Meet Alicia Shevetone, the CEO of SkillSource Learning Partners, which helps its clients meet their unique training, performance, and organizational goals. With its fully vetted consultant partners, SkillSource Learning Partners helps its clients to efficiently manage their Learning and Development (L+ D) resources with flexibility to coexist with the rapidly changing demands of their business. SkillSource delivers top-level consultants who bring innovative solutions and leave lasting impact through a value-driven partnership.
Alicia is responsible for achieving double-digit growth and leading a great team of high-performing individuals to deliver exceptional client satisfaction. She has been a member of SkillSource Learning Partners’ leadership team since 2019 and has been responsible for acquiring some of the firm’s largest and most strategic clients.
“At SkillSource, I thrive on the ability to work with clients from concept to completion. Each phase has compelling aspects – from helping clients to identifying challenges to maximizing growth and improving business performance,” comments Alicia. “The key is to provide solid, objective advice to help an organization develop what it may be lacking and enhance what is abundant.”
SkillSource’s roots are in staffing for L+D, which remains the core of its business. However, during the pandemic, the organization took the opportunity to meet with several Talent Development & Enablement leaders to understand where they were struggling. Those conversations had several common themes, including: the inability to diagnose and solve systemic talent issues, a boxed-in D&I strategy, and an overwhelming desire for direct and indirect sellers to transform how and what they sell. SkillSource responded with a revised go-to-market strategy that approaches talent from an integrated perspective, including the establishment of three practice areas:
- Industrial/Organizational Consulting
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
- Sales Transformation and Enablement
Ensuring Maximum Client Satisfaction
“When clients come to us frustrated after failed partnerships, it’s generally because their prior agencies didn’t listen, nor did they anticipate landmines. Anyone can take an order for services – that’s a staffing mentality,” explained Alicia. “We are known for asking a lot of questions, mostly to tease out the information we’re not receiving.”
The majority of SkillSource’s satisfied clients report that while they walked in the door for one thing, they sat on the couch for something else. This is because SkillSource’s consultants are masterful at discovery – there’s always more to the story.
“At SkillSource Learning Partners, we enable learning experiences. That is an inside-out and outside-in philosophy that applies to every aspect of our firm. Every connection point is an opportunity for enrichment. “
SkillSource’s Performance Consulting model ensures a balanced conversation with its clients. “By introducing our consultants early, they have much more influence in shaping our engagements,” comments Alicia. “Our consultants are proudly showcased through multiple media channels. This is definitely a ‘best in front’ culture.”
Rapidly Emerging Technologies
Alicia and her team at SkillSource are excited about XR Learning Solutions (AR/MR/VR). These powerful technologies not only play an exceptional role in soft skill areas like leadership development, but also in job-specific, hard skill training. SkillSource’s deep expertise in instructional and learning experience design gives them a unique perspective on XR as a progressive modality, including the confidence to tell a client when they’re not quite ready to make the leap.
Navigating the Pandemic
The pandemic affected every sector of the economy, including professional services. Alicia never lost sight of the human component. “This is a dynamic business but it’s also a people business. Some of our consultants were dramatically impacted, both personally and professionally, by its effects. Triaging client requests while also balancing resourcing demands was tough at times but thankfully, we have a phenomenal team.”
Advice for Budding Consultants
Alicia advises new consultants to say ‘yes’ as much as possible. Beyond developing a reputation as someone who can quickly figure out how to get things done, she also suggests they aspire to be resourceful, giving, selfless, gracious, appreciative, and volunteer ideas. “Don’t white knuckle out of fear. And when you encounter someone who is fear-based, lead by example to show them grace,” she explained.
Looking at the Future
When we asked Alicia about SkillSource’s future roadmap, she said, “We’ve doubled down on I/O consulting to assess, diagnose, and remedy Talent Development challenges. L+D is rooted in analytics but unfortunately training leaders struggle with leveraging data to inform scalable learning strategies. Progressive organizations are making significant investments in the science of talent. The science of talent development is next.”