About our Podcast: THE EDGE

Welcome to Skillsoft’s podcast, The Edge, a platform designed to help leaders and learners alike unleash their edge. In this series, host and CMO, Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek, sits down with a variety of guests – from customers, to partners, to industry influencers – to engage in candid, thought-provoking conversations on the topic of learning and growth in the workplace.

Two years after Black Lives Matter and a wave of corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs, what progress have we made? And what must we focus on to continue the journey? On this episode of The Edge, our host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek is joined by Simone Sloan, the founder of Your Choice Coach, a DEI consulting and executive coaching firm. Simone sheds some light on the current state of DEI initiatives and why it’s so important to cultivate emotional intelligence as we continue to “show up,” “do the work,” and transform in meaningful ways.

We have all been persuaded by someone or something at some point in our lives. And the ability to persuade is one of the most important power skills you can develop. But what makes persuasion work? The art of storytelling and innovative thinking promotes powerful persuasion, professionally or personally. On this episode of The Edge, our host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek is joined by Neal Foard, President of the Passion Logic Project, and master storyteller. Neal shares his expert opinion on storytelling and the power of persuasion, highlighting his career in advertising and his fame as a TikTok influencer.

We all know that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is an important focus for many organizations right now, but inclusion for those who classify themselves as “introverts," isn’t always the most obvious subcategory within DEI. On this episode of The Edge, our host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek is joined by Jennifer Kahnweiler, bestselling author and one of the top global leadership speakers on introversion in the workplace. Jennifer shares her expert opinion on the top leadership skills needed for introverts, and how organizations can create an introvert-friendly culture.

Most learning journeys follow a learner from awareness, to competency, to proficiency, and finally mastery. But, skills attainment can be taken to an entirely new level when driven by purpose and passion. On this episode of The Edge, our host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek welcomes Antonia Forster, a Senior XR Technical Specialist at Unity. Antonia’s learning journey not only changed her life, but has enabled her to use technology in creative and impactful ways to support her advocacy work for women in tech and the LGBTQ+ community.

Learning’s New Deal: The Social Compact Between Employer and Employee

Skillsoft’s The Edge is back for Season 3, and we’re kicking things off with a conversation around the social compact emerging between employer and employee in the modern workplace. Challenged by skills gaps, a war for talent, and the “great resignation,” employers are redefining their obligations to employees. Host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek talks with Black Knight’s Rich Baker, Enterprise LMS Administrator, and Matthew Noto, Manager for Cybersecurity and White Hat, to uncover the secret to creating a robust learning program that serves both the organization's interests and the learning needs of employees.

Skillsoft and Ellevate Network: Advancing Women at Work, Together

In honor of Women’s History Month, host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek sits down with Kristy Wallace, the CEO of Ellevate Network, a global community of women+ committed to fostering and promoting gender equality in the workplace. Together, Michelle and Kristy discuss how organizations can strive to support women+ in their careers, and how Skillsoft and Ellevate Network are working together to advance women+ in the workplace through our newly announced partnership.

The Future of Work is Now

On this special season finale of The Edge, we invite two insightful leaders to discuss Skillsoft’s 2nd Annual Lean into Learning Report – uncovering learning trends and lessons from 2021, and what else is to come in 2022. Through two dynamic and impactful conversations, Skillsoft’s Chief People Officer Kristi Hummel, and Cherie Hicks, a Diversity and Inclusion Learning Leader at Trane Technologies, unlock key findings and impactful lessons of the past year, illustrating how organizations can better prepare for the future of work.

Competency is the New Currency

Today, every company is a technology company – and so, an organization’s success depends on its ability to invest in technology-driven offerings, operations, and its people. On this episode we put a strong emphasis on the last component: people. As the rate and pace of change, particularly in technology fields, fails to abate, organizations that wish to thrive will need to focus on providing employees with critical training for in-demand skills. Jane Pitt, a Training Program Manager at Microsoft, joins The Edge to discuss why in the modern workforce, competency is the new currency.

