Earlier this year I saw a presentation by Andy Lancaster, head of L&D at Hanover Housing Association. In his presentation he talked about using subject experts around the business to create elearning for the organisation. While he talked about how he was doing this he asked the audience to think about the skills that were available to organisations (especially small ones) when it came to doing things like building websites.

His point was that there are people in every organisation who have skills that could potentially be useful but that we don’t necessarily know what skills people have. Outside their skills required for their jobs, that is.

I was reminded of this fact when I attended a workshop for people who had been made redundant (aka an outplacement workshop). We were all there to find out about setting up our own businesses. As we went round the table it quickly became clear everyone in the room had an out of work sideline or passion that could potentially be turned into a business.

That made me wonder whether the managers of those people were aware of their ‘other’ skill sets. I guess these are the skills and experiences which sit at the bottom of a CV.

So, are organisations sitting on a wide range of ‘hidden’ skills that could be put to use? Seems to me that tapping these skills could lead to more internal mobility (across projects) and really motivate people (tapping into their outside of work passions). If engagement is important then this approach could be useful.

Social tools can help unlock this potential so that organisations can help search for skills project by project, helping colleagues let others know they have relevant skills to offer. They could also provide a placve for colleagues to showcase their ‘other’ skills.

Next time you need to create a blog why not ask internally first? A colleague is bound to be building great blogs as a part of their enterprising life outside of work.

[Picture credit: Rghrous]