Accelerate AI Skilling Across Your Organization

July 9, 2024 | Activate Learning | 8 min read

The impact of generative AI is undeniable. It's not just changing the way organizations operate — it's redefining the very fabric of modern business. It’s redefining how products are designed, how teams collaborate, and how leaders lead.

As businesses, our ability to adapt and thrive in this new era of AI innovation hinges on adequately preparing our workforce for the future. That means having the right people in the right roles with the right skills.

Our annual IT Skills and Salary report, an in-depth survey of over 5,700 tech professionals worldwide, showed that while AI is the top investment area for tech leaders, 43% say their team’s skills in AI need improvement. 

To access the full IT Skills and Salary report, click here →

The good news is that while generative AI is driving an unprecedented need for new skills, it is also providing an unprecedented solution to our skilling problems. In fact, according to the IDC, "the implementation of skills development, powered by GenAI and automation, will enable organizations to drive one trillion dollars in productivity gains worldwide by 2026."


To capitalize on this trillion-dollar potential, organizations need to foster a culture of innovation, adaptability, and continuous learning. But, large-scale transformation isn’t easy. Research from McKinsey shows that 70% of efforts to fundamentally change — or transform — the trajectory of an organization fails. And only 23% of HR executives are confident they have the rising leaders required to meet the organization’s need of the future, according to Gartner

That’s because most organizations must progress through various levels of AI maturity, as shown by the model below:

AI maturity model by Skillsoft

Usually, organizations start with some level of exploration, which is precisely what happened last year with the rapid adoption of ChatGPT as employees started to use the tool and learn prompt engineering to understand how they could actually apply AI in their jobs. 

Then, organizations typically move into a more formalized method of experimentation as they establish use cases to begin to apply AI to everyday tasks.

As soon as organizations finish the experimentation phase, they want to move into innovation which is when work processes are re-engineered and existing infrastructure upgraded to support the long-term adoption of AI. 

This generally lays the foundation for the realization phase, which is where workforces actually achieve transformation across the enterprise. 

So, the question becomes: how can organizations upskill and reskill their employees through this time of rapid AI transformation? With a measurable, scalable, and interactive skilling program.

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At Skillsoft, we’ve developed an AI Skill Accelerator — which is a joint curriculum and approach — to help organizations build a workforce equipped with the AI skills and knowledge necessary to drive innovation, improve decision-making, and achieve a competitive advantage in today’s digital economy.

From a curricula standpoint, Skillsoft’s AI Skill Accelerator combines our on-demand and interactive courses, instructor-led training, AI-driven conversational training, and coaching. Additionally, we're collaborating with companies leading the AI transformation charge, such as Microsoft, to develop specialized GenAI skilling programs that enable the global workforce to use groundbreaking tools like Microsoft Copilot and Azure Open AI. This blended approach to learning — coupled with GenAI technology itself — has endless potential to spark innovation, drive productivity, and empower teams to thrive in the era of rapid AI disruption. 

From an approach standpoint, we can break down Skillsoft’s AI Skill Accelerator into a simple, 4-step process:


For organizations to successfully reskill and upskill their workforce, they first need to know what exactly their workforce is missing. That means they need to establish a fact-based understanding of their current state as it relates to AI-focused tech and leadership skills in order to progress to step two, which is…


Once organizations assess the current state of their workforce, they can take an index of where they need to focus their training effort. By analyzing a skills dashboard, organizations can identify emerging trends, gaps, or deficiencies to tailor their AI skilling program to their existing talent pool. This will help immensely as organizations move into step three...


As soon as organizations assess and index their workforce, they can begin to rapidly upskill and reskill their teams with a blend of on-demand, live, and active learning experiences—including coaching. By having a blended AI curriculum that’s personalized for each learner, organizations can successfully transform their organization by upskilling and reskilling their existing employees, which brings us to step four…


Learning and transformation are a continuous journey, which means organizations need to consistently reassess where they are, and where they still need to fill gaps. This is why our skills analytics dashboards, and some of the other ROI features of our solutions is essential—they give organizations visibility into the skill gains happening across their enterprise in a way that’s broken down by role, by function, and even by division.

In fact, let’s take a look at some of the target personas Skillsoft’s AI Skill Accelerator can be applied to…


We’ve defined three, fundamental target personas for our AI Skill Accelerator: 

  • Frontline End-Users. These are the employees who are actually doing the work every day. These can be those dealing with customers, selling the products, designing the products, or even those in HR and talent departments. All of these constituencies will have their work influenced by generative AI, and they need to learn how to accelerate their work with AI tools by aligning on a shared understanding, vision, and governance for AI.
  • Leaders and Mobilizers. These are the folks who are responsible for leading the transformation and catalyzing the organization around this new transformative technology by redefining work processes, toolsets, and platforms.
  • Technologists and Developers. These are the employees who actually have their hands on the keyboard and are responsible for developing the next-generation tools and platforms by operationalizing and scaling new approaches to work.

Now, let’s dive a little deeper into how our approach and our curriculum come together for one of these personas…


Skillsoft’s AI Skill Accelerator is designed to help organizations move up the AI maturity curve by applying our approach in three phases:

  • Activate – 30 days
  • Accelerate – 60 days
  • Transform – 120 days


During the activate phase (which is within the first 30 days) organizations are looking to align their teams on a shared understanding, vision, and governance for AI. To accomplish this, Skillsoft’s AI Skill Accelerator starts by rolling out the first step of our approach: assess.

To help organizations assess their skill gaps and recommend AI skilling areas, we have developed new Skill Benchmarks specially designed for generative AI. These benchmarks evaluate learners' proficiency and knowledge in areas such as the basic principles of the technology, responsible usage, and even engineering capabilities in ChatGPT. Learners are assigned a score and level—ranging from Novice to Advanced—and receive personalized recommendations for further learning, allowing them to deepen their AI skillsets. 

More recently, we also launched Interactive Skill Benchmarks (ISBs), which are the newest addition to our Skill Benchmarks suite. While traditional Skill Benchmarks allow organizations to gauge their employee’s proficiency in a particular domain through multiple choice questions targeting specific knowledge, Interactive Skill Benchmarks take a hands-on, dynamic approach to assessments, allowing learners to answer questions in a virtual environment and receive immediate results.

Skill Benchmarks and Interactive Skill Benchmarks move organizations into step two, which is a comprehensive baseline index and perspective on where their employee’s capabilities lie, along with recommendations for training to take them into step three, which is develop.

During this step, organizations can curate a curriculum from our extensive library of self-study, video-based, and instructor-led training (ILT) courses specifically focused on AI. These cover a wide range of topics spanning from “Foundations of Generative AI” to “Responsible Application and Guardrails for Generative AI,” with other content focused on reimagining work, leading an AI transformation, and the human skills to sustain an AI transformation.

We’ve also developed new Skillsoft Aspire Journeys, which are multi-modal learning paths designed to equip learners from the front line to the c-suite with a solid understanding of the core principles needed to responsibly and effectively use, build, and experiment with generative AI. By exploring these courses, learners will gain the necessary knowledge to reimagine work across various functions.

Finally, we have Skillsoft CAISY™ Conversation AI Simulator, which is a great example of how generative AI is also providing the tools to help organizations close their AI skills gaps. Skillsoft CAISY is an innovative GenAI application that simulates business and leadership interactions—allowing employees to practice business interactions in an emotionally safe space, which would otherwise only be possible through live role-play discussions. CAISY offers a range of scenarios for your product teams to help them develop critical skills like the “Responsible use of AI for Decision-Makers” and “Responsible use of AI for Employees."

This is where the breadth and depth of our curriculum comes into play, because not only do employees need to learn the appropriate AI skills, but they also need to learn how to collaborate with AI technology to augment their human intelligence. 

Activate → Accelerate

From there, organizations can move into the accelerate phase (which starts around the 60-day mark) and get more hands on with the different toolsets and technologies as they look to redefine their processes, toolsets, and platforms with AI.

Accelerate → Transform

Finally, around the 120-day mark is when organizations move into the transform phase and start to think about AI as an ongoing element of their day-to-day business operations. As a result, the curriculum in this phase focuses more on applied technology in low code/no code environments. 

Below is an example of how the curriculum and approach of the AI Skill Accelerator is put into practice for frontline end-users across these three phases:

AI maturity timeline by Skillsoft

To dig a little deeper into how Skillsoft’s AI Skill Accelerator is applied to the other two target personas, check out the demo video below:


If you’re looking to capture the trillion-dollar productivity promise of AI, Skillsoft’s Professional Services team can help you tailor our AI Skill Accelerator curriculum and approach to your specific AI initiatives.