The Human Revolution: Celebrating Our True Selves

On this episode we get vulnerable. We get real. We ask the question, who really are you? Known as the “British Oprah,” Jaz Ampaw-Farr, an International TEDx Speaker, Thought Leader, and Resilience Ninja, joins The Edge to share why we are in need of a “Human Revolution” – the next irritative of societal transformation where we must reframe our thinking to be human-first in order to showcase our true, authentic selves. The enduring message: you are good enough .

Performing Like a Pit Crew Off the Racetrack

Pit crew coaches and co-founders of DECK Leadership, Mike Metcalf and Shaun Peet, know what it takes to create high-achieving teams on and off the racetrack. Drawing on their 10 years of NASCAR experience, Mike and Shaun highlight the unexpected parallels between effective teams in the pit crew department and within business. And while speed is the currency of business today, as Mike and Shaun demonstrate, allowing ourselves the time and space to think is key to winning in a performance-driven profession.

Growth and Development: The Difference Between Losing and Maintaining Talent

Technology is modernizing and evolving faster than we have ever seen before. As a result, IT professionals and companies are scrambling to play catch up in an industry that’s growing and changing every single day. Host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek sits down with Michael Yoo, Customer Market Leader for Skillsoft’s Technology and Developer Portfolio, and Angie Okamoto, Vice President of Product for Global Knowledge to discuss key findings from Skillsoft’s Global Knowledge 2021 IT Skills and Salary Report, uncovering what organizations can do to overcome IT skills gaps. The short answer? Companies must invest in the growth and development of their IT talent in order to keep up.

Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders Today: The Role of Coaching and Mentoring

October 27th marks National Mentoring Day: a day to celebrate coaches, mentors, and those who help us achieve professional and personal growth. Here at Skillsoft, we believe in the transformative power of mentorship and coaching and recognize the role these will play in the future of leadership development for those at all levels. To highlight this, host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek, is joined by two professionals in the mentoring and coaching space – Caroline Taylor, former CMO for IBM’s Global Markets, and Beth Egan, an Executive Coach and Masterclass Speaker.

Perspectives Unleashed: 2021 Recap

Did you attend Skillsoft’s Perspectives Unleashed? If not, we’re here to catch you up on what you missed! Host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek is joined by colleague and Skillsoft’s CRO, Eric Stine, to recap Perspectives 2021, Skillsoft’s annual learning event. Drawing thousands of attendees from around the globe and tackling key topics like the future of work and skills transformation, Michelle and Eric share all you need to know about this year’s Perspectives event.

Putting Action into DEI

On this two-part episode, we discuss a movement that’s been at the forefront over the past year: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). While 2020 brought an influx of knowledge and awareness to DEI, this is only the first step. So where do we go from here? To help answer this question, we invite two individuals who recently shared their stories to make Skillsoft’s new DEI courses so personal and powerful.

Return to Work – Going Beyond Unlocking Your Doors

Over the past year and a half organizations who transitioned to a remote work model amid the pandemic have grappled with how to successfully prepare their employees for a return to physical workspaces when the time is right – but it’s not as simple as just unlocking the doors. Martin Falkenberg, CHRO of SUEZ North America, shares how their organization, a business that was deemed an essential service, implemented a return-to-work plan that ensured the health and safety of their employees throughout the pandemic. We also invite a special guest to provide their expertise on the topic.

How to Build a True Learning Culture

Join us for part two of The Edge’s second season kick-off with our guest Ben Sieke, Director of Talent Development and Learning for Delta Dental of California and affiliates. Ben provides insight into the complexities involved in building a culture of learning within an organization, reflecting on the importance of infrastructure, mindsets, and relationships. In a spirited conversation with The Edge host, Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek, Ben also shares how fellow leaders can look to encourage this culture among their workforces.

