The Expertise Economy (Hardcover)

How the smartest companies use learning to engage, compete, and succeed

By Kelly Palmer, David Blake

Nicholas Brealey, 9781473677005, 240pp.

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


As seen in Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, Quartz at Work, Big Think, Chief Learning Officer, Chief Executive Officer, and featured in the Financial Times, and Forbes Recommended Reading for Creative Leaders.

Keeping people's skills in sync with fast-changing markets is the biggest challenge of our time.

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 from LinkedIn, Degreed, and Yahoo, and David Blake, co-founder of Ed-tech pioneer Degreed, share their experiences and describe how some of the smartest companies in the world are making learning and expertise a major competitive advantage.

The authors provide the latest scientific research on how people really learn and concrete examples from companies in both Silicon Valley and worldwide who are driving the conversation about how to create experts and align learning innovation with business strategy. It includes interviews with people from top companies like Google, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Unilever, NASA, and MasterCard; thought leaders in learning and education like Sal Khan and Todd Rose; as well as Thinkers50 list-makers Clayton Christensen, Daniel Pink, and Whitney Johnson.

The Expertise Economy dares you to let go of outdated and traditional ways of closing the skills gap, and challenges CEOs and business leaders to embrace the urgency of re-skilling and upskilling the workforce.

About the Author

KELLY PALMER is on the executive team at Degreed as the Chief Learning and Talent Officer. A respected thought leader on the future of learning, business, and career transformation, Kelly was the Chief Learning Officer at LinkedIn, VP of Learning at Yahoo!, and held executive positions in learning, M&A, and product development at Sun Microsystems. She speaks regularly at industry conferences around the world, and has been featured in Big Think, Forbes, and Chief Learning Officer (CLO) Magazine, where she writes a regular column on the employee experience.

DAVID BLAKE is cofounder of Degreed. He has spent his career innovating higher education and lifelong learning. Prior to Degreed, David helped launch a competency-based, accredited university and was a founding team member at Zinch (acquired by Chegg). David was selected as a Top EdTech Entrepreneur by the Stanford d.School EdTech Lab, sponsored by Teach For America and NewSchools Venture Fund. He has been published in the Harvard Technology Review, Business Insider, TechCrunch, and Huffington Post. He has spoken around the world on the topic of the future of learning, including the ASU Education Innovation Summit, EdTech Europe, and TEDx.

Praise For The Expertise Economy: How the smartest companies use learning to engage, compete, and succeed

"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, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, New York Times bestselling 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, bestselling 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., bestselling author, Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences

"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, Partner RPL Group, bestselling author, and Thinkers50 Hall of Fame: World-leading Business Thinker

"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, Nyenrode, and IE University, Founder, e-Learning for Kids Foundation

"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

"Technological change is going to make the skills of the workforce all the more critical for corporate success. This insightful and persuasive book shows how technology itself can be used to identify, provide and measure the skills that individuals need to thrive. The technological revolution will transform corporate learning and this book suggests how. This is a smart book about creating a smart workforce."—Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, London Business School, Co-author, The 100-Year Life

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

"a valuable guide for creative leaders wanting to capitalize on the future of learning."—David Slocum, Forbes contributor and Berlin School of Creative Leadership Director