Hansen: culture change revived Cengage

Hansen: culture change revived Cengage

Changing business models to focus on students and provide a whole course experience has resulted in “a strong balance sheet” for Cengage Learning, c.e.o. Michael Hansen told The Bookseller.

Cengage emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, following a financial restructure to reduce its debt.
Hansen called the Chapter 11 filing “ancient history” and said changes the company had made—which included “putting student user experience at the centre of product development”—were helping it to grow.

The biggest challenge “bar none, is changing the culture in the organisation” to ensure that the new model worked, said Hansen.

“To get an organisation, in terms of culture and speed to market, away from a four-year measured publishing cycle into constant revisions . . . is probably the single biggest challenge,” he continued.

Cengage’s old business model, focused on faculty, is “no longer sufficient”. Hansen said: “We are putting student user experience at the centre of product development. Unless they are absolutely delighted [with a product], students will not pay a premium for product.”

Digital had enabled Cengage to “create a whole course experience for the student”, and free up staff to “spend time in high-value activities” with those in higher education, said Hansen.