Winning Customers’ Hearts and Minds Through Power Skills

The Edge is back and bolder than ever with our first guest of Season 2, Ben Sieke, Director of Talent Development and Learning for Delta Dental of California and affiliates. In this first episode, Ben shares how the organization developed a customized learning program for its customer service representatives. The goal? Deliver innovation to the human side of the customer experience, by building reps’ skills in areas such as problem-solving. The outcome? Reinvigorate the contact center to not only meet, but go above and beyond customers’ expectations—leading to increased customer satisfaction and net promoter ratings.

Women in Exodus: Reversing the Pandemic’s Unjust Effects – Part 3

We’ve returned to finish the conversation we started in our special miniseries of The Edge, “Women in Exodus: Reversing the Pandemic’s Unjust Effects.” In our final episode, we talk all about solutions. Join us, as Dr. Tan Morales, Global Vice President of Talent Transformation for Equifax, and Dr. Merary Simeon, Vice President of Diversity & Engagement at PepsiCo, share their expertise on empowering women to advocate for themselves and forge new career pathways.

Women in Exodus: Reversing the Pandemic’s Unjust Effects - Part 1 & 2

Millions of women have exited the global workforce since the pandemic began. It’s time to do something about it. In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we return with a special miniseries of The Edge podcast, “Women in Exodus: Reversing the Pandemic’s Unjust Effects.” Five of Skillsoft’s female leaders will discuss the pandemic’s long-term global effects on gender equality, the workforce, and women’s advancement. In part one, our leaders set the stage by exploring the roots of the pandemic’s disproportionate effects on women. In part two, our leaders recommend solutions they believe will be essential to bring women back into the workforce and restoring the gains they’ve lost. Then our leaders close out their discussion by sharing personal stories of the challenges, bias, and inequality they have faced in their own careers.

“Safety First” – The New Motto for All

This week we share with you the last episode of Season One of The Edge . Alison Cowan, of Brunswick Corporation, shares insight on how the organization navigated a safe return-to-work plan amid COVID-19, while continuing to nurture the development of team members remotely.

Aligning Mission-Driven Organizations with Mission-Driven Leaders

What happens when perfect alignment occurs between the values of a mission-driven organization and the values of a mission-driven leader? Skillsoft’s new Customer Market Leader, Leadership and Business Solutions, Rashim Mogha, touches on her personal journey of being a female leader, creating empowerment through innovation, and the power of positive leadership.

Safeguarding Against the Undercurrent of Volatility

Compliance training isn’t just important, it’s mission-critical. Skillsoft VP of Compliance Products, Norm Ford, shares his insights on the risks and threats organizations will have to safeguard against in the years to come and how companies can become better prepared to react during times of volatility.

Weathering Change Signals Need for Digital Dexterity

“Trust cautiously, sanitize frequently, share carefully, and cover exposures.” What does this have to do with our work lives, and how does it relate to developing digital dexterity? Skillsoft VP of Technology and Developer Products, Mike Hendrickson, rejoins host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek to explain, and provides insight into Skillsoft’s annual Signals report, Lean Into Tech: 2020 Tech Skills Trends & 2021 Predictions .

Five Predictions for 2021 from Skillsoft Leaders

In this special five-part series of The Edge, we bring together five of our Skillsoft leaders to share their predictions for 2021 – touching on key trends, challenges, and opportunities for the year to come and the role they will play in shaping the workforce as we know it.

Embracing our Humanity: Accepting Vulnerability and Authenticity

What stops us from saying how we really feel and being who we really are ? Jez Rose, renowned behavior expert, broadcaster, and award-winning writer, speaker, and host (and may we also mention, master bee-keeper) shares his insight on accepting authenticity and vulnerability and embracing what it means to be ‘human.’

A Talk with the Next Generation of Leaders

What happens when you’re entering the workforce in the middle of a global pandemic? Resiliency comes into the picture. Our very own Skillsoft interns join to discuss the power of resiliency in navigating these unprecedented times.

What Does it Mean to ‘Belong’ at Work?

Su Joun, a diversity and inclusion scholar and practitioner, professor, and principal at Diversity@Workplace Consulting Group, joins us on this week’s episode of The Edge to discuss how we can create a sense of belonging for all in the workplace.

