to make it available. I think the really key thing that we certainly went through was -- I was approaching it from a strategic perspective, what is the skills framework that we want to have at GSK and what are the components of that in terms of what the organisation needs, future needs, individual needs. Then we had a number of different content libraries and partners that we worked with.

What was really clear learning for me is, I think at the table when we launched the framework, I think I had something like 70,000 or 80,000 content items available across the different partners we were working with.

Our well-known partners that people we'll be familiar with. As we launched and we were testing and we were iterating with our employees, I heard back that there was too much content. It was just too much, it was actually overwhelming. I think the rows, we started to look at that manually, looking at where we could improve that.

I had some difficult nights in front of spreadsheets looking down the lines, the relevant content or the non-relevant content and putting a ticker across next to it. Then I think actually, the realisation was when we started to work with you guys a little bit because there's better ways to do it. I think looking at how you can start to use some of the technology and the algorithms that are available now to be able to focus on the right pieces of content for the different skills. I think the learning is different for different areas. Something like communication is a huge area and you may want to break that down into smaller chunks.

Then there are much more specific skills which are much smaller and you can actually just have maybe 5-10 pieces of content per language.

Toby Harris: This really ties in with what Ross Stevenson has said, which is, the goal has to be about connecting people with the right stuff, not more stuff. There's a general sense here of throwing lots of flashy content doesn't mean that people are developing a skill. Actually, what you're saying is, the complexity or importance of this skill is almost like an index for how much content you need because if you say, if you're breaking out communication into lots of different types of communication that all apply differently, that becomes a bigger content challenge.

Whereas if it is a skill that's less important, people really do want-- they'd want the top five resources, they don't want the top 500 resources in that area.

Martin Peart: Very, very much so. I think sometimes you have to go through a period of iteration with it. I had SMEs who had a view on the content. We brought in employees as well to give us a view on that so you've got both of those lenses that you don't have to have. Ultimately, until people start using it, you don't always have a feel about whether you've got the right content. I think it probably took maybe two, three iterations quarterly until I feel like we actually were on the money with the volume that we had for each of the different skills that we curated against.

Toby Harris: Yes. That's really, really important. Don't make the decision in an ivory tower and then push it down but actually iterate and get feedback on the ground. People are good at telling you what's useful and what isn't if you're just able to listen. There are some questions and points coming in about content is often only a precursor to a journey. We don't map consuming content to skill development. There's a question about impact but I thought I want to get to later where we can address that by question. I wanted to come on to this.

You've mentioned that very, very large numbers to me, Martin, about the amount of content that you actually have available to you in a company of your scale. What has the experience of filtering all of this stuff, understanding it and then trying to get it into action. What has that taught you about how you look at a content library and what's kind of changed in your approach when you're thinking about them?

content library benchmark

Martin Peart: I think the bit for me is around, first of all, thinking strategically and curating at that level and being as focused as you can and accepting that that will not work for everybody, by the way. If you want to put 5 or 10 pieces of content of a particular scale, as an example, there may be some people who don't have what they would like to have from within your platform, wherever you surface it through. I was comfortable with that after the volume or feedback would move too much. Also, knowing that actually there might be additional content which is available direct to the partner platform and that's certainly an approach that we've taken and what we think is the really appropriate content, the skill within GSK.

If you want some more, you can go elsewhere. Also accepting that you're going to have a lot of content, frankly, that you've paid for that you're not surfacing through your platform. That's okay, as long as you're being purposeful around that and you've had the conversations and you've done the research to show which is the right content to surface. I think that's absolutely fine. Obviously, you can naturally be aligned to the appropriate skills. Then I think, it is thinking from a human side, we're doing things strategically here, curating against those skills.

There will be conversations between employees and line managers, where actually they will be pulling out more specific content for a particular need, that the humans in the business need exactly right now. That might be -- When I have a conversation with a line manager around my development for the year or longer-term for my career, that's important. So I need to look at some content to help me with the skill, then I need to apply it in a particular development opportunity as part of my job, whatever it might be.

