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Ensuring your organization is future ready: Cornerstone Originals wins 6 Telly Awards

Cornerstone Editors

The results are in! Three Cornerstone Originals series — A Seat at the TableDNA: Sustainability and The Glossary — recently received a combined six Telly Awards. This was the second consecutive year we’ve won Telly Awards.

The Telly Awards, for the uninitiated, honor excellence in television and video across all screens. Telly Awards Executive Director Sabrina Dridje stated on their website, “Today, the quality of video work is measured using a new set of values that consider the impact on a global scale. As our community continues the important work of storytelling, it returns with a new perspective rooted in values of innovation, agility, equity, and tenacious creativity.”

We joined other 2022 Telly Award winners, The Walt Disney Company, ViacomCBS, GLAAD, Sony Music, The Washington Post and more for excellence in learning content.

Go us, but how do these awards help your organization?

This year, the Cornerstone Originals series that won Telly Awards covered topics relevant to successful organizations, like Diversity & Inclusion, Workplace Culture, Sustainability and Corporate Training, in innovative and engaging ways.

“We are set on breaking down barriers and pushing the envelope in how we deliver authentic, relevant and brief learning content to employees around the world,” said Cornerstone Vice President of Content Summer Salomonsen.

The three award-winning series that Salomonsen and her team produced — A Seat at the TableDNA: Sustainability and The Glossary — are each built to help your organization find success in unique ways.

How to have real conversations about DEIB — A Seat at the Table

The Cornerstone Original series A Seat at the Table won two gold and two silver Telly Awards this year. In this series, real professionals have honest and authentic discussions about DEIB topics like Asian stereotypes, BLM, ageism, transphobia, mental health, disability and more.

To help produce the series, Cornerstone brought on Emmy award-winning producer David Grant as the head of production. Each episode of A Seat at the Table features four non-actors in unscripted, open conversations around sensitive yet critical topics within the workplace.

“Nothing is more powerful than a person’s lived experience. Real people sharing their stories and experiences humanizes topics and issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The roundtable format created a safe space for our participants to engage in constructive conversations. For learners watching, we hope that A Seat at the Table will help build the skill of empathy,” said Cornerstone AVP of Original Content Doug Segers.

You can bring the honest, perspective-shifting conversations of A Seat at the Table to your organization through Cornerstone Content Anytime.

Building a greener organization – DNA: Sustainability

Climate change is a dire situation and fighting it starts with learning and skills development. DNA: Sustainability address the actions organizations and their people can take to do their part directly and won a silver Telly Award for it.

The series, part of the larger Digital Native Advancement (DNA) umbrella, can help you and your organization promote recycling in your office, work with people who have different views than yours, make sustainable choices while traveling for work and more. Per Segers, “DNA was our first original series built around teaching interpersonal skills to Gen Z, often referred to as a generation of digital natives. Shorter, episodic learning does become an easier ask than longer-form content when people’s lives are busy. It’s about meeting people where they’re at when competing for their time. It’s important for us to make a variety of types of learning available, taking into consideration which formats and genres are popular and how people are consuming content across devices.”

Learn what your organization can do to fight the climate crisis with the DNA: Sustainability courses in Cornerstone Content Anytime.

Creating a common language at your organization — The Glossary

The Glossary, the Cornerstone Original series focused on defining and contextualizing common terms people hear in the workplace in less than 60 seconds, won one bronze Telly award.

According to Segers, “The Glossary was born from conversations over the years with both employees and clients. It is essential for organizations to have a shared vocabulary around common words, helping employees understand their company’s broader strategy and better align with employee and corporate goals. This alignment helps prevent miscommunication and improve cross-functional understanding, leading to increased productivity.”

The microlearning courses in The Glossary use memorable icons to contextualize common workplace terms. The combination of visual icons with definitions helps the words stick in learners’ memory and provide them with long-term retention.

You can ensure that everyone at your organization knows all the same acronyms, initialisms and other business terms when you bring The Glossary to your Cornerstone’s Content Anytime library.

More to come from Cornerstone Originals

With new, innovative series coming soon, nothing is stopping Cornerstone Originals from releasing more award-winning caliber content throughout 2022.

