Areas of Expertise

Language &
Culture

Linchpin got its start in the business of supporting foreign language and cultural training programs in large organizations. No one-size-fits-all approach to language learning works well for every student population or for every job where your personnel will need to use their language and cultural skills. Working in the space for over 15 years, our personnel have developed a process for designing the most optimal language courses for whatever your learning objectives may be.
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We train personnel quickly to very high levels and build sustainment programs to ensure acquired skills are maintained. Our trainees all know how to use their skills in real life situations, including in high stakes work environments. We treat language and culture as inseparable so your personnel can effectively perform job tasks in intercultural environments.

We are experts in building blended learning and distance courses, integrating technology into your training only as needed to support your program. We understand that what counts as cutting edge, innovative training is achieving and exceeding your training goals; we keep our thumb on the pulse of all emerging instructional technologies, but don’t let impressive-looking new technologies drive our instructional design.


Transformational Leadership

There are dozens of leadership approaches and training programs in today’s marketplace: Authentic Leadership, Transactional Leadership, Servant Leadership, Social Leadership, and Transformational Leadership, just to name a few. How do you know which type of training will work for you or your organization?
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At Linchpin, we’ve studied all the different approaches and seen them all in action. We find that although some approaches share basic underlying principles and while each has its time and place, Transformational Leadership is the most effective means of changing individual habits and behaviors and in creating a more supportive, inclusive, and innovative culture across organizations. This is also the most comprehensive of all the approaches, as it focuses on cultivating an awareness of what type of other leadership approaches you may need to bring in to optimize your performance in any given circumstance. 

The prevailing model of leadership training on the market focuses on sending individuals in the highest positions of an organization away from their work locations to train. Unfortunately, when leaders return to their home organizations with their new skills and mindsets, they are frustrated as the human systems and policies in their workplace environment have not undergone the same transformation they have. These leaders meet with resistance as they try to implement changes based on their training and new outlook. Often they end up leaving their organizations in search of a workplace that values and encourages their brilliant new ideas and inspiring new approach to leadership. In these cases, the newly-trained leader has just walked away with the company’s Return on Investment.

Our view is that organizations need leaders at every level, not just at the top. Including personnel from multiple levels means everyone is exposed to the same new ideas, which distributes ownership for change across the organization, increases buy-in to changes from leadership and helps transform organizations organically from the top-down and the bottom-up. The empathy, perspective taking, active listening, and mindfulness skills that our greatest leaders possess improve workplace culture and efficiency at every level of an organization.

All too often we see that transformative ideas developed in retreats and popular leadership training programs don’t appear practical once trainees are back at their desks. We are the only leadership training program that specifically addresses this issue, guiding trainees through a unique decision-making process that helps them integrate their new skills into their daily work life.


Women’s
Leadership

Most leadership courses today are built around the norms surrounding men in power. As women in top leadership positions in all sectors of society are still the minority, women still face additional challenges of changing norms and expectations for women in workplace culture. Best practices in leadership that work for men often don’t work the same way for women. Today’s Women need tools to boldly stand against sociocultural norms and expectations in the workplace, mentoring and developing other strong women leaders while maintaining their own platform.
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Our Women’s Leadership program helps women find their own strengths and unique personal styles of leadership, emphasizing empathy, emotional intelligence, and collaboration. Rather than coaching women to ‘fit in’ in their workplace, we guide them to change their organizational culture through demonstrating new and more effective means to communicate, mentor, and lead.


Diversity, Inclusion, & Engagement

Simply hiring a diverse workforce is not enough. Without changing the culture and the human systems that you are recruiting into, diverse talent is often not fully engaged, may feel alienated or unfulfilled and may leave. Our work in this space goes well beyond simply checking the box on diversity hiring; we help you build fully integrated organizations with institutional policies and norms that set a culture of inclusion, valuing contributions from everyone equally.
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Often leaders and decision-makers in organizations are worried about having difficult conversations in the workplace for fear they may open a can of worms they are unprepared to manage. At Linchpin, we don’t shy away from difficult conversations and we know discussions of complex topics such as race, gender, ethnicity, unconscious bias, and equity require expert facilitation to ensure all participants feel safe and understood. We model a culture of inclusion in our own corporate culture and are prepared to share our strategies with all our clients. 

Research shows once you set a culture of inclusion and set the stage for diverse representation in leadership with all voices heard at the table, your organization will far outperform homogenous teams. We are here to help you lead the way in creating a culture that actively embraces diversity in the workplace.


Technology Development & Implementation

All too often we hear how millions are spent on technology development only to have the latest, greatest cutting-edge new system go mostly unused. People continue to use lower-tech solutions they are more familiar with despite their obvious shortcomings or inefficiencies because it’s where they’re comfortable or because the new technology doesn’t quite fit their real-life needs. While the Agile process puts prototypes in the hands of end-users early and often to ensure the technology is user-friendly and scratches just the right itch, we find that this process is necessary but not sufficient.
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At Linchpin, we focus on the human element that surrounds technology development and implementation, ensuring that engineers, programmers, and project managers are speaking the same language as end-users. We have unique processes for drawing requirements out of users and in cases where they are unsure of what lies within the realm of the possible, we know the answer. We are the connective tissue between end users and developers, keeping all stakeholders fully engaged and co-authoring strategic and practical implementation plans that work for everyone.


Creativity &
Innovation

You don’t have to be a genius or have a PhD to have an earth-shattering idea. And ideas don’t necessarily come to us right when we need them - at our desks or in workshops and brainstorming sessions. Any one of us can have a revolutionary idea if we’re allowed the time and space to pursue unbridled creative thought. In fact, most great ideas come to us when we’re not working and concentrating on a specific problem, but when our brains are let loose to wander freely.
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 Yet, during our average work day, we can get so focused on meeting deadlines, attending staff meetings, and putting out fires that we don’t seem to have the time during our work day to be still and let our minds drift where they will. The fear of saying a ‘silly’ idea out loud only to have it ridiculed or rejected can also be paralyzing, stalling out our creative flow or leading us to keep our best ideas to ourselves. Job satisfaction and organizational progress suffer as a result.

At an institutional level, there can sometimes be a fear that personnel won’t get their ‘real’ work done if they are allowed time to be creative; that the time will be ‘wasted’ or ‘unproductive.’ There can be a resistance to innovation in organizations, where people believe processes, services, and products are fine the way they are and have always been. 

Like all our work at Linchpin, we approach creativity and innovation at both the individual and institutional level. We know that no truly innovative idea or project ever happens without some failures and setbacks along the way. Instead of focusing on ways to avoid failure, we help you create a culture where failure is celebrated as a productive step along the way to groundbreaking success. 

At Linchpin, we also understand that there is a time and place to develop every idea and that organizations need to prioritize which ideas to pursue at any given time. As the innovation process proceeds, we introduce clients to our unique methods for whittling down or distilling multiple ideas into fully implementable plans of action. We share our own processes for prioritizing and making responsible choices about how to allocate resources toward the development of an idea. True to all work at Linchpin, we help you integrate these new processes into your daily workflow.


Our Process is Transformative. Get Started Today!
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