Welcome to Adaptimist

In Coping, News, Sticky by A. Geoffrey Crane

Hi there, and welcome to the blog for Adaptimist Insights. I’m your host – you can call me Geoff. Once upon a time I was a project manager. I was a pretty good one, too – I worked for the likes of Citibank, DBS Bank, IBM and many others. I got to travel all around the world and, although I’m from Canada, spent many years living in the Far East.

I Love the Smell of Bitter Ash in the Morning

Over my career, I became known as “the guy who can get people to work together”. I owned this about myself and fixing morale on struggling teams became my trademark. That is, until seismic aftershocks from a catastrophic economic meltdown knocked me out of my career in 2009. For two years, I floundered. I didn’t know how to find my way back to the work I knew, and the longer I stayed unemployed the less anyone wanted to talk to me.

Some of you might remember my old blog, The Papercut Project Manager. I set this up in an attempt to find clients. I was never successful in that endeavour–I hadn’t yet learned important lessons about running a business. I did, however, significantly improve my writing skills, learn about community development and make some wonderful friends (hi, Elizabeth, Samad, Dondi, Ty, John and so many others).


In 2011, I realized nothing I was doing was having any effect. After some seriously dark days where I had to make some hard decisions, I decided to go back to school and earn an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I worked hard and became a pillar of Dr. James Parker’s Emotion and Health Research Laboratory at Trent University (hi, Robyn, Laura, Hiten, Alex and everyone else). Leveraging the skills I had developed as a project manager, I focused my research on emotional intelligence in the workplace. I got involved in community projects and curriculum development, authoring and testing several emotional and social interventions. During this time, I also discovered that I’m a pretty good teacher (hello, Sylvie, Katy, Jodie, Kristen, Durham College project management classes of 2014 and 2015)!

In 2015, I was accepted to do a Master’s degree in Applied Modelling and Quantitative Methods on a full scholarship (94% GPA). This is where the rubber met the road. Through the use of statistical models (and industry opportunities–thanks, Amy, Michelle, Ranjini, Sandy, Jenny and more), my colleagues in the lab and I were able to validate those emotional intelligence programs I had helped to develop. With data on our side, we kicked off several research projects and became further entrenched in both the non-profit and professional communities.

Each new study shows us more good news about the efficacy of our programs and their role in reducing staff turnover, encouraging employability and improving important bottom line influences including job satisfaction, problem solving efficiency, work culture and more.

The Fire is Back, Hotter than Ever

Of course, as my work in the lab became more and more well known, the demands on everyone’s time became greater. To be able to meet our capacity requirements and separate for-profit interests from pure research, I needed to create an independent company wrapped around professional objectives. And so, I’m pleased to bring you Adaptimist Insights–a professional training and development organization that offers advanced emotional and social competency programming. We aim our curriculum squarely at the unique needs of today’s skilled knowledge worker and we understand the challenges that today’s ever-shifting workplace holds.

Why have I told you my life’s story? Because I want you to know that when you buy programming from Adaptimist, you’re buying products that combine a lifetime’s worth of tough lessons with genuine skill, solid research, academic rigour and hard data. You won’t find any ivory tower, inaccessible content here – every lesson we teach, you (and your staff) can use right out of the box. I am VERY proud of the programming and assessment tools my colleagues and I have created for you.

I look forward to seeing you in class.


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