Cambium Learning discusses how it’s embracing the future of work in edtech
The evolution of technology brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has produced countless opportunities for changing the status quo in almost every industry. From leveraging video technology to virtually connect people, to accelerating the use of digital solutions in Pre-K-12 classrooms to keep learning going, innovative solutions have grown through the pandemic.
Education, in particular, has historically been slow to embrace change. But the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated its embrace of technology, flexibility and innovation.
At Cambium, we’re embracing the future of education across every aspect of our organisation, with a focus on the present to create a better tomorrow for educators, students and our own team. The future of edtech is here and Cambium is leading with a purpose-driven approach to our company playbook that values flexibility and hiring top talent to drive our business forward. Here’s how.
More than a mission: a purpose
Organisations typically define their mission to share exactly what they are looking to accomplish within their community. This level of transparency was generally accepted; but now, as brands compete globally, it’s not enough to only support good causes and share heartfelt stories. Consumers and employees continue to demand more, asking brands not just why they are looking to achieve these goals, but how they will achieve themand when.
At Cambium, we deliver on our own promise of creating critical solutions to education’s most essential challenges through our Essential Elements of simplicity, certainty and now. These elements are used to drive our focus with intention and guide our business strategy, our solutions and our voice as leaders to make the greatest impact on education’s biggest challenges.
With that, we believe that a better way forward requires that we face all burdens with uncompromising determination until all educators and students feel seen, valued and supported. The elements of simplicity, certainty and now go beyond our customers — they’re also used to guide us internally. They impact how we treat each other, how we talk to one another and how we collaborate to produce our best work. These elements are the connective tissue that brings all of our edtech businesses together and provides our entire organisation with a clear rubric for delivering what teachers and students have told us they need most. In other words, if we’re not making the world simpler, not helping people feel more certain, and not having an impact right now, we have to think twice about what we’re doing.
Guided by a different acquisition playbook
For any company of complexity and scale to successfully deliver on its goals, it needs a playbook that outlines the exact steps it should follow that will lead it to its end goals. Many companies today look to accelerate their organic growth with strategic acquisitions.
The traditional acquisition playbook says you should buy a company, focus on integrating it into your business, consolidate operations and maximise internal efficiencies. In other words, it’s all about the company. At Cambium, we embrace a different playbook. One that helps acquired businesses stay focused on serving their customers, while Cambium remains focused on serving its businesses and the people within them.
This strategy helps Cambium maintain its unique structure, allowing each business unit to focus on creating great products, ensuring all customers feel successful and growing top-quality internal teams. It also allows space for Cambium to easily expand its family of businesses to solve emerging needs in the market.
At Cambium, we have taken the time to reflect on what both new and long-serving employees need most. From a hiring perspective, companies are no longer interviewing candidates — they’re interviewing us. Candidates have expressed the necessity for a more flexible, technology-empowered workplace and are looking for companies that value a work-life balance, care for their employees, and are working to make an impact.
Through this process, we have decided to flip the old storyline of “in the office first, telecommuting for a select few” model that has dominated businesses for decades. Instead, we have adopted a “remote first” philosophy, that increases who we can hire because recruiting is no longer bound by geography. It also greatly maximises flexibility and work/life balance for our staff, which reduces our environmental footprint with a near-elimination of travel, commuting, and other daily activities. These improvements have helped us understand what matters most to our employees and allowed us to have a better understanding of what qualities we need from them.
Ready or not, the future is here
We’re at an important time as we work through what has arguably been the most impactful shift the business world has seen to date. The companies that choose to embrace this shift as an opportunity to entice the best talent and focus on customer success, are the ones that will successfully bring their organisations into the future. As one of those companies, Cambium is embracing the future of work in everything we do.
Learn more about our approach.