News Briefs

The Business of Training "STARS"
Since we started on the journey of positioning the Institute's strategy training in February, I have been searching for a clear brand identity. Strategy was just too vague and encompasses a lot of things we aren't. Sun Tzu's strategyt; "Sun Tzu's strategy," and the Sun Tzu's "Sun Tzu's strategy" of Sun Tzu are all useful as descriptions but not as a brand. Our unique selling proposition is that we trained people in a new and better form of decision-making but the terms that describe it, "recognition-primed decision making," "strategic reflexes," "adaptive thinking," and "thin slicing" were all just descriptive and technical. "Sun Tzu's Adaptive Response Strategy," happens to spell "STARS," which connects nicely to our compass star, the stars of a general, and the very idea of becoming a leader. It also lends itself well to specialization in the form of "Sales STARS," "Entrepreneur STARS," and other such programs.

Serializing Col. John Boyd's Article on Strategy
As many of you may know, Col. John Boyd and his OODA loop have been a big part of bringing Sun Tzu's concepts into wider acceptance both in military and business worlds. I have just finished reading Certain to Win, a recent book by Chet Richards, who was a close associate of Boyd's. Since our job is bringing together all these ideas and their expressions into one place, we will be serializing parts of Boyd's work to familiarize people with his methods an d thoughts regarding strategy.

Major Don Vandergriff At Trainers Meeting
We have decided to bring Don to our trainers meeting. What he brings to the organization is a number of training exercises and tactical decision games for practicing decision-making skills under pressure. He has been working training the US Military with these methods for some years. We are going to be emphasizing exercises as opposed to just education as a distinctive part of the STARS training program, both on-line and on-site. We need more educational material, but we have quite a lot. What we need more of is exercises. Don gives us head start in that arena since most of his training of people in the military is based on exercise as opposed to PowerPoint shows.

Strategy School and Warrior Class Lesson Conversion

Last week we started converting the Warrior Class Lessons to Flash programs via Articulate. We may have first lessons up on site by the end of this week. We have also found someone to move the Strategy School itself over to a new platform, the CMS called Moodle. Articulate works with the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) to keep track of which courses have been taken by which students. As we add more material and more advanced forms of certification, we want to have a more complete and robust class system.

Sarah Palin and our Server Problems
We have had all of our site hosted by Lunar Pages for several years, but that is changing because of our recent experience. Last Friday, we had a serious problem with them that we are still recovering from. If you tried to contact us in the last few days and didn't hear back, your message was probably lost, please resend. Lunar Pages took down our whole site because it was slowing down the server it was on. They put our site on a "non-production" server, which means that nothing worked (no shopping cart, no blog, etc.). I had predicted in my blog that Sarah Palin would be the surprise VP pick back on July 14th. So when she was picked, I had written the story literally before anyone else had the chance so my blog came up when people started googling Sarah Palin VP Pick. However, the hard part of this is that LunarPages apparently treats a spike in customer traffic as a problem, which I guess it is. I moved the blog to another host so LunarPages will put my site back into production and we can get stuff working again.

Newest Trainer: Rod Brown
Rod comes to us from working in a background of working in criminal justice, risk management, and lean government practices. He is our first trainer in the Pacific Northwest, working out of McMinnville, OR. I am hoping that since he is in my general area (I am in Seattle), I will get more of an opportunity to work with him personally. Those coming to the Trainer's meeting will get a chance to meet him.

Strategy Trainers Meeting
We have finalized the room for our Strategy Trainers Meeting on September 22-24 in Las Vegas at Harrah's Conference Center. We are changing the agenda to front-load the meeting with topics of the most interest to the most attendees so that those who cannot be with us the whole time will get as much as possible out of it. One the last two days of the week, I will continue to meet with those who want more training and to do more work at my suite at the Venetian. We have gotten a room a little larger that the current group so we can add a few more late registrants. The price for registration is $149. I am sorry, only licensed trainers are invited.
Registration link, click here.

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