June 28, 2020

LearnSphere: Embracing Change in the ‘New Normal’

Annette Comeau Annette Comeau

News item 1

There is so much talk these days about getting back to normal. But personally, I hope we don’t. Let me explain.

History has taught us that after every major crisis there is a period of reset that is often driven by innovation, changes in behaviour, and huge market opportunities. The COVID-19 crisis exposed the inherent vulnerabilities in our increasingly connected world. According to experts, the coronavirus pandemic will not be the last global event of this nature. With that in mind, SMEs are especially vulnerable if they do not shift their thinking and embrace technology now more than ever.

But experts have also said that COVID-19 will fuel the next wave of innovation. Atlantic Canada’s innovation assets could be put to good use if we act quickly and strategically. Now is the time for SMEs to re-evaluate and reassess how to conduct business development in the ‘new normal.’ Over the longer term, it’s expected that COVID-19 will irrevocably change the way businesses compete.

Firms that choose to capitalize on these changes will succeed – the ones that don’t will likely suffer the consequences. When the COVID crisis hit, LearnSphere pivoted to help as many SMEs as possible weather the storm and prepare for post-COVID recovery.

Rapid Response – Stage I

In March, LearnSphere quickly mobilized to repurpose our services, tools and programs to address immediate and short -term client needs. Those preliminary actions helped over 500 businesses confront the COVID-19 challenge.

  • We transitioned our product delivery from in -person to online within 3 weeks. This proved to be a very successful strategy with excellent up -take. We now have a catalogue of 32 online workshops (available in both languages) that can be offered at any time, and we have proudly delivered over 82 virtual workshops since early April.
  • We are also offering remote 1:1 consulting to help SMEs survive and thrive. Requested topics include HR, leadership, business planning and positioning, product pricing, marketing and selling online.
  • To address the liquidity crunch, we waived participant fees on all our learning products.
  • To help SMEs with exporting and commercialization, we successfully negotiated a better funding formula, reducing the required contribution from SMEs by 15% – an essential step in ensuring they can participate.

Rapid Response – Stage II

Now that the initial emergency has passed, LearnSphere continues to strategize and work closely with our funding partners on how we can help our clients adapt to the post -COVID -19 environment.We remain convinced that there are significant new opportunities available to organizations agile enough to adjust their offering and business models. Stay tuned for more information on new LearnSphere programming that meets that opportunity head on.