WeTechCare and the Cornerstone Ecosystem: Great Minds Think Alike
In the modern workplace, we hear a lot about “collaboration” and, as building bridges tends to be more effective than building walls, the results of collaboration can be pretty awesome.
Since joining the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation last year, I have been navigating the partnership space with its myriad of nuances: within the ecosystem of the Cornerstone family, within the nonprofit sector, and across industries.
Genuine collaboration between stakeholders requires time and trust before aligning agendas is possible. I am a passionate believer that by connecting people’s visions and values, whilst leveraging their competencies and interests, we can greatly increase the quality of our work and the overall impact of our actions. I try to apply this belief in my work at the Foundation.
I believe the best way to describe anything is with a real story, so allow me to take you on a journey of collaboration (and the best thing is that the journey has only just started!).
Last year, the Foundation welcomed its first French Impact Grantee: WeTechCare, a non-profit organisation with a mission to facilitate internet access in an increasingly digitalised world. They offer e-learning modules to social services and public sector organisations to enable the development of e-skills among the most vulnerable members of the population.
This project brought together the WeTechCare team, a pretty awesome group of “Cornerstars” based between Paris and Amsterdam, and Takoma - one of Cornerstone’s partners - coming together to implement the learning solution and create some of the e-learning content to be used on the platform.
It was not the most straight-forward recipe for our first grantee outside of the US, and, even more challenging, the project “Les Bons Clics” had several new or unusual requirements for our Learning solution. Yet, it led to a successful meeting of minds.
Anais and Camille, Project Managers at WeTechCare in Paris, and Micha, Cornerstone Implementation Consultant based in Holland, managed the remote nature of their relationship with gusto—making the most of their time on site together to tackle the many challenges, with invaluable support provided by the sharing of expertise and, of course, food (in true continental fashion!)
You know you have the right match when the feedback you receive from a partner/client is that the collaboration [with Micha] went far beyond the basic client/service provider relationship.
Although the project required a lot of extra hours to make it work, this is another example of a “job” being more than a job, leading to great learning opportunities and new connections. Connections that will undoubtedly stay with the people involved well after the completion of the project.
Added to the mix was the expertise of the team at Takoma, and the (literally) priceless value of pro bono contributions. It was a “natural” way for Takoma staff to give back: it did not take Vincent, an Associate at Takoma, much convincing to get his collaborators to raise their hand to take part in the WeTechCare adventure as it is very much part of the DNA of the company.
So yes, collaboration can work: it takes a lot of listening to understand and navigate ambiguity. And then, when the connection is centered around the “why”, rather than the “what”, we collaborate by taking the time to appreciate and align our unique and natural strengths – and therefore reach new levels of impactful relationships.
They say social collaboration is where the future of work lies. From where I stand, this is very much how we already work at the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation.