Learn More About David Blake
As companies position themselves for a controlled return to the office, many leaders are building employee upskilling and reskilling initiatives into their long-term plans so they can maintain a resilient workforce and protect against future disruption.
For David Blake – executive chairman of the digital learning platform Degreed and founder of two new venture-backed businesses, BookClub and Learn In – framing the learning and development (L&D) conversation around its impact on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is particularly urgent.
“Companies are rarely asked to report on learning and development by ethnicity or gender, but ignoring DEI in the upskilling conversation leads to tangible repercussions,” says Blake. “Funds allocated to DEI departments for talent acquisition are often squandered by those same organizations’ L&D programs, which can unwittingly work against diverse populations.”
A McKinsey advisor who works with Fortune 500 companies, including Google, Adobe and Salesforce, Blake helps leaders identify opportunities for improving L&D initiatives. His mission to help companies hire for competencies instead of degrees is a response to mounting research which shows that half the workforce will need to be reskilled for new jobs within five years and that a lack of key skills is the third biggest threat to business.
Blake’s Degreed platform, which is now used by 40% of Fortune 200 companies to identify and fill skills gaps, has been serving clients across industries including Boeing, Unilever, eBay, Cisco and Intel. His book, “The Expertise Economy: How the Smartest Companies Use Learning to Engage, Compete, and Succeed” (Nicholas Brealey, September 2018) – co-authored with Silicon Valley executive Kelly Palmer – outlines the latest innovations for closing the skills gap.
In a new world where lifelong learning through employment is displacing university education, Blake is an active partner to leaders looking to future-proof their organizations. By teaching them new ways of thinking, helping them build learning capacity, and providing useful metrics for evaluating job candidates, Blake helps organizations maintain healthy levels of innovation, retention, employee satisfaction and upward mobility. Such an investment in the long-term growth of a company and its employees results in significant returns while also serving to boost the economy.
A serial entrepreneur, David Blake is co-founder of Degreed, Learn In, and BookClub. Prior to Degreed, he helped launch a competency-based, accredited university and was a founding team member of university-admissions startup Zinch (acquired by NASDQ: CHGG). He was also selected as a Top EdTech Entrepreneur by the Stanford d.School EdTech Lab, an award sponsored by Teach For America and NewSchools Venture Fund.
David Blake is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.