Q&A With Ike Bennion, Director of Product Marketing, Innovation & Strategy at Cornerstone

This interview is part of a series on Workology that features an HR Technology company, its innovators and its features. For this post, we’re talking to Ike Bennion with Cornerstone.

Ike Bennion is the director of product marketing, innovation and strategy at Cornerstone, which includes market analysis and strategy development for learning products. He has written and presented on various HR functions, including learning, performance, recruitment, content and benefit strategy. Bennion is also an expert on applying emerging technologies to HR functions, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), skills technology and virtual reality (VR). 

5 Questions With Ike Bennion, Director of Product Marketing, Innovation & Strategy at Cornerstone


Q: What are the biggest shifts that you’ve seen as we work to recover from a global pandemic that impacted our workplaces so significantly? 

Over the last few years the whole world as we knew it changed and learning is no exception. During the pandemic, we saw a significant spike in the number of people who turned to online and self-directed learning in order to quickly grasp new skills to navigate a changing world of work. The interest in online learning is driven by the main shifts we see in the workplace, including an increased focus on internal mobility, reskilling, and gig and contract work inside the company.  

While there was an adjustment period for employees to adapt to online learning, people see the value in online learning and are leaning into self-directed learning to support themselves through change, upskilling and reskilling, and advancing their careers. It’s incumbent upon businesses to offer compelling and varied learning opportunities now so their employees can continue adapting and preparing for what comes next. 

Q: Can you tell us how Cornerstone is working to enable “back to human” strategies for today’s business leaders?

Before the pandemic, HR leaders were focused on reducing costs, optimizing processes and applying new technologies to their existing HR models, all of which caused HR to lose its vital human element. But the pandemic shed light on how we, collectively, neglected the very things that make HR so important. So, Cornerstone is empowering organizations to re-focus on people and through Cornerstone Xplor, addressing the employee experience in a more targeted, dynamic way by helping organizations create a connected experience, as well as accelerating their opportunities to grow and develop with a shared view of success. 

Enabling “back to human” strategies also extends to how companies retain their workforce.  Companies are now focused on rebuilding their talent practices around skills and capabilities, rather than focusing on tenure, position or credential. Cornerstone’s new vision is for a holistic system of work that drives this change forward. Through our innovations in architecture, AI, content curation and delivery, we are enabling talent leaders to focus on building purpose-driven cultures that offer their people new opportunities to develop, innovate, connect and thrive, while keeping their teams aligned on shared goals. 

Q: How does Cornerstone Xplor help improve employee experience?

First, we have to acknowledge an important fact in experience: providing options isn’t the same personalization. Current experience providers have done a lot to get things into one place, but they don’t truly hit the mark on understanding employees and driving a personalized growth path.

At Cornerstone, we recognize today’s workforce is more mobile, more dynamic and more diverse than ever before, and creating a personalized and connected system of work is essential. Cornerstone Xplor sits at the center of this new system of work. We call it a holistic people growth experience, and it is designed to deliver a fully integrated and hyper-personalized journey of learning, skill development, growth and career mobility for every person. It improves the employee experience through its AI and integrated skills technology which help customers identify, align and accelerate new skill development across their workforce to create more opportunities, more fluidity and more connected experiences that are individualized, self-driven and skills-forward. 

Q: How is Cornerstone Xplor different from traditional learning experience platforms? 

Unlike traditional Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs), Cornerstone Xplor is a holistic transformative development and growth experience that intelligently connects skill development directly to immediate and long-term business results. Other LXPs deliver only some elements of the growth journey in various applications, while Cornerstone Xplor has consolidated all of these elements into one single destination. 

The unique power of Cornerstone Xplor’s capabilities is shown in its ability to match employees with opportunities to either gain new skills or demonstrate existing ones in a fully connected, personalized and intuitive experience. The platform facilitates self-directed learning and is adept at driving a personal growth experience powered by a person’s interests, disinterests, skills, preferences, behaviors, traits, work experiences and goals. Talent leaders can connect talent with internal opportunities like career paths, short-term projects and mentorship in their organization, building a more agile and responsive workforce driven by a sense of purpose. 

Q: How does Cornerstone Xplor fit into your company’s vision for a new system of work?

Cornerstone’s vision for a new system of work is designed to help our customers and their employees meet the evolving nature of work. Our system of work will transform how customers manage and grow their workforces by removing talent complexity technology silos and introducing a unified and holistic approach to talent, improving workforce agility and uniting people and businesses on a path to success. Cornerstone Xplor is an essential part of this vision as employees can create their own growth experience that is uniquely personal and talent leaders can cultivate a connected workforce aligned in purpose and success. 

For more information about Cornerstone Xplor, please visit their website

About Cornerstone

Cornerstone powers the future-ready workforce with adaptive HR solutions designed to unite technology, data and content and inspire a work environment of growth, agility and success for all. With an AI-powered, skills-forward, experiential system designed for the contemporary workforce, we help organizations modernize their learning and development experience, deliver the most relevant content from anywhere, accelerate talent and career mobility and establish skills as the universal language of growth and success across their business. Cornerstone serves over 6,000 customers and 75M users and is available in 180 countries and 50 languages.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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