As you may have heard, VitalSmarts became Crucial Learning last week. It’s exciting to stand on the solid foundation of the past and look forward to the unlimited horizons of the future. While preparing to participate in the ATD conference on the morning of the announcement, I thought about what this change means for our company, for our clients, for our trainers, and for me personally—and my thoughts turned to Roger Bannister.
For those who don’t know, Bannister was the first person to break the four-minute mile barrier. On May 6, 1954, he ran the mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. For years, runners had chased this elusive time barrier. The barrier was as much psychological as it was physical, and Bannister’s feat was one of the greatest athletic achievements of all time.
Its significance goes beyond merely breaking the barrier. In doing so, Bannister let others know it could be done—and so they did it too. Just 46 days later, Bannister’s record was broken by his rival John Landy with a time of 3 minutes and 57.9 seconds. What once seemed impossible was now achievable. Today more than 1,400 athletes have accomplished the feat.
At Crucial Learning, we are moving beyond training to inspire learning. We’ve made our crucial skills more inclusive, flexible, and accessible, and we want to improve the world by empowering people to improve themselves. Our new tag line is “Power to Improve.” Like Roger Bannister’s breaking of the four-minute mile served as a catalyst to future runners, we hope our courses do the same for you and the people you teach.
Our crucial skills help people improve their results at work and at home, and we can’t make that impact without you. As certified trainers, you are our brand ambassadors and champions. You help us make a greater contribution—to do more good in the world by giving more people access to skills that have the potential to solve some of the world’s toughest problems and help individuals find happiness and fulfillment.
One of the most significant elements of this milestone is the expansion and update to the Crucial Conversations family of courses. It now includes two separate courses: one focused on dialogue and one focused on accountability.
Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue (formerly Crucial Conversations) teaches people skills to become better communicators and gain the confidence to speak up to anyone about anything. Crucial Conversations for Accountability (formerly Crucial Accountability) is a course for people who manage the performance of others by teaching them how to address performance gaps through effective coaching and motivation.
In our newly designed courses you’ll see:
- New content that speaks to current challenges, like virtual teams, bias, multi-generational workplaces, and more.
- New videos that represent and reflect modern workplaces and communities.
- A streamlined learning experience and updated terminology.
- And more…
Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability certified trainers can train the new courses immediately. Watch for an email on September 15 letting you know how to access these new courses and how to get up to speed in training them in your organization. All resources will be available on our new Trainer Zone website.
We invite you to join us in our fundamental shift from training to learning. We are all learners, continuing to learn every day. We have the power to improve, and we can help others do the same.
I suggest two minor, but I believe powerful, changes to the otherwise eloquent statement:
CURRENT STATE: “…to stand on the solid foundation of the past and look forward to the unlimited horizons of the future.”
SUGGESTED TWEAK: “…to build upon the solid foundation of the past and move forward toward the unlimited horizons of the future.”
RATIONALE: To build and move forward is more proactive than standing and looking; likewise, moving toward the unlimited horizons recognizes we are “always in a state of becoming…” (always in a state of becoming is how Walt Disney described the Disney Theme Park philosophy).