The Upskilling Imperative Book Summary - The Upskilling Imperative Book explained in key points
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The Upskilling Imperative summary

Shelley Osborne

5 Ways to Make Learning Core to the Way We Work

4.3 (102 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

The Upskilling Imperative by Shelley Osborne is a guide to help organizations create a culture of learning. It emphasizes the importance of upskilling employees and providing them with the resources needed to stay current in a rapidly changing job market.

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    The Upskilling Imperative
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    A robust learning culture can help companies retain staff and keep up with new technologies.

    Starting a career used to mean going to school, getting a job, and then continuing on the same path until retirement. You’d learn the skills you needed to work in your desired field, and then that was it – smooth sailing for the next 40 years.

    Of course, these days that’s not enough. For one thing, young people joining the workforce today are likely to continue working for the next five decades, which is far longer than previous generations. 

    On top of that, rapidly changing technologies mean that most skills only stay relevant for five years. In such an environment, how can you make sure that you, or your company, don’t become as obsolete as a 1990s floppy disk? 

    The key message is: A robust learning culture can help companies retain staff and keep up with new technologies. 

    Most people don’t have positive associations with workplace training. Either a bad performance review means it’s required by HR, or it’s something only offered to high performers. Training programs are marked by passive learning, outdated methods, and a one-size-fits-all approach. In other words, they’re boring. 

    Another reason that workplace training hasn’t always been a top priority for businesses is that the outcomes and measurable results can be unclear; senior executives often just see it as a box to check rather than a beneficial investment. But that’s all changing. More people are realizing that adaptability is needed to maintain a career, or business, into the future. That’s why it’s vital that employers and employees find ways to bring relevant, dynamic, and sustainable learning – or upskilling – into their mindset. 

    According to a survey by online learning company Udemy, 39 percent of US workers feel that the skills gap has had a direct impact on their careers. And 51 percent of employees say they’d quit a job if the company didn’t provide enough training. By integrating continuous learning and development into your business, you can avoid the endless loop of falling behind and then playing catch-up.

    Instead of reinventing the wheel every few years, it’s time to design effective, on-demand, and relevant training that anticipates and prepares for the changes that are coming.

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    What is The Upskilling Imperative about?

    What’s it about?

    The Upskilling Imperative (2020) introduces practical tips for companies to ensure their staff have ample opportunity to learn skills for the future. With industries and technologies changing all the time, it shows business leaders the steps they can take to stay ahead of the curve and establish robust, accessible learning environments.

    The Upskilling Imperative Review

    The Upskilling Imperative (2021) is an essential read for anyone interested in personal and professional growth. Here's why this book stands out:

    • It provides practical strategies and tools to enhance our skills and thrive in the ever-evolving job market.
    • Backed by research and real-life examples, the book offers insights into the importance of continuous learning for staying relevant and competitive.
    • With its engaging storytelling and relatable anecdotes, the book manages to make the topic of upskilling both interesting and inspiring.

    Who should read The Upskilling Imperative?

    Who’s it for?

    • Managers or C-Level executives looking to upskill their teams
    • People interested in Learning and Development or HR

    Employees who want to change the way their company views training 

    About the Author

    About the author

    As the Vice President of Learning at Udemy, Shelley Osborne is responsible for upskilling employees around the world. Before joining Udemy to develop the company’s corporate learning strategy, Osborne served as the Vice President of Learning and Development at Farside HR Solutions. She has given talks at TEDWomen events and contributed commentary to CNBC and the Wall Street Journal. The Upskilling Imperative is her first book.

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    The Upskilling Imperative FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Upskilling Imperative?

    The Upskilling Imperative emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and acquiring new skills for career success.

    How long does it take to read The Upskilling Imperative?

    The reading time for The Upskilling Imperative varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Upskilling Imperative a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Upskilling Imperative is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in staying competitive in the ever-evolving job market.

    Who is the author of The Upskilling Imperative?

    The author of The Upskilling Imperative is Shelley Osborne.

    What to read after The Upskilling Imperative?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Upskilling Imperative, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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