Hi! My name is Shelby. I am the co-founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of AHz Learning Technologies Inc. Rather than describe my company and provide you with a lot of statistics, I’d like to share the story of AHz with you. I think stories provide insight and convey the essence of who and what a company is, and what it stands for far better than a description and statistics – I hope you do too.
The year is 1996. Two sisters that are passionate about learning and behaviour change, decide to start a company dedicated to performance and learning. They don’t want a company that delivers content. They want an innovative company that makes a difference in organizations and the people that work for those organizations. A company that stretches the limits of learning to self-discovery, change and growth.
“So what should we call our company?” asked one sister. “What do we like best about being in the classroom and facilitating the training we’ve designed?” asked the other. They both looked at each other and said “It’s seeing people have aha moments”! As they explored this idea, they talked about what they needed to do to create those ‘aha’ moments – those moments when people really ‘get’ what’s being taught. Nobody knows why, but before they knew what was happening, they were talking about the Wizard of Oz and the different characters in the story.
They knew that in every classroom or learning interaction there are people that are like the lion. They are afraid of looking foolish, of making a mistake, or having to interact with others. There are those that aren’t engaged in the organization or in the learning because their heart just isn’t in it; and there are those that don’t think they are smart enough.
Finally, their discussion turned to the wizard and how he wasn’t really a wizard, he just put things in place so that Dorothy and her friends could find what they were looking for. “What if we called our company AHz Learning”, said one sister. The AH will represent those important aha moments and the z will represent the lessons from the Wizard of Oz. “And we could be ‘AH’ Wizards”, exclaimed the other!
So that is how AHz Learning got its name.
Remember, at the beginning of our story the sisters’ goal was to have an innovative company that made a difference in organizations and the people that work in those organizations. A company that stretches the limits of learning to self-discovery, change and growth. This goal is their quest or, you could say, their Emerald City.
The Quest (the Emerald City):
To stretch the limits of learning to self-discovery, change and growth by:
- creating and delivering programs and workshops that open the learning centers of the brain;
- removing barriers to learning;
- engaging the learner with stimulating, practical content and interactivity;
- providing learners with numerous ‘Aha’ moments of insight; and,
- using inquiry and providing opportunities for self-reflection.
This journey has certainly been an adventure. We’ve had incredible highs and made a difference in the lives of many customers and their employees. We’ve also had our fair share of disheartenment and doubt. The founding characters have even changed, as one sister’s heart took her on a different quest. Yet this wonderful journey has continued and we remain committed to changing lives and organizations as we stretch the limits of learning to self-discovery, change and growth.
What’s kept AHz on this journey is the team’s passion for learning; their creativity and commitment to finding innovative ways to help people learn, and apply what they learned; as well as the people we’ve met along the way and our client cheerleaders.
The AHz difference is they come at it from the Wizard of Oz perspective. They want you to walk down that path with them, take you down that road to the end where you get that learning ‘ah’!
~ Louise Yates, Farm Credit Corp
I hope you’ve enjoyed our story. We’d love to help you on your journey down the yellow brick road to your Emerald City. Let’s connect!