The ethos of Skills Culture is: “Every experience is an opportunity to apply skills”. This means to deliberately practice skills properly in all experiences. An important distinction is experiences are not solely represented in the context of learning and working, but also include playing and communicating.

Skills are an ideal medium to describe learning in experiences. A learning label is a great example of the durability of skills. A practitioner must include at least one skill and can assign as many as ten skills to a label. To get a level deeper, it is also possible to define the underlying methods and applications of skills, measurements of skills level of difficulty and intensity, and education and training standards.

One advantage with learning labels is a practitioner clearly defines the learning expectations, the environment, and a ROI. With a learning label, a learner who wants to be intentional in applying skills is provided with a blueprint from a practitioner who designed or assigned the experience. There are differences between expectations and what transpires in an experience, some get calibrated based on peer reviews and a verification process and some are part of the free-flowing process of learning. Afterwards, reflection or an assessment is an effective way to flesh out the actual learning.

I think the idea of being in the moment with experiences is especially important for soft skills, thinking skills, and transferable skills. There is already concentration on properly applying technical skills. But, when we start to consider these other skills, we begin to understand the complete picture: introduce multi-disciplinary perspectives, enhance communication, and produce better results.

The notion of applying skills in learning or working experiences is clear– this is accomplished in common education and training practice. An experience might involve: reading a book or article, participating in a lecture or seminar, playing a game online or physically, simulating training situation (might be with virtual reality), making a presentation with teams, watching a video or online tutorial, or participating in a project.

But I think what is intriguing is to track the development of skills in casual and social experiences. These types of experiences might include:

  • Reading a book and discussing within a group (a book club).
  • Acting in a play. Playing music (particularly improvisation).
  • Playing World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Sim City, or any online or video game (with some sophistication).
  • Captaining and or playing on a sports team (team building).
  • Hosting and or attending social events (managing people).
  • Preparing food (cooking and baking).
  • Designing the interior and landscaping the exterior of a house.

I understand the need for spontaneity and to enjoy being in the moment – having time for just play. Still thinking of no more than ten skills is manageable. Getting credit for learning skills in ‘extra-curricular’ situations is worthwhile because the same skills are applicable in learning and working. Skills Culture is the mindset to be ‘in the moment’ with applying skills; Skills Label is the system to manage and track the development of skills.