By The Denver Egotist / /
By Allison Kent-Smith, CEO and Founder at smith & beta.
Our skillsets have a shelf life.
In today’s fast moving digital economy, our skills must evolve at equal pace with the rapidly changing world around us. The trouble is, our capabilities often become stagnant. We read, take online classes, attend SXSW each year and do our best to keep up – but it’s rarely enough.
Agencies and marketers are very interested in getting smarter about all things digital, for some it’s at the top of their list for 2017. And that’s a good thing, because many companies are not focused on talent readiness. Recent research from smith & beta found that only 7.5% of agencies believe they are exceeding the demands of their clients. Equally alarming, only 43% feel prepared for the future of their work. Moreover, less than 25% of respondents identify as semi-experts or experts in data analytics, social media and mobile advertising strategy. And the list of disheartening trends continues.
Clearly, there is a need for training, continual learning and a serious wake-up call in the industry to invest in employee capabilities.
The Greater Denver market is not immune to the need for talent development. The pressure to know more, do more, produce more, evolve more, and lead in this industry are part of daily conversations. In marketing we compete with agencies, start ups, tech companies and internal agencies at competitors or clients. The lack of expertise, capabilities and high rate of underperformance are plaguing organizations of all sizes. Proactive leaders recognize the need to learn more, as talent evolution is critical to great work.
Larger organizations often have the resources to hire expert teachers, invest in annual education programs, and launch internal schools to keep employees savvy. They know that investment in employee education has proven to advance work and promote retention. Although small agencies and marketing departments are plagued by the same skill evolution challenges, they often do not have the resources to invest in formal ongoing education. Until now.
As an education company based in Boulder, we looked around and realized that all of our current work was outside of this market. We wanted to evolve our client demographic to work with more local, ambitious smaller companies that care about improving their capabilities. After reviewing available education in Denver and Boulder, we knew there was an opportunity to bring our best teachers and content local on an ongoing monthly basis.
On November 18, we will launch a brand new monthly workshop series co-funded by local businesses. Sharing the cost of employee education allows a variety of companies to attend quality programming. Our new program, CoED, provides organizations access to monthly workshops led by our best teachers and and most popular content. Through a unique co-op model, CoED member companies can attend workshops for less than the cost of a fancy dinner in RiNo.
Monthly workshops kick off in Denver and Boulder on November 18th, occurring each month thereafter. Local community members will get to shape the programming, network with other savvy businesses, and attend hands-on skill development workshops right down the street from their office. Why fly to SF or NYC when you can attend the same quality content in your backyard?
The first workshop will be taught by Eddie Revis, Executive Strategy Director at Collins, and will address the intersection of creativity, technology and media “View From a Moving Platform” by giving participants the space and time to unlock innovative thinking. All workshops are hands-on, so come prepared to learn, experiment, and make some things with other community members.
Investment in employee education is the only way we improve, evolve and get better at our work – so let’s get started.