Mobile-first learning bursts

DNA is a popular nanolearning series of self-directed, socially driven lessons focused on helping both digital natives (AKA Gen Z) and non-digital natives alike develop their people skills at work.

DNA Trailer

About the series

By 2030, Gen Z will make up one-third of the global workforce. DNA (Digital Native Advancement) is an award-winning series made to help Gen Z easily transition to the workplace, make connections with others, and navigate challenges. DNA features more than 50 two-minute courses, spanning topics like working from home, corporate sustainability, and creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

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Professional Skills

Leadership & Management

Modern Compliance

DNA: Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion

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

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

The results are in! Three Cornerstone Originals series — A Seat at the Table, DNA: 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 Table, DNA: 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. Learn more about Cornerstone Content today.

How to make learning work for everyone: Cornerstone wins at the Telly Awards

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How to make learning work for everyone: Cornerstone wins at the Telly Awards

Everyone learns differently. No matter the size of your organization — from 10 people to 100,000 — you’re faced with the same dilemma, how do you ensure your learning solutions can work for everyone? That’s why Cornerstone Studios creates a variety of series types. The more options you have, the more people you can serve. And their great work of providing outstanding learning options to our customers was just recognized with three Telly Awards! The Cornerstone Studios' original series “The H Files” and “DNA" took home three Telly Awards this year. The Telly Awards honor exceptional video work from advertisements, TV stations, production companies, publishers and more. “The H Files” offers workplace insights through the lens of history while “DNA” — Digital Native Advancement — teaches necessary skills to Gen Z as they enter the workforce. We spoke with Doug Segers, senior director of original content for Cornerstone Studios, about how these two learning content projects improved our customer’s workplaces and why nano learning and episodic storytelling connect with learners at any organization. Cornerstone Editors: What were your goals when your team created these two now award-winning content series? How were you hoping learners could benefit in the workplace from this content? Doug Segers: “DNA: DEI” represents the third and fourth release of our Digital Native Advancement, or DNA, content. DNA was our first original series built around teaching interpersonal skills to Gen Z, often referred to as a generation of digital natives. This most recent release is 14 lessons on various diversity, equity and inclusion topics. Lessons answer questions learners might have about how to handle specific scenarios at work, but each has broader implications and is also applicable to managers and leaders who work with Gen Z employees. “The H Files: Leading With Uncertainty” is the second season of “The H Files,” which teaches modern workplace learning by examining historical events and people. We were creating this season in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. It seemed like a natural opportunity for us to look at the flu pandemic of 1918 to see if we could use stories from that outbreak to learn about the one that we’re in. We looked for inspirational success stories to create a program about leading and practicing crisis management through uncertainty. Cornerstone: What lessons from the 1918 flu pandemic can people apply when leading during periods of uncertainty? Doug: There was a lot to take away from these individuals’ stories about how people survived a similar situation a hundred years ago. When we were researching, we found so much similarity between the ways people were behaving and what’s happening now. The rollout of misinformation, having to continue on with your daily life while in the midst of a life-and-death global pandemic, so much echoed our own environment. In most of the stories we tell in the course, compassion and empathy are a huge part of why these people were able to be successful during this incredibly challenging and scary time. There really was a throughline of empathy and resilience being a major driver as to why people succeeded. Cornerstone: The DNA series is a collection of nano learning courses. Why are short episodes an important format for learning content? Doug: Certainly, in the last five years, people's viewing habits have changed. They will move on quickly if they don't feel like the time that's being spent with any piece of content, learning or otherwise, is going to be valuable for them. Spend some time on Netflix or YouTube or TikTok — if you're not engaged, you're just going to click “next.” Shorter, episodic learning does become an easier ask than longer-form content when people’s lives are busy. The longest “The H Files” lesson is under 5 minutes; the shortest “DNA” lesson is under two. 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. Cornerstone: What adjustments did you have to make to produce original learning content remotely during a pandemic? Doug: I think lockdown actually, in some ways, fueled our productivity and allowed us to be agile and move quickly as it related to content development. For “The H Files,” we had to rely more on pre-existing materials — so historical content, B-roll, reenactments, photographs, illustrations, that sort of thing — instead of doing live shoots. We decided to use voiceover instead of a host, which was easier to produce remotely because it didn't require in-studio recording or on-location recording. When you're in production, it tends to be hectic, whether it's physical or remote. It requires us to tap into some different tools and skillsets in order to move the creative process forward and deliver a completed piece of content or a series that satisfies all of the variables that we have to hit in order to produce successful original content.

Cornerstone Originals — It's Our First Birthday!

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Cornerstone Originals — It's Our First Birthday!

Just about a year ago, we launched our first-ever Cornerstone Originals learning series—Digital Native Advancement (DNA)—and watched with excitement as our customers took it and ran! DNA embodied everything we wanted in our flagship Cornerstone Original. It was innovative and strategic, but it also captured our goal of amplifying a trending topic in a new way. And that type of innovation doesn’t come easy. This team—Cornerstone Studios—represents the best of the content business. We’re storytellers, videographers, writers, curators, dreamers, strategists, artists, but most of all, we’re a team of learners. And over the past year, this team has accomplished incredible things. We’ve stretched ourselves to create and innovate through constraints—and boy did we have a lot of constraints in 2020. The biggest of which was when our workplace shifted overnight from in-person to work-from-home. We closed both our New York and Los Angeles Studios back in March. And since then, we’ve had to find a new way to produce content. Enter the Cornerstone Boom Box—our remote production kits. Our team valiantly took on the task of shooting all new footage using iPhone 11s and remote set-directing through WebEx without missing a beat! All in all, we produced 10(!) programs using the Cornerstone Boom Box. It’s been an honor to lead such a talented, hardworking team and to see everything they’ve accomplished in the face of adversity during the first year of Cornerstone Originals. For those of you who have been with us along this journey, thank you. We’re just getting started. You’ll love what we have planned for this next year. Stay tuned to find out. If you’re not as familiar with all of the great Cornerstone Originals content, you can explore it here.

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