Ernest Shackleton, Problem Solver

“By Endurance, We Conquer.”

This was the motto of the family of early 20th century explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. So when it came time for him to name his ship in the Imperial Royal Trans-Antarctic Expedition, he named it the Endurance. And that name came to define his team’s experience for the next 2 years–the ship sank to the bottom of the Weddell Sea, the team lived through unspeakable struggles in some of the roughest conditions on earth, but ultimately, together, every single one of them survived.

When it came time for Endurance Learning Co-founders, Brian Washburn and Tim Waxenfelter to name their company, they looked back at the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Obviously, it’s an inspiring story of ambition and adventure. It is a story of…endurance. But at the end of the day it is really something else. It is the ultimate example of pivoting with success. Sure, it’s easy to be a hero when things go right. But how do you shine when things take a turn?

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Got Training Writer’s Block? Maybe the solution is to do nothing.

Sometimes that need we all feel to be creative in designing our next training program, yet the ideas don’t seem to be flowing, can lead to all sorts of feelings – frustration, panic, resignation to just doing what you’ve always done and calling it “good enough”.

I’ve certainly felt all of these things. In today’s short podcast, I offer some thoughts in how I’ve broken through that training writer’s block that we all encounter from time to time.

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Solving Training Challenges: Technical Videos

As budgeting season is upon many of us, this is the time that you might be thinking about how to bring in some help for your next training project. If you’re looking for some help with in-person, virtual or elearning projects, drop us a line so we can grab virtual coffee and see how we might be able to work together!


Training content can be delivered in various formats. Recently, we worked with an automotive company who needed us to film an expert explaining a product and then build those videos into an Elearning course. Following is a brief case study of that experience; some of the visual examples have been modified to maintain the integrity of our agreement with our customer to not share their proprietary information.

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5 Lessons for Training Teams from The Phoenix Project

In the early 2000’s there was a major push in software development companies to find a better way to release software. This emerging movement was called dev-ops (development operations). In the book The Phoenix Project, the authors told a fictional story of a company struggling to release software and provided the main character and narrator a “guide” from the board of directors. This guide took the main character on a factory tour to watch the flow of work and draw conclusions. The idea was that the main character was supposed to draw inspiration from what the factory had learned about efficiency and quality and apply it to his challenges with releasing software.

The Phoenix Project book cover

We, the reader, get to be inspired by the lessons from both the factory and the dev-ops team. I was particularly inspired by five messages which helped our team rethink some of our approaches to our training and development cycles at Endurance Learning. If, like me, you think of your job as successful when you are on-time, on-budget, and on-quality, then there are five valuable lessons I’d like to share.

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Lessons from TechLearn 2022

Training Magazine’s TechLearn conference took place several weeks ago in Austin, TX. Different from a typical training and technology conference, this one was smaller (with participants in the hundreds, not thousands) and offered some different structure (including a “test kitchen”).

Recently I had a chance to speak with Kristin Torrence, Head of Learning Engineering at Talespin, and Betty Dannewitz, chief question answerer from ifyouaskbetty, about the lessons they’re taking away from TechLearn.

If you’re planning to head to a conference before the end of the year, you might be interested to hear more about how they prepare for a conference, and how they plan to get the most of our their conference experiences.

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5 Lessons Learned About Elearning Quality Assurance

When developing elearning as part of a team or even as a team of one, it is critical to think about how you’re going to test it. At Endurance Learning, we have evolved our processes over many years. 

When we started building elearning as Endurance Learning we were a small, nimble team where everyone did every role. There was no real structure to quality assurance (QA) and everyone took their turn at testing elearning. We often tested live with one person taking the course while the other watched on a Zoom call. Over time, we have evolved and created some more effective processes.

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How to Create a Wordle in Storyline

Last week I discussed the challenge of developing an interaction in Storyline inspired by Wordle for one of our clients and the issues that we came up related to the learner experience, making the activity reusable, and with accessibility. I promised that I would share my work if people were interested. We were delighted to hear from so many people that I decided to write up the details of how I created the interaction. While we were able to build an engaging interaction based on the game Wordle, we ran into some challenges that required some compromise. 

If you didn’t get a chance in the first article, you can try the Wordle built in Storyline. Read on to learn more about how we set this up in Storyline. At the end of the article is a link to download the Storyline file.

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The Challenges of Creating a Wordle in Storyline

Wordle has captured the minds of many, with a simple, yet challenging concept.  Guess a word through trial and error, hints along the way, and a little bit of luck. When our team was brainstorming ways to prepare learners to engage in a new topic, we decided to use a Wordle-type puzzle as an anchor activity with a little bit of a twist. Paired with a hint about the word, the learner is challenged to think about the upcoming content while also being presented with an intriguing problem.

If you’re into Wordle, or if you simply want to see what it is that I’m writing about, then take a few moments to play our little Storyline-based version of the Wordle (read on to find out why you shouldn’t open it on your phone). What follows is how we created it and some of the challenges we had to address.

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Advice for Starting Your Own Training Consultancy

Jason Meucci and Eric Girard both left the comfort and stability of working inside of larger companies in order to start their own training consultancies. While the scheduling flexibility and opportunity to “be their own boss” have been nice, they shared with me some of the challenges they’ve faced and some advice they have for anyone out there who may be considering the idea of starting their own training business.

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