That human touch, that conversation around development is absolutely key because I think there's definitely been this proliferation of content that's been happening over the past year too. There's this view, I think, this kind of Netflix view which is certainly running where I started, to an extent where throw all the content out there and people will develop, and that is not the case. It does need the human touch, the interaction, whether that'd be line manager, coach, mentor, peers, whatever it would be, that's super, super important.

Toby Harris: Yes, so what I'm getting now is that, if you want a focused experience and something that you can be confident when your people arrive, that they know that organisation values what they're doing, you need to make some hard decisions, like you need to basically say, "Well, some of the stuff we paid for, we can't use." That's fine. Some of the audience won't be served-- because that's why a lot of it is kind of Netflix approach, like chuck it all in there, comes from. It's like, "Oh, we got 200 requests for the course on pottery last year, so it's justified, let's put it in there."

Obviously, if you aggregate that over an organisation of a 100,000 people, you suddenly get a ton of stuff that isn't very focused. You've got to accept that there's some hard decisions there, to be focused on that. The other point I'm getting from this is that-- I don't know, to me, Martin, this seems like a problem. You've got to crack it. You've got to get the content in the right shape because if you don't, it's going to drag you down. The reason you need to do it is there's something more important that you actually need to do after that, which is, you need to then have those conversations.

You need to be somehow supporting the manager process throughout everywhere. Don't get me wrong, I've heard this a lot. They expect that content to be lined up for them. They do expect that, but this is a whole another step beyond that.

Martin Peart: Yes, I think in the context of probably, I guess, in your performance system is where you need to have a lot of that follow-up work anchored, so performance system whereby development conversations are happening. Honest development conversations are happening. I think in some types of organisations and industries as well, it's actually creating the space for people to develop whether that be looking at a video, attending training calls and having a development opportunity, creating space in their work there. Right? People are manufacturing lines. That's a real big challenge for us to actually create space for them to develop.

Toby Harris: Yes. Absolutely. There's a couple of questions I want to capture in a discussion, by the way. I know we've been asking - how'd you keep the scale of content relevance and content updated, and that's actually very important because yes, for all sorts of reasons, so we will capture that, but so we can get to the Q&A let's move on to the final point. The slide and the summary. This final point, Martin, you've done all this work to understand the content, to focus it, to target, to get it into action.

We all know finding the root to measuring business impact, even if you know you're doing really good stuff and people are telling you, it is still difficult in very large matrix organisations. What is your approach then to justifying the effort that's gone into skills, content, and skill development?

Martin Peart: Yes. Again, looking at this with different lenses and I'll start with the strategic lens. We have a very specific -- I had a very specific problem to solve, which was around really clear feedback from employees that they couldn't find content and that the content wasn't relevant for them when they could find it. Actually, a lot of the metrics that I had were around qualitative feedback as part of our engagement survey, for example, which goes out twice a year, and also from a content consumption perspective as well. That was really the two key metrics for us.

I think if I consider the other lens, which I talked about earlier, which was a specific project or a piece of transformation, then there should be measures, which you identify as part of that particular project. What is the problem which is being solved or they're trying to solve? What are the metrics that underpin that problem? That should follow the basis of measuring the impact of the work that you've done.

Toby Harris: Fantastic. Thank you. That's useful. I want to jump onto addressing some of these questions. I do also want to know that there's been a lot of discussion in the chat and that we will know it, but content consumption doesn't equal skill development. There's a lot more to it, but we also live in the real world and let's be honest, the organisations we work in, there are critical, you might even call it hygiene factors here that aren't being done properly. When you get people saying, "I can't find anything on our systems and it's annoying, and I have to go elsewhere." Then management looks at a system that costs hundreds of thousands of pounds and says, "People aren't using it." Those are issues too, right? Do you agree with that? Some of this work, yes, it might not just fill our hearts with passion and inspiration, but if we don't do this, we've got no platform to build on.

