The story behind triangility: Transforming ourselves to transform others

How it all started

Did you ever stumble over some old, long forgotten presentations from the early stages of your business development that still seemed valid, engaging and cool?

Well, I recently found one of our first company presentations from 2015 called Mozart was a Rolling Stone, and it still reflected the core of what we’re trying to achieve at triangility today.

Reviewing it caused a flashback to how it all started when Michael Pohl and I founded the company together. I still remember how we have been doing freelance work and training for many different companies at the time, putting all our energy into catalysing organisational transformation.

However, things often didn’t work out as planned:

Organisations asked for the delivery of generic contents that were not really relevant to the specific problems of the workshop participants. They focussed on a primarily cognitive approach to learning, and disregarded our hands-on ideas to training or development through storytelling. Using a classic classroom-style delivery, we had little to no opportunity to foster meaningful and sustainable learning experiences. Long story short, we were dissatisfied with the status quo of executive education and knew that there must be a different, better way to approach it.

The core idea of triangility: Rethinking how leaders learn.

There was a quote in our old company presentation that illustrates the core idea we had 10 years ago around how we wanted to deliver trainings differently:

Using powerpoint to initiate behavioural change is like slides explaining how to knock-out Mike Tyson

We still believe in this statement today.
It simply doesn’t work that way.

I remember one day where Michael and I sat down, trying to figure out at whiteboard how each of us could do more for our workshop participants, their organisations, and society as a whole. That day, we decided to join forces as freelance trainers to reinvent and deeply inspire the way people learn. That day, triangility was born.

What does triangility mean?

Now, you might wonder what the idea behind the name triangility was. Trust me, over the years I received that question many times. Since there is no one, definite answer to it (we believe that we didn’t choose the name, but that the name chose us…), let me give you a few options for interpretation that added up over the years, and you can choose the one that most resonates with you.

1) triangility stands for triangulation

Triangulation is a concept invