Scaling Skills Training: A Candid Conversation with Innovorg Founder & CEO, Elya McCleave

Scaling Skills Training: A Candid Conversation with Innovorg Founder & CEO, Elya McCleave

As technology continues to reshape our world, the skills needed for business success are evolving. Join Ntirety CEO Emil Sayegh in a compelling in-person episode of The Cyber Hour as he sits down with Elya McCleave, Founder and CEO of Innovorg. Drawing from Elya’s career journey, they explore the key drivers of success in today’s tech landscape.

In today’s highly technical world with its growing reliance on AI, the vital importance of soft skills — personal communications, human connection, and interaction– often are forgotten.  Elya recognizes the need to remain human and to retain a sense of self while navigating the technological maze that encompasses our world. Innovorg is an education technology company that focuses on skills management, certifications, management training, and career pathing.

Here are some highlights from this insightful podcast:

Skill-based Approach – When starting Innovorg, McCleave wanted to “create clarity around the roles and expectations” of employees’ contributions and career paths. She experimented with a skill-based approach to hiring, learning, and performance management.

As she looked for purpose-built tools for the Cloud and Datacenter industries, she couldn’t find anything that continuously streamlined the process of identifying and then filling the skills gap within the workforce, so she built her own.

“The first step is to design the skills catalog that represents your products and services, your internal tooling, the technologies and your processes, procedures, and soft skills requirements,” McCleave explained.

Customer Experience – McCleave said Innovorg is “obsessed” with the customer experience. She explained that with all the investments in technology, the “human connection” with customers has diminished.

“Everybody’s kind of hiding behind the screens. Everybody’s on their devices,” she said. “Sometimes to chat with somebody or text is easier than to meet and have a conversation face to face.”

This is why Innovorg stresses the soft skills, which McCleave believes will become more crucial in building future connections.

Understanding Work Community – In solving the tooling dilemma, McCleave recognized the “social or community” aspect of work. She suggested “technical frontline” workers struggle to know where they stand with their employers; are unsure of their respective roles; and how to progress to the next level.

Because of that, McCleave said she believes an “underlying mission of Innovorg is to empower the new generation to have the ammunition they need to enter the technology sector and grow their careers”.

The success Innovorg has experienced in this area makes McCleave optimistic about expanding globally and moving beyond the cloud and data center industries to serve other sectors such as telecommunications, healthcare, and education.

Artificial Intelligence Like everyone in the tech industry, Innovorg is on an AI integration path. The company incorporates AI-driven content curation and aggregation, AI quiz generation, and employee development plan creation to provide things that normally are not found in other training platforms.

While recognizing that AI is displacing jobs in some areas, McCleave believes there is still significant space for human interaction. “We have plans to build on the concept of virtual coaching, where the platform can interact live with staff and provide guidance as work progresses,” McCleave explains. “That’s why I’m excited to be in the learning and development space because a big part of our work is upskilling,” she says. “All of our upskilling content and skills are closely related to the AI advancements and changes we’re witnessing.”

Women in Tech – Recognizing the difficulty women face in entering and succeeding in an industry that has traditionally been a ‘boys’ club,’ McCleave said, “I think things are improving overall, but there’s definitely still a bias.”

McCleave cited her own persistence and resilience as key factors in breaching the gender barrier. Because of her journey, she advises other women not to be “afraid to take chances.”

Once a woman has a foot in the door, she should be open to building “meaningful connections and friendships” throughout the industry, McCleave said, adding, “Just give yourself an opportunity to go after your dreams.”

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