Martin Peart: I absolutely agree. What I think is really important here. I think most organisations now have a really clear principle, not all, but most and certainly the HR, and the professionals I speak to, that we want individuals to take accountability for their own development. Now we know that line managers have a key role to play in that as well. I feel like as a development professional, there's accountability on me to make sure that in the role that I'm playing, where I'm looking at skills strategically, I'm looking at the tools that you use for people to be able to access them, that I am making it as easy as possible for that to take accountability and that that is exactly what you're saying.

That is a hygiene and that shouldn't even be a consideration. It's 2021, people should be able to access content when they need it to help them develop as well as the rest of the stuff that goes with it. That's an absolute minimum.

Toby Harris: Absolutely. I really liked the way you framed it. There's accountability there. It's not a get out free card to say we're focusing on the stuff that really matters down the line, because you've got plenty of people. You can't even get off the starting blocks because if you're not doing that, if you're not focusing on these critical problems. That's quite an inspiring answer, actually. We've got some time to answer some of these discussions. If you just want to-- in a couple of sentences each, Martin, maybe sum up what's on this slide in terms of the recap of the main elements of your approach here?

Martin Peart: Yes. I think first of all, the less is more, really, really important from certainly a content perspective in relation to the skills that the organisation chooses to focus on. Make it as easy as possible for people to be really smart and sometimes a bit brutal around some of the choices that you make. I think the human element of it, everybody's been talking about it in the chat, it's not just about consuming a piece of content. It's really important that the human side of it, whether it be conversations you have with line managers, coaches, peers, et cetera, to introduce context and for the development and introduce feedback into the loop.

Also, human from a curation perspective as well, and making sure that you're not just purely relying on machines to do that work, quality all over it can definitely take you a lot further, a lot quicker. Also, there is a difference between looking at skills strategically and maybe the middle looking at specific problems to solve around projects and transformations, then looking from an individual perspective as well, and that individual, whether it be completing a task using Excel, as I still struggle with, or whether it's actually looking at something longer term around habitual development.

Toby Harris: Great. Fantastic. Thank you so much. Again, of course, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to finish without some kind of plug. There is a light paper about how we see the skills landscape written, it's a fantastic piece of work by your favourite L&D writer and HBR featured author, Marc Zao-Sanders. Definitely, take a look at learn.filtered.com/ltdx. I hope you enjoy that but I might jump back actually to this summary slides. It's probably more useful to look at than an ad for something else. Andrew, did you want to come back in now and try and pick out the most important question?

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Andrew Jacobs: Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you. Can I just say, well done Toby for managing Martin's lack of internet for however long that will have to be, that was really well done. There's some brilliant questions, and the conversations’ chat is really, really interesting. First question that I want to pick up on it. It ties in with last slide, "In the face of AI and automation revolution, many jobs are being lost to robotics and computer systems, but new jobs might appear in other parts of the firm, should companies be responsible for re-skilling their workforce or fire and hire new suitable candidates?"

Martin Peart: I'm happy to take that one on, Toby. I think from an organisation perspective -  and this one is real right for so many people and so many organisations and it's really important because it's affecting people's lives, people's careers as well as the companies themselves. I think that organisations have a choice to make in this scenario. What we know is there is a shortage of people with the right skills to do many of the new jobs. There is absolutely an accountability on organisations to provide the framework, the scaffolding for people to re-skill. That is really, really important. That's not just for individuals, but for the companies themselves.

I think there's also choices to make around how that skills gap is addressed. Do you choose actually to bring people in externally, to buy it in, to borrow it in, to partner with other organisations? I think that's some of the classic choices. There aren't enough people with the right skills out there. The reskilling is so important to be able to do. Absolutely.

Andrew Jacobs: That's been picked up in the questions by Greg as well. I see here assessment of skills and refreshing or progression of skills. How do you handle that? It's also been picked up by Louise as well. How'd you complete an assessment on how well people have advanced their skills because there's no point in assessing people to the standard from two years ago because the standards changed.