Canon's Kyosei: It's More Than Just Company Culture

When you hear the name 'Canon' your mind probably jumps to the digital imaging company, but the term "Kyosei" might not ring the same bell. Gerard Pieterse, Director People Development at Canon EMEA shares what Kyosei means to Canon's company culture through the incredible story of their Bike for Congo initiative.

Transitioning to a New Reality for L&D

During these times of rapid change, comes the transition to a new reality, Michael Rochelle, Chief Strategy Officer and Principal HCM Analyst at Brandon Hall Group, shares insights on transformation in the learning and development field.

The Changing Face of the CLO

Charged with helping learners, employees and organizations reach their potential; the role of the Chief Learning officer is invaluable. In today’s episode of The Edge, host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek welcomes Elisa Vincent, Vice President of Global Talent Enablement at Skillsoft as co-host. They are joined by Dr. Karen Wolf, Chief Learning Officer of ManTech International and Emma Engel, Chief Learning and Inclusion Officer of Unisys to discuss the continuously evolving role of the CLO during transformative times.

The Power of Collaboration When Designing Learning Experiences

Challenging the traditional model of working in silos, many companies are taking more collaborative approaches to product development. In this episode, host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek introduces two guests Denise Accuradi, Global Manager of Virtual Learning at Manpower Group, and Potoula Chresomales, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Skillsoft, to discuss Skillsoft's design partner program that allows customers to contribute to the product roadmap.

Hands-on Training - Virtually

Joel Sklar, Senior Learning Designer at FM Global, shares how the global insurance company took its training program for Risk Consultant Engineers, which included training at a lab that replicates warehouse-sized fires, online.

Showing Up Virtually

In times of crisis, you can see a person’s true character in how they “show up” for the people who depend on them. This adage speaks volumes for full-service global event production company, PSAV. In this episode, host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek and guest Derek Blake, Divisional Vice President, Global Learning & Development, for PSAV discuss how the company approached the recreating of shared, impactful experiences in a transformed world.

Human Capital Leaders and Covid-19

Josh Bersin, a thought leader in the global talent market, discusses how HR leaders adapting to new roles and responsibilities.

Shifting An Organization’s Mindset

Beth Teixeira , Director of Learning at Comscore, discusses a pivotal turning point for the organization and how it transformed culture and mindset.

Bias Exists in Our Technology

Communications Intern Bethelly Jean-Louis and Dr. Ruha Benjamin, esteemed author/professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, talks with Michelle about discrimination and bias within technology.

Evolution of Leadership

Paul Michelman, Editor in Chief of MIT Sloan Management Review, discusses the evolving nature of leadership as companies reach digital maturity

Fostering a Learning Culture

Kelly Moyle, senior HCM consultant at Cox Enterprises, explores the impact of empowering all employees with access to learning and development opportunities.

Inclusion and the Growth Mindset

Special Olympics athlete Emanuelle Dutra Fernandes de Souza and Chief of Organizational Excellence Denis Doolan chat about maintaining international community and inclusion during the pandemic.

Reskilling a Workforce at Scale

Helen Sussex, the Director of Global Learning Design and Creation at CGI, discusses how CGI has navigated reskilling, upskilling, and futureproofing its workforce amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Safety Success at 30,000 Feet

No compliance? No takeoff. American Airlines’ Kari McClure, Director of Learning Experience, speaks about the importance of compliance training before any and all flights.

Creating Authentic Connections in a Virtual Landscape

In this episode of The Edge, David Meerman Scott, author of Fanocracy , joins host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek to discuss how brands and people are addressing the challenge of maintaining authentic, creative connections virtually during a time of uncertainty.

What's Next for Workplaces?

Ester Martinez, the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of People Matters, talks about adjusting to remote work and how this transformation has created irrevocable changes for the future of workplaces

Diverse Leadership

La’Wana Harris, Certified Diversity Executive and ICF Credentialed Coach, explores reimagining equity and inclusion in a time of reignited national conversations.


Check back soon for new episodes of The Edge.