I am trying to build a community around Skills Culture, so I thought I should clearly define what I am trying to accomplish. First, let me tell you what Skills Culture is NOT meant to represent (solely):

  • Skills related to culture. (When you search on ‘skills culture’ in a search engine, you see links to this interpretation.)
  • Teaching technical skills. Many practitioners still pigeonhole the definition of skills to applied technical skills.
  • Address a system for training skills. It is not a system, but a culture.

Skills Culture is an ethos for learning. Skills provide the foundation of all learning, along with their competencies and methods and applications, they provide a basis to communicate all learning expectations.

Skills are the ‘verb of knowledge’. Every experience is an opportunity to apply skills. Yes, I mean every single experience. So, the application of skills permeates in everything we do, not simply applying them at certain times in education and at work. I think it takes a considerable amount of diligence to deliberately apply skills in this manner.

Add skills on an ad hoc basis. Asked to do something not in your skill set, then go acquire the skills; add breadth to your skill set. It is an expectation you are willing to accept. I call this being the ‘Agile Worker’; in the video, there are three examples in my life where I was asked to do something when I did not have the required skills.

Master the few skills you need. One reference says it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. Identify a few skills and continually work on them, add depth to your skill set. If you need a credential, then find the time and resources to get the certification, badge, etc.

Skills are a language for learning.  Skills are discussed in education and higher education, as we think about career planning, to summarize professional experiences, and in forecasts of future workforce demands. In a recent publication, LinkedIn said users could choose from more than 50,000 different skills.

I have invested significantly in this broad interpretation of skills. I started Skills Based Approach, a methodology to apply a Skills Culture and published the book A Skills Based Approach to Developing a Career in 2013. Started working on Skills Label in 2015 and I applied for a patent titled: A System and Method for Tracking and Managing Skills. The labels define learning in skills on a task level, where I predict the future learning expectations is heading.

I thought of Skills Culture as a growth mindset to support all the applications I have developed. When you ask someone to consider how he or she applies skills in every experience, it becomes a cultural paradigm.