Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Acquire LOTS of marketable skills for free!

I've been thinking about an open-source system where highly skilled and knowledgeable people could get together and exchange expertise and skills.

I call it S.E.N.S.E. (for Skills Exchange Network for Strategic Empowerment).

Since I have over 900 connections on Linkedin, perhaps Linkedin is a good place to launch such a promising system, where people can become members and learn from one another.

This would work like those language exchange clubs, where two people get together to learn one another's language. For example, an English native gets together with a Japanese native and for the first half-hour, they speak only in Japanese (this would improve the Japanese conversational skills of the English native). Then, for the second half-hour, they speak only in English (for the learning benefit of the Japanese person).

In the case of S.E.N.S.E., it is not language skills that are learned but all kinds of skills, including:

Project management
Direct marketing
Marketing research
Quality control and assurance
Team management
Effective written communications
Knowledge management

The list can be quite exhaustive. The point is that we are all experts at something, and we could all learn from other people who are knowledgeable at something.

S.E.N.S.E. makes sense!

Now WHY would you join such a skill-exchange network?

1. Your employer will ONLY train you on skills that are SPECIFIC to your job. Your market value might not necessarily be increased as a result of such company-specific training. SENSE enables you to pick up valuable skills while networking with knowledgeable people.

2. SENSE leverages the existing connections on Linkedin. For example, you can just invite all your connections to SENSE so that everybody can learn from everybody else.

3. Skype enables worldwide phone communications, so this dramatically expands the number of people you can learn from!

4. SENSE screens applicants so only people who are experts or highly knowledgeable in their field, will be admitted. This guarantees that you will learn useful and practical knowledge.

5. Membership is FREE so SENSE will grow fairly rapidly. Joining gives you benefits, while not joining might cause you to fall behind relative to others in your profession or industry. Note: Membership is FREE but is by invitation only from existing members, and is subject to approval by the SENSE team. That is, ONLY experts and highly knowledgeable people are admitted. Also, all members must buy the SENSE User Guide on Payloadz, which costs $27. This Guide ensures that all SENSE members behave in a way that facilitates knowledge-sharing for the benefit of all.

6. If you work for a small company, the training budget is usually small. So SENSE can help you to acquire valuable skills that will advance your career.

7. Through interactions with other members, you will learn WHICH part of your knowledge is most valuable, so you can focus on developing that knowledge in order to continually increase your market value.

If you are interested in joining the SENSE network, please email me at with "Register me for SENSE please" in the subject heading. No need to write anything else. The SENSE team will communicate with you for the next steps. Thanks.