Kelly Palmer

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Cutting-Edge Thought Leader on the Future of Learning, Career Development and Competitiveness in the New Economy; Chief Learning Officer, Degreed; Co-Author, “The Expertise Economy” (2018)

Biography

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Kelly Palmer, an esteemed thought leader on learning, business and career development, challenges leaders to let go of outdated models for upskilling and re-skilling the workforce.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 for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Media

Forbes logo

How the Smartest Companies are Leveraging Learning

December 17, 2018

Learn How to Learn

December, 2018

Kelly Palmer's CLO Column

Harvard Business Review logo

How to Help Your Employees Learn From Each Other

November 8, 2018

Leverage a Culture of Learning as Your Competitive Advantage

October 30, 2018

How Business Can Partner With Higher Ed to Prepare the Future Workforce

October 26, 2018

Workplace Learning Is Central to Closing Skills Gap

October 12, 2018

Book Review: The Expertise Economy

October 4, 2018

Bloomberg Businessweek logo

The Expertise Economy (Audio)

October 3, 2018

Financial Times logo

FT Business Books of the Month

September, 2018

Why Skills Shouldn't Be Just a P.S. on a Resume

September 24, 2018

It's Time For Companies To End the Obsession With Millenials And Hire Older Workers With Skills And Expertise

September 21, 2018

Inc

Smart Leaders Are Continuously Learning. Here's How to Get in the Habit

September 20, 2018

Skills Are the Currency of “The Expertise Economy”

September 19, 2018

Developing Employee Skills at the Pace of Disruption

September 19, 2018

Forbes logo

Are You Ready For Prime Time? Reinvent How You Learn

September 18, 2018

How Do We Learn Best? Five Steps for Learning and Gaining Expertise

September, 2018

Companies Want to Upskill Internally, Than to Hire New Employees: Kelly Palmer, Degreed

August 7, 2018

Inquirer logo

Learning Catches Up With the Times

May 14, 2018

How to Use Curation as Part of a Learning Strategy (Audio)

February 6, 2017

Jailbreaking the Degree with Kelly Palmer of Degreed (Audio)

July 20, 2016

Workers' Revolution? By 2020, Millennials Will Be 70 Percent of the Global Workforce (video)

July 13, 2016

Let's Do Learning Differently With On-Demand Education (video)

March 24, 2016

Forbes logo

The Secret To Creating A Great Company Culture And Winning The Talent War

December 6, 2015

Intro Video

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A-Z Name

Palmer, Kelly

Biography

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 for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

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.

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Books & Research

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Recommendations

Advance Praise for The Expertise Economy

“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”

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