“Innovation in learning content, combined with our organization’s unique ability to connect learning back to skills, reinforces our fierce dedication to providing customers with resources for creating a more engaged, inclusive, future ready workforce,” said Salomonsen.

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Taking A Company-Wide Approach to Learning & Development

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Taking A Company-Wide Approach to Learning & Development

There’s a lot of coordination that goes into a company’s learning and development programming, from identifying skills gaps and creating engaging content to scaling initiatives company-wide. And because there’s so much complex planning involved, organizations can sometimes get caught up in the details, and overlook how L&D fits into broader organizational goals. A recent survey—titled "The Revolution is Now: New-Skill Your Workforce to Catalyze Change"—from Cornerstone People Research Lab (CPRL) and the Human Capital Institute (HCI) found that only 55% of organizations believe their L&D programs are well-aligned with their company’s overarching strategy. But CPRL and HCI’s survey reveals two logical ways to overcome this challenge. First, there’s a need for L&D executives to participate in strategic conversations around organizational goals to ensure that L&D planning aligns with broader business plans. And second, it’s important to share responsibility for learning effectiveness. If facilitating continuous learning is a part of everyone’s role, it becomes easier to integrate it organization-wide. Promote Cross-Departmental Collaboration and Responsibility To better align L&D efforts with overarching business goals, learning executives have to participate in strategic conversations about organizational direction. For instance, when business leaders gather to discuss goals and KPIs for the coming year or quarter, HR and L&D leaders should be involved in those conversations. And the opposite is also true: Business leaders need to help direct the learning outcomes framed against those goals. According to the "Revolution is Now: New-Skill Your Workforce to Catalyze Change" survey from CPRL and HCI, only about half (51%) of learning leaders report being involved in these discussions. During these business planning discussions, it’s important to establish accountability, especially among people managers. CPRL and HCI found 67% of people managers report being involved in the creation of content, but only 47% are involved in the accountability for the results. By holding more people accountable to the success of L&D programs, it can be easier for a company to spot pitfalls or opportunities for improvement. It creates shared goals for measuring effectiveness, and establishes a process for making changes. For example, by getting people managers involved in L&D initiatives, L&D leaders can work with them to get a better understanding of a specific team’s skill gaps or what reskilling or new skilling solutions will work best for them. All leaders in an organization, in fact, should be eager to participate and own their team’s newskilling, reskilling or upskilling efforts. Ask a people manager in the IT department to reiterate the importance of learning to their team, and track the amount of time their employees spend on learning content. This approach will not only create a shared commitment to continuous learning, but can also help leaders outside of L&D and HR get a better idea of what content or formats work best for their teams and recommend adjustments accordingly. Continuous Learning Is Everyone’s Responsibility Aligning overarching business plans and strategy with learning and development efforts can improve each’s efficacy. The more cross-departmental collaboration that exists, the more information that HR and L&D leaders have about their workforce and its needs, strengths and weaknesses. And with more accountability, all stakeholders in an organization can become more involved in ensuring the successful partnership between L&D and a company’s overall strategy. To learn more about the findings from Cornerstone’s "The Revolution is Now: New-Skill Your Workforce to Catalyze Change" survey and its recommendations for using cross-departmental collaboration and accountability to help with L&D efforts, click here to download and read the full report.

Why supporting neurodiversity is essential for any successful workforce today

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Why supporting neurodiversity is essential for any successful workforce today

