Implications of Managing a Skills-Based Talent Strategy

This is the tenth and final blog in a ten-part series on Skills-based talent organizations.

Today’s blog discusses St. Charles’ model for addressing the implications and challenges of implementing a skills-based talent strategy at an enterprise level.

St. Charles STREAM Model™ of Skills-based Talent Management

Despite widespread interest, most organizations are still in the early stages of their skills-based talent journey, with only a few initial success stories to draw from. St. Charles/NIIT recently conducted an in-depth analysis of their internal client experiences, as well as an extensive literature search, to create a cutting-edge Skills-based Talent Strategy Framework to serve as the foundation of a survey of 20 pioneering companies across industries in various stages of their skills journey. This framework outlines 23 unique attributes of a skills-first talent strategy, organized into six groups we call the STREAM™ model. The STREAM™ framework forms the basis of a maturity model defining the evolving transformation of a talent operating model in 5 states from a traditional, job-based talent system to an adaptive, skills-based talent organization.

St. Charles STREAM ModelTM of Skills-based Talent Management

The elements of STREAM™ are defined as:

  • STRATEGY – The defining objectives for adapting, aligning, and enabling an organization’s strategic business imperatives to a skills-based talent strategy. This includes the importance and priority a skills-based strategy plays to the organization, an enterprise’s aspirations for and coordination in developing a skills-based strategy, and the maturity of the company’s skills-based culture and governance.
  • TRANSFORMATION of Work – The alignment of skills with new ways of working and new service delivery models that transform how work is accomplished. This includes transformations driven by technology, future of work talent challenges, job architecture, and work design driven by new service delivery models.
  • RECOGNITION of Skills – Determining current and future skill needs, gaps, and what resources have which skills. This includes the creation of a skills framework, such as a skills dictionary, inventory, taxonomy, or ontology. It also includes methods for assessing skills and sensing or inferring the evolution of new skills over time.
  • ENABLEMENT of Talent – The creation of approaches to develop, upskill, and reskill talent and leaders with requisite skills. This includes various learning, knowledge, and performance development strategies, leadership development, and application of skills across the career/job architecture.
  • ALIGNMENT of Talent Processes – The development, alignment, and operationalizing of approaches, methods, and processes across the talent spectrum, including talent acquisition, resource management, organization design, career management, rewards and compensation, and workforce planning.
  • MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS – Outlining the tools and technology ecosystem needed to support the identification, classification, enablement, matching, maintaining, sensing, and reporting of skills – as they support learning, resource management, assessment, credentialing, performance management, talent acquisition, and workforce planning systems.

The St. Charles Skills-based Maturity Mapping™

Using the STREAM maturity model and assessment framework, St. Charles has worked with leading organizations to help them assess the current state of their enterprise skills-based talent efforts, map organizational gaps to their desired future business objectives, and recommend steps to mitigate the gaps and align on enterprise roadmap for moving forward.

To assist with visualizing skills-based talent model gaps between current state and future aspirations, St. Charles can map data gathered from skills-based maturity assessment along the STREAM™ dimensions to highlight enterprise-wide gaps in its skills-based talent journey.


Such analyses can highlight particular gaps and broader trends where the skills strategy is more or less advanced across the STREAM™ model. This can start highlighting where attention needs to focus in addressing a roadmap to move the strategy forward.

The St. Charles Skills-based Value Chain Model™

To further assist in analyzing gaps along its skills-based talent journey, St. Charles has also developed a Skills-based Value Chain Model™ to highlight how various challenges are impacting the enterprise across the talent spectrum.

Each ‘cog’ in the model represents a different talent process in the skill-based talent value chain. Data gathered from the STREAM™ skills-based talent assessment can be mapped to show where specific gaps impact the talent value chain. This approach highlights areas of misalignment across the talent spectrum and can be customized to show skills-based challenges and gaps across different sub-segments of the business as well.

The entire enterprise doesn’t need to conduct a unified journey, but independent journeys must be coordinated such that their underlying skills frameworks can be aggregated to create enterprise-wide capability reporting and interoperability if that is the goal of the enterprise. Such coordination requires careful governance, communication, and strategic coordination of design activities to ensure separate efforts come together seamlessly. This forms the basis of an enterprise skills-based talent strategy roadmap.

Webinar Recording Registration: Skills-First Talent Strategies

Outlook and Trends Impacting Learning & Development

On today’s episode, we look at Part 2 of the current business landscape for L&D, what are the trends that are driving change, and what are the implications on Learning within organizations.