Invite in the aard-VARK

aardvark or aard-VARK

The very first project of the Agile Strategy Lab – back when we were at Purdue – was overhauling its educational offering: Strategic Doing practitioner training. Strategic Doing had been around for a while, as had training sessions. As with all good things that come out of Strategic Doing, it was the product of experiments (our question: “What would it look like if we could teach other people to use these skills on their own?”) It was time to consolidate what we’d learned, develop new exercises, and improve the participant materials. We took steps to invite in the aardVARK: visual, auditory, reading, kinesthetic approaches (including writing the Strategic Doing book) – abbreviated as VARK (we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the debate about the validity of that specific taxonomy – but we are confident people need variety). Learning happens on both sides at the Lab: we learn as we help others learn.

Another thing we’ve learned is that people want and need other formats. We continue to offer in-person practitioner training, and the Lab has the only online version that combines live sessions with on-your-own learning content (sessions of both are coming up soon – register now). We can also work with you to customize the experience for your group (especially the simulation that’s the highlight of the training).

We have more than practitioner training. We lead workshops for groups that want to get fast traction on a wicked problem. We’ve added Rapid Improvement to our toolset – a fast, effective way to overhaul processes, using lean principles.

In mid-2020, we launched Third Thursday, a free monthly gathering in which a guest offers a digestible nugget of content: a skill, a case study, or dives into the research behind a specific idea. By popular demand, Third Thursday sessions are now archived and freely available. We’ve just added the newest: Doug Dunston on teams and motivation. The hardest part of agile strategy isn’t getting an initiative off the ground (hard as that sometimes is) – it’s keeping it going. Complex challenges require long-term effort and Doug brings great wisdom to this hurdle.

Finally, we have several new short courses coming in 2024 – more on those in future posts.

Photo credit: Creative Commons via Store norske lexikon