Martin Peart: I think this whole area around skills assessments and skills assessment at scale, do organisations know where the skills are in their company, especially to some of those bigger organisations? I think that technology is improving. We all know a number of platforms, we could probably name two or three off the top of our heads who is trying to address this and try to provide a platform which allows organisations to quickly understand where skills are. I don't think we're there yet. I really don't. I think it's a while away from being able to do that.

Toby Harris: My take is that we're still struggling with quite burdensome approaches to assessment that are probably too slow to give us a real-time picture but at the same time, the alternatives that are coming in are probably too lightweight and don't give us enough. There's a bit of a Goldilocks thing here that needs to be more lightweight than more as lightweight as it's become with people just clicking, "Yes, I've got this skill." It's got to be a bit more than that but it's a problem I'm thinking about too.

Andrew Jacobs: It's interesting because it's being reflected by John. John also picked up on this. This also goes back to the previous session, which is about the qualification of skills by badging in some form and it's that badging piece and how the badging works with skills, which I think is actually quite complicated. We haven't worked out what that means, I don't think.

Toby Harris: Yes, absolutely. Developing an agile way to quickly assess confidence at a level you're happy with and then awarding something that the organisation feels confident in. It needs to be a flexible solution because that level of social capital looks different in different organisations. If someone's saying, "I know a bit about this skill, but I'm not confident in my results." Why do we ask them to complete a pathway or to do an assessment, we should just take that and say, "Right, cheers, mate, I'm glad you said that. That's really useful for us to know."

There's an element. Like I said, things still seem quite heavyweight at the moment to even get to some basic recognition.

Martin Peart: I was going to say the bit going through my mind on this at the moment is, I believe that we are still looking for technology to provide a silver bullet here to be able to solve these horrors. In my mind, if I think really practically from a hiring manager perspective, for example, and somebody comes to me and they've been badged with whatever skills they've got, however it's done. Until you actually have a conversation, like the human touch thing we talked about earlier, until you have a conversation with somebody and understand more about the context in which that skill was applied, I don't know that machines will ever actually fully solve that for us. I don't think that we should be looking for machines to solve it for us. They will take us to a certain point, but they will not solve it.

Andrew Jacobs: I agree. That's been picked up by Deepak in the chat. You need a larger integrated platform, how much can be automated? I wouldn't trust any automation at the moment, because it still can't work out how my spellcheck works properly. My autocorrect still doesn't work properly and I think this is too big to be thinking about automating at the moment.

Toby Harris: You're probably using all those buzzwords, Andrew. You need to turn it down. 

Toby Harris: Going back to that point earlier, about is it a tool or is it a skill? We can be conscious of the skills we're focusing on and how they can improve that. Now that doesn't matter. That's been around for a long time and it's always been a challenge and now it's a really sharp challenge. If you don't change that behaviour and get those conversations changing, then the technology doesn't matter, as you say.

Andrew Jacobs: Again, there's more questions and more questions coming through. I noticed a question earlier on. Where's it gone now? From Natalia, what's your views on the importance of live versus popular plug-and-play eLearning? Can skills be truly practiced in an asynchronous way? I think I said that there's a whole bucket full of stuff there that are asynchronous but I think it's interesting. What are your thoughts on that?

Martin Peart: I think to an extent, we've covered the topic a little bit. I think that consuming some content isn't going to develop your skills necessarily. It might help you as it does with me to complete my pivot table, but in terms of longer-term development, it needs a lot more than asynchronous for sure.

Toby Harris: Over our various, various nuance, so it does depend on the skill. Some skills can be practiced in very elaborate simulations like software programming, for example, to get to amateur level.

Andrew Jacobs: Cool. We're out of time. Thank you very much, gentlemen. Again, thank you everybody for your time and your attention in the chat and conversation. We'll see you again soon.

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