When we think of diversity in the workforce, we typically think of it along the lines of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender. But focusing only on those four is its own sort of constraint. To truly create a successful and diverse workplace, you need to ensure you're also embracing neurodiversity too. Understanding neurodiversity In the late 1990s, a single mother in Australia named Judy Singer began studying Disability Studies at University of Technology Sydney. Her daughter had recently been diagnosed with what was then known as “Asperger’s Syndrome,” a form of autism spectrum disorder. As she read more and more about autism as part of her studies, Singer also suspected that her mother, and she herself, may have had some form of autism spectrum disorder. Singer describes crying as she realized that her mother, with whom she'd had a tumultuous relationship throughout her childhood, wasn’t purposefully cold or neurotic as she had thought. She just had a different kind of mind. In her honors thesis, Singer coined the term “neurodiversity.” For Singer, people with neurological differences like autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or dyslexia were a social class of their own and should be treated as such. If we are going to embrace diversity of race, gender, religion, sexuality, etc., then we must embrace a diversity of the mind. The following video is an excerpt from the "Neurodiversity" Grovo program, which is available in the Cornerstone Content Anytime Professional Skills subscription. Neurodiversity in today's workplace Recently, neurodiversity has become a trendy term in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging spaces. And many organizations are working to hire more neurodivergent people, as well as give them opportunities to thrive at work. That’s why, at Cornerstone, we recently produced a series of lessons on neurodiversity. If your organization hasn’t prioritized neurodiverse inclusion yet, here are some reasons why it both supports your people and organization. 1) Neurodivergent people are underemployed Neurodivergent people, especially people with autism, are widely under-employed, regardless of their competence. In the United States, 85% of college graduates with autism are unemployed. According to a 2006 study, individuals with ADHD have higher rates of unemployment than individuals without. However, there is no evidence that neurodivergent people are less competent or less intelligent than neurotypical people. Organizations are missing out on talented people. 2) Neurodivergent people are more common than you may think Neurodiversity manifests in many different ways. It can encompass autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, Tourette syndrome, and many other conditions. And as scientists have learned more about what makes someone neurodivergent, they're identifying more and more people. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 160 children have some form of autism spectrum disorder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in every 162 children have Tourette Syndrome, and roughly 8 percent of children under 18 have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. And that's just children. How many adults, like Judy Singer's mother, have struggled their whole lives without a diagnosis? People who are neurodivergent are everywhere. Diverse organizations are stronger Diverse organizations and teams not only have better financial returns than less-diverse ones, but they also perform better. Having the different perspectives presented by people who are neurodivergent can help your team solve more difficult problems. Different perspectives and different ways of thinking lead to creativity and innovation.

Why Selecting a Leadership Development Program Is Way Too Complicated

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Why Selecting a Leadership Development Program Is Way Too Complicated

Many organizations face a leadership gap and cannot find the talent needed to grow. We could blame the retiring baby boomer phenomenon, the free agent nation, or the lack of investment made in developing leaders. But since blame is a lazy man’s wage, I will not entertain that debate because there are too many options out there for developing leaders. There are many leadership development programs in the market. In minutes, with a simple Internet search or over coffee with your head of human resources, you can discover myriad high-quality leadership development programs that you could use in your organization to develop leaders. The problem is not finding a good program, but in choosing one. Answer the Right Questions So how does one choose? The problem we face in evaluating leadership development programs is that we get caught up in evaluating the content rather than asking a simple question, "What do we want our leaders to be able to do?" Each organization is unique in how it answers this question. And that is where the secret lies. If an organization can select a program that matches the answer to the question above, the selected program will likely be the right one. After all, each leadership development program is very good in some way. It is not so important which one you select. It is important that you use the one you select. In other words, the key is to not let it become another un-opened binder on the bookshelves of your management team. Be An Effective Leader Let me give you an example: If an organization’s answer to the question above is, "We want our leaders to be proactive and focused on the things that drive results," your choices are narrowed down to only a few programs that would deliver on that answer. And if I had to pick one program that would deliver on that answer, without hesitation, I would choose, "The Effective Executive" by Peter F. Drucker. It is a classic, and all five of the behaviors of effective executives taught in the book remain vital skills that any leader should practice if he or she wants to be effective in his or her organization. In the book, Drucker teaches that effective executives: Know where their time goes Focus on contribution and results Build on strengths Concentrate on first things first Make effective decisions This is not a book review or a plug for "The Effective Executive," though I do believe if you had to choose one set of skills to teach your leadership, it would be the five from Drucker’s book. This is a challenge for every organization to simplify the selection of leadership development programs, and ask, "What do we want our leaders to be able to do?" Answering this question clearly will help you choose the right program. After all, many programs are excellent. The secret to success is not in which program you choose, but that you get people to apply the program you choose. Photo: Can Stock

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