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Convergence Day Two: Technology Can Empower People to Be Extraordinary

Cornerstone Editors

Day 2 has come and gone. Our first fully virtual Cornerstone Convergence is now in the books! On Day 1, presenters introduced all of the future opportunities that working in the new normal promises, and Day 2 speakers continued the conversation, highlighting the role that technology will play in empowering people to be extraordinary in the new world of work.

The day was bookended by two awesome keynotes, starting with our Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Heidi Spirgi, and concluding with the inspiring Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and host of the WorkLife podcast. Jam-packed in between were hours of information and engaging sessions, networking, learning and fun—let’s dig in!

People Can Be Extraordinary—Opening Keynote from Heidi Spirgi

Heidi’s keynote was a great jumping point from the introduction of Cornerstone’s new mission and vision shared yesterday by Cornerstone CEO Phil Saunders in his opening address. She acknowledged that yes, the world is changing but that we can choose to be a driver of that change or become a victim of it. Decide to be extraordinary—to adapt, create, learn, grow, change. To become unbound.

So what does it mean to be extraordinary? Heidi shared this video to explain it further.

Video of "Unbound"

Technology plays a key role in meeting these needs, and Heidi shared how Cornerstone is tapping into emerging technologies to deliver a more modern, personalized, intelligent and uniquely human people development experience. Tools like blockchain, skills ontologies, AI and machine learning are no longer buzzwords. They enable people to become extraordinary, and allow employees to be understood, guided and belong.

Heidi closed out her session with an inspirational message. "The world will change after this pandemic but human ingenuity can change it for the better," she said. People can be extraordinary and can be unbound by yesterday’s constraints. And when people are unbound, when people are extraordinary, they can deliver extraordinary results."

Hitting the Digital Transformation Highway

Our EMEA attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Vincent Belliveau, Cornerstone’s EMEA Chief Executive, on how HR plays a crucial role in helping organizations not only navigate uncertainty, but also accelerate through it as they embrace digital transformation.

Vincent emphasized that while it can be an enabler, no amount of new technology or innovative approaches will work if they are not fundamentally people centric. He then shared four priorities that will accelerate HR transformation.

  1. Help your company adapt to the new ways of work.
  2. Develop a strong skills strategy—it’s business-critical.
  3. Get behind the power of data to speed up decision-making, increase efficiencies.
  4. Embrace automation in order to make space for people to grow or try something new.

Vincent closed by urging attendees to put their people first at every stage of change and to "never take your foot off the pedal" of transformation.

Emerging Tools for Transformation

Empowering people to be extraordinary requires giving them the tools to do so. In Performance and learning: The key to unlocking people potential, a panel of Cornerstone customers including Kristy Touchet from Home Bank, Patrick Sorensen from GSI and Lorie Hess from The Bama Companies discussed how combining the performance and learning platforms has been a game changer for employee development—even during COVID-19. "Development doesn’t stop during tough times, in fact it’s more important than ever," Lorie said.

But employees aren’t the only ones that must be empowered to be extraordinary—HR teams need the right technology as well. In How to leverage AI to create an exceptional user experience, Cornerstone’sownLars Eichhof and Duncan Miller shared their recommendations for AI, machine learning and automation. These tools, they said, are tackling the challenge of scanning an increasing volume of candidates and choosing quality talent among them.

Learning Will Drive Work in the New Normal

The "new normal" isn’t quite "new" anymore, Cornerstone’s Jeff Miller, CLO and VP of Organizational Effectiveness, and Kimberly Cassady, CTO, pointed out in 10 things leaders need to know in the new normal. "We need to be proactively making change before we have to reactively make or respond to it," Jeff said. What does that look like in practice? Jeff and Kim offered these 10 recommendations:

One other critical ingredient for the new normal? Learning.In a panel discussion on Creating A Scalable Skills Development Culture, Vincent Belliveau connected with Meredith Taghi, from Deutsche Post DHL, Nina Bressler Murphy, from Novartis Learning Institute and Loh Gek Khim, from the Singapore Skills Framework. The conversation focused on how "skills are really the currency of the future" to power people development that in turn powers organizational growth and business transformation through skills mastery.

Global Industry Analyst Josh Bersin echoed the importance of skills in his session on High Velocity Learning in the Pandemic Every individual, every employee, every manager and every executive must understand that there is a transformation going on in their jobs, in their individual lives, in their companies and their business models. And learning is key to transformation.

For learning to be effective, organizations need to rely on the right content, the Cornerstone Content team explained in Delivering the right content to the right people at the right time. As we adapt to the new normal, professional skills training is essential and learning must be accessible anytime, anywhere. The key takeaway? Employees need to be equipped to adapt and prepare for the changes in their personal and professional lives—our content offering has the courses to enable your employees to do just that.

Already, clients are using content to more effectively reach learners with timely, relevant resources. In How to engage learners in a rapidly changing world, a client spotlight session featuring Bancorp, Hulu and Davita Kidney Care, customers shared how they’ve used content to cope with the pandemic and ongoing social issues. Bancorp, for example, introduced a playlist of courses to train employees and managers around racial bias. Hulu, meanwhile, has recently rebuilt its learner experience to model its consumer platform, creating a more intuitive and easy-to-use platform for their employees.

Building a Resiliency for Change—and the Future

As employees accept the "new normal" and work towards embracing it, mindset and organizational culture will be foundational to empowering them. In his session, Building mindfulness, resilience and mental wellbeing skills in a changing world, Joe Burton, founder of Whil, shared some of the key stressors, both big and small, that occupy employees’ minds today.

But, there is a way to cope with these anxieties: practicing mindfulness, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. "Employees need to bring these skills with them every day," Joe said. "Cornerstone and Saba, through the partnership with Whil make these skills attainable."

Closing Keynote by Adam Grant on Creating a Culture of Productive Generosity

To wrap up day 2 of Convergence and the conference as a whole, organizational psychologist, bestselling author, and host of WorkLife, a TED original podcast, Adam Grant took the virtual stage to share his tips for nurturing givers, who are essential to a positive—and resilient—organizational culture.

Adam stated a simple goal for organizations: Recognize the importance of people who believe in generosity and care about each other—they aren’t values you should leave at the (home) office door. If we can do a better job supporting and nurturing givers (and shielding them from takers), we’ll move towards a world where people can build better relationships and strong communities, and get more work done, too. Thanks for an inspiring keynote to end Convergence, Adam!

Exploring, Networking and Learning

In between sessions, attendees today also took time to explore Cornerstone and Convergence sponsors (thank you, sponsors!). In the virtual expo hall, sponsors including JazzHR, Kokoroe, XOS and many others shared engaging videos about their products and answered questions via live chat, from explaining how to use certain features to sharing origin stories about their company name.

As part of the Explore Cornerstone feature, attendees learned about Cornerstone’s products too, scheduling demos and speaking directly to product experts. There was plenty to learn, and plenty of ways to engage, from getting involved with the Cornerstone Foundation, an organization service nonprofits around the world, to applying for a client RAVE award! Our favorite part of exploring? Seeing attendees exchange recommendations in the product chats!

With a shorter day of sessions on day two, attendees enjoyed some moments of zen, following guided meditations from Whil, and squeezing in some yoga. Even ten-minutes was enough to take the pressure off and decompress!

And That’s a Wrap of #CSODConf20!

With this first ever virtual Convergence behind us, we eagerly await our next opportunity to connect with all of you. Until then, we’re so grateful that you’ve joined us on this journey. Let’s take a look back on some of our favorite social moments of the day. We’ll see you again soon!

To watch any sessions you missed during the conference, visit: www.cornerstoneconvergence.com. And keep the conversation going! Follow Cornerstone Convergence 2020 on social media channels, visit: Twitter @CSODConvergence, Instagram @CornerstoneOnDemand and Facebook @Cornerstoneconvergence. You can engage with the conversation using #CSODConf20.

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Learning Technologies 2022: key takeaways and learnings

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Learning Technologies 2022: key takeaways and learnings

Missed us at Learning Technologies 2022 this year? Here’s a roundup of our activities and sessions at the event. It was great to be back face to face, chatting all things learning and development. It was also the first opportunity to hear the findings from our latest Cornerstone People Research Lab Report, our enlightening global survey on everything skills development. These are some key findings from the Report: Employers and employees aren’t fully aligned on current skills focus. There continues to be a significant Skills Confidence gap between employers and employees when it comes to confidence in their organisation’s current ability to help them develop new skills. This gap not only persisted from 2020, but - on average - grew wider. Employees are not confident their companies are prioritising skills in the future. The research revealed that only 55% of employees are confident in their organisation’s future prioritisation of new skilling opportunities for them. The Skills Confidence Gap narrowed or widened depending on organisational strength. High-performing organisations (HPOs) had a much smaller gap between employees and employers. HPOs not only prioritised skill development at a much higher level than their peers, but their employees also agreed with them — with only an 11% gap between employer and employee perception. Meanwhile, Laggards (low-performing organisations) not only rated their prioritisation of skill development much lower, but less than 20% of employees in those organisations also agreed that skills development is an important objective — a 42% gap. Key Cornerstone executives such as Mark Debono, VP of UK, Ireland and the Middle East and Mark Lamswood, Regional Director of Content at Cornerstone as well as valued customers NSPCC, Essex County Council and DP DHL were all in attendance to share their industry insights and their own compelling stories. Here's a rundown on some of the sessions that were held: Mark Debono: Powering a future-ready workforce On the first day of Learning Technologies, Mark Debono, hosted a session unpacking some of the key messages from our Cornerstone Skills Report. Mark discussed how the playing field has fundamentally changed in the world of work, and the winners are the ones who can collaborate and engage with their workforce. Mark also delved into some of the most common challenges and opportunities facing every organisation including the skills shortage and shared actionable insights on how to efficiently scale your business’s growth and development plans. A key takeaway from the session Mark hosted, was that talent leaders hold the golden thread of connecting people with growth opportunities, bringing in new talent, alongside optimising future-readiness for all.  Mark Lamswood and Sarah Spence: Content takes centre stage - How the pandemic and great resignation are super-charging L&D Mark Lamswood and Sarah Spence, Senior Solution Consultant at Cornerstone together discussed how to engage employees and make work, learning and development meaningful for everyone. As we know, learning has changed for good: employees expect personalised, on-demand and impactful development approaches. These are some interesting stats and insights from the session: Interest in learning increased six-fold during the pandemic 4.63 million minutes of learning has been consumed in the UK over the last twelve months On average, interest in learning has tripled, with key topics ranging from unconscious bias, diversity, equity and inclusion to mental health and effective communication NSPCC: Re-imagining the learner experience to improve outcomes for children The session hosted by one of our customers, the NSPCC, was certainly interesting as they discussed how they’re using Cornerstone technology to reimagine the learner experience for Childline, improving outcomes for child wellbeing through learning and development. They elaborated on their approach of blended learning, improving digital accessibility, and making sure all learners can come together to share resources. NSPCC shared their journey of how they have successfully integrated the Cornerstone learning platform and their vision for 2031. It was a brilliant event that led to insightful discussions and informative sessions and indeed fostered a learning environment for all who attended. To read more on the Cornerstone Research Lab Report “Addressing the Global Skills Shortage: Your Path Through the Wilderness” please click here.

Cornerstone + SumTotal

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Cornerstone + SumTotal

Everything Cornerstone accomplished in Q2

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Everything Cornerstone accomplished in Q2

The first quarter of 2022 was a pretty great one for Cornerstone. You may have read our blog about everything we accomplished. So when we say that this quarter exceeded the high expectations we had coming out of Q1, know that we mean it. Mainly because we wouldn't have written this blog if we didn't. In the second quarter of 2022, we were all about growth. Growth in our people, capabilities, expertise and ambitions. Here are just a few of the things we accomplished in Q2: Uncovered leading trends across our industry Expanded our teams and capabilities Secured exciting wins with and for our customers Received consistent recognition from global industry expert Each of these achievements helped cement our position as a leader in learning, skills development, content, and AI-powered people experiences. And even with all that, there's still more to say about what Cornerstone accomplished in Q2. Identifying leading trends across the skills development landscape We kicked things off in a big way in Q2 with the release of our second global research study, Thriving in the Global Skills Shortage: Your Path Through the Wilderness. The report placed a bright spotlight on organisational trends in the evolving skills development landscape, with a specific focus on the widening employee-employer Skills Confidence Gap and the ongoing sense of urgency surrounding skills and talent shortages. The top three key findings from our research were: Employers and employees aren’t fully aligned on skill prioritisation Employees are not confident their organisations are prioritising skills in the future The Skills Confidence Gap narrowed or widened depending on organisational strength Cornerstone CEO Himanshu Palsule summed it up best, calling the research findings a demonstration of "how organisations and their people continue to see skills development as an increasingly important part of navigating their shared future successfully.” Remaining intentional in our business expansions We acquired a full other company this quarter. And we made definitive plans to acquire another. This is how we really kicked our “growth” into full gear. In Q2, we proudly completed the acquisition of EdCast, and with it promoted our intentions to revolutionise the learning landscape. Together, our teams have united and shared ambitious goals to solve the most critical talent and business demands we're seeing in work today. We can’t wait to watch as our shared vision comes to life. The Cornerstone and EdCast teams got to work quickly, announcing an exciting Zoom integration that will embed learning and training tools to help drive productivity and upskilling. And what comes next after the completion of one acquisition? Plans for a second, of course. We quickly followed the completion of our EdCast acquisition with the announcement of our definitive plans to acquire SumTotal. Now, we can’t share too much just yet, but we can say that this partnership will introduce some seriously impactful improvements for our customers in how they identify and develop the skills of the future, engage and grow their people, and adapt to organisational agility. EdCast and SumTotal weren’t the only newcomers on the block, however. We also welcomed two powerhouse leaders to our executive team: Ryan Courson joined Cornerstone as our chief financial officer. A fun fact about Ryan? He previously served as the youngest CFO of a public company, the Seaspan Corporation (no big deal!). Carina Cortez also joined Cornerstone as our chief people officer. Coming from Glassdoor as their CPO, Carina brings a unique perspective on the power of people growth and strong company cultures. Customer success all around the world Q2 was no exception when it came to helping our customers create purpose in what they do. Our successful efforts to help bring their organisations to the next level were reflected in our customers’ expanded partnership offerings, relationship extensions, and many new customers. Just a few of the legacy customers that saw more success with Cornerstone this quarter include: Smith and Nephew CDN UNHCR META O’Neal Allegis Group AmeriHealth Caritas Viking Group Inc. Americold Logistics Indiana Packers Corporation The National Bank of Indianapolis Ziggy’s Home Improvement Vital Farms Vensure Employer Services And new customers finding success as they start their journeys with Cornerstone: Grammar AG ASML Chewy Texas Commission TOI Management Many of our customers took their success to the big screen, garnering award-winning recognition. A special shout out to Suntory Holdings, Cardinal Health, DPDHL, and Estee Lauder Companies for securing big wins from the 2022 Chief Learning Officer in the Learning Elite Awards. Each of these customers was recognised for best-in-class levels of performance across five dimensions: learning strategy, leadership commitment, learning execution, learning impact, and business performance results We're just happy to be a part of it. Our customers weren’t the only ones winning in Q2 Seeing our customers thrive is always a win for us. We don’t mind accepting a little love from our industry, too. Cornerstone received a flurry of recognition from established industry experts and reports, including: Recognition as a Strategic Challenger in the Fosway 9-Grid™ for Talent Acquisition Ranking in HRO Today's L&D Baker's Dozen Named a Leader for Worldwide Modern Talent Acquisition Within Talent Management and Worldwide Modern Talent Acquisition by IDC MarketScape Winner of the 2022 Craig Weiss Top-Ten Learning Systems eLearning Industry’s Top Extended Enterprise Learning Management Systems List Rated as a Leader by HerbertNathan & Co. in the first Scandinavian LMS Report We also welcomed several meaningful awards in Q2 for our products, industry influence, and original content. Some highlights include: TrustRadius Top Rated Awards for Talent Management Winner Women Impact Tech 100 Honoree Top 100 HR Tech Influencers Winner Inspiring Workplaces Enterprise Finalist HR Tech Awards Winner for Best Advance in Practical AI in Talent Development 6-time Telly Award Winner for Cornerstone Originals for excellence in Diversity & Inclusion, Workplace Culture, Sustainability, and Corporate Training Q3 and beyond With the news of our intention to acquire SumTotal, there’s no doubt we will see even greater opportunities to help a larger, more diverse group of customers in Q3. Stay tuned for more on that in the second half of 2022. In the meantime, we’ll keep investing in our products, cross-functionality, and customer engagement to take our people experience, learning, and talent initiatives to the next level. We don’t take all these accomplishments lightly, and we’re proud to say that we’re on a clear path to changing the game in learning, skills development, content, people experiences and so much more. Be sure to check back in Q3 to see the latest and greatest from Cornerstone!

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