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  • Kelly Palmer | Making Skills & Expertise Count: Driving Innovation with Learning
    Kelly Palmer | Making Skills & Expertise Count: Driving Innovation with Learning
  • Kelly Palmer: The Future of Learning and the Skills Gap
    Kelly Palmer: The Future of Learning and the Skills Gap
  • Ep306: Kelly Palmer | Chief Learning & Talent Officer, Degreed
    Ep306: Kelly Palmer | Chief Learning & Talent Officer, Degreed
  • Kelly Palmer | The Future of Work: Upskilling and Reskilling Your Workforce
    Kelly Palmer | The Future of Work: Upskilling and Reskilling Your Workforce
  • Why did you write The Expertise Economy: How the Smartest Companies...? By Kelly Palmer
    Why did you write The Expertise Economy: How the Smartest Companies...? By Kelly Palmer
  • Are you optimistic that organizations will embrace a new learning culture? By Kelly Palmer
    Are you optimistic that organizations will embrace a new learning culture? By Kelly Palmer
  • Kelly Palmer
  • Why the school you went to is no match for learning agility | Kelly Palmer | Big Think
    Why the school you went to is no match for learning agility | Kelly Palmer | Big Think
  • Fostering Empathetic Connection: Kelly Palmer
    Fostering Empathetic Connection: Kelly Palmer

Learn More About Kelly Palmer

As technology has transformed the economy over the past decade, the types of skills required of employees have changed drastically and continue to do so. Where do business leaders turn when they realize their employees don’t have the skills required to help their company succeed into the future? Kelly Palmer, an esteemed thought leader on learning, business and career development, challenges leaders to let go of outdated models for upskilling and re-skilling the workforce. By developing strategies that address the reality of automation, digitization and acceleration in this new world of work, Palmer helps organizations tap into the expertise of their current workforce and make learning a true competitive advantage.

The gap between what skills companies need and the skills employees have is real. Palmer’s insights and framework help organizations address this chasm through personalized, lifelong learning and greater reliance on technology and data. Equipped with a record of success as an executive at several Silicon Valley tech companies including LinkedIn, Yahoo! and Sun Microsystems, Palmer is currently on the executive team of Degreed, an education technology company that gives employers the tools they need to identify and measure employees’ skills. With her Degreed partner and fellow thought leader David Blake, Palmer created the Skills Quotient, a practical, non-proprietary framework that every company can use to measure the skills required against the skills needed, for individuals, teams and the entire company. It elevates the practice of talent and skills measurement from the middle of the organization to the C-Suite, giving every CEO a way to answer for the skills of their organization and a way to track progress with accountability. Palmer and Blake outlined their revolutionary approach in their groundbreaking book “The Expertise Economy: How the Smartest Companies Use Learning to Engage, Compete, and Succeed” (Nicholas Brealey, September 2018).

Palmer is a seasoned Silicon Valley leader. She was the Chief Learning Officer at LinkedIn, vice president of learning at Yahoo! and held executive positions in learning, M&A, and product development at Sun Microsystems. She speaks regularly at companies and business conferences around the world, and has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Financial TimesFast Company, ForbesEntrepreneurInc., Chief Learning Officer (CLO), and on Bloomberg radio. Kelly has a bachelor of Arts in English/communications and a Master of Science in adult learning and education technology.

Kelly Palmer 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®.

Kelly Palmer was last modified: July 26th, 2022 by Valerie Reaburn

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The Expertise Economy: The Future of Work and Skills

The workplace is going through a large-scale transition with digitization, automation, and acceleration. Critical skills and expertise are imperative for companies and their employees to succeed in the future, and the most forward-thinking companies are being proactive in adapting to the shift in the workforce. Kelly Palmer, Silicon Valley thought leader, reveals the trends that are causing disruption in the workplace and how they are changing and shaping the way we need to think about upskilling and reskilling the workforce. Digital transformation is a major component of most company strategies and focusing on employee learning and skills can be a major competitive advantage. Palmer describes how she and other business leaders have created forward-thinking learning and career transformation strategies that help drive a company’s success.

The Skills Quotient

There isn’t a CEO in the world today who can answer for the skills of their organization. Just as Net Promoter Score (NPS) gave a common framework for customer satisfaction, leaders have long needed that type of solution for skills. That is what Skills Quotient (SQ) does; it introduces a common non-proprietary framework that every company can use to compare the job skills required to the skills possessed by individuals and teams across the entire company. It elevates the practice of talent and skills measurement from the middle of the organization to the C-Suite, giving every CEO a way to confirm the skills within their organization.

Learning How to Learn

September 16, 2019

Learn How to Learn

December, 2018

“Disruption in any industry is a process, not a one-time event. With so much change on the horizon, Kelly and David highlight the imperative firms have to harness learning to stay in the game.”

Clayton Christensen, New York Times best-selling author, “The Innovators Dilemma”

“Everyone agrees that learning provides a competitive edge in an outsourced, automated economy. But what’s the essential next step? In The Expertise Economy, Kelly Palmer and David Blake make a persuasive case that companies play a huge role in shaping the future of learning. This excellent book offers practical and evidence-based insights that can help CEOs and other business leaders challenge the status quo.”

Daniel H. Pink, author, “When” and “Drive”

“The opportunity to scale new learning curves at work is an intrinsic career value for an ever-increasing slice of the workforce, and an imperative for organizations who want to stay in the game, much less ahead of it. The Expertise Economy offers a framework for leaders to future-proof the skills of their people and organizations.”

Whitney Johnson, Thinkers50 Leading Management Thinker, best-selling author, “Build an A-Team” and “Disrupt Yourself”

“Brilliant, timely and significant, this book blows the lid off the learning theories of the past!”

Sean Covey, President, FranklinCovey Education

“The Expertise Economy makes clear the importance of skills in the corporate world. For most companies, understanding what skills your employees have, what skills they need, and their agility in learning new skills, will bring a competitive edge in the future.”

Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Inc., best-selling author, “Resonate”

“Timely, clever, and useful insights on how learning enables individuals and organizations to flourish in a rapidly changing world. Anyone or any company seeking to learn how to learn will savor these insights and master these principles.”

Dave Ulrich, Rensis Likert Professor, Ross School of Business, best-selling author

“The Expertise Economy is must-read for anyone who cares about the future of their workforce and organization.”

Nick van Dam, PhD, McKinsey & Company Partner, Chief Learning Officer, Professor, University of Pennsylvania

“Learning has always been one of the secret weapons of the world’s highest performing companies. Kelly and David’s book unlocks this secret and is filled with advice on how to make learning a competitive advantage for any company.”

Josh Bersin, Industry Analyst and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte

“The Expertise Economy shows how companies can use learning and skills as key differentiators to stay ahead of the competition and ultimately help close the widening skills gap.”

Jaime Casap, Education Evangelist, Google

“The Expertise Economy is a unicorn among business books. It presents a human and business reason to address the skills gap in a holistic way with suggestions for how universities, companies and individuals can work together to prepare for the future workplace.”

Jeanne Meister, Partner, Future Workplace, Co-author, “The 2020 Workplace and The Future Workplace Experience”