LinkedIn, the Economic Graph and Skills

I had a very interesting conversation today. One of an increasingly large number, as I tend to my network more purposefully in preparation for leaving my current employment in the new year. (Incidentally, I highly recommend this, if for nothing more than stimulation and intellectual energy).

During this conversation, I was introduced to the concept of the Economic Graph which is the energising force and mission of LinkedIn. (It was new to me and poof that getting out more is a good thing). Jeff Weiner, CEO summarises it pithily in this video:

As any good mission should be, it is dramatic and (almost breathtakingly) ambitious. It also clearly defines the direction of the individuals who make up the global workforce. This is becoming a body of people who are increasingly aware of their value and of the potential to match their own aspirations with those of relevant organisations. A job, in this scenario, become a step on the route to fulfilling that, or those, goals.

The skills required are both requisite attributes of the journey and signals of progress, where they have been acquired. Crucially, Weiner describes a profile (a LinkedIn profile, of course) which is the domain of the individual as the record of that activity and that the individual, as owner, can share it or parts of it as they see benefit in doing so. That learning record and the use if it is the property of an individual not an organisation. The value of it must satisfy that individual at least as much as the organisations who support or enable the learning and acquisition of skills. It is not a corporate training record.

Whilst this is a long journey, it is under way. The purchase of Lynda.com by  LinkedIn signals their intent to weave learning and learning content into this story. It should also signal a wake up call for the big box systems vendors as the value of the learning record needs to be housed elsewhere – either entirely or in addition to corporate systems.

There are many juicy topics in this field and I hope to return to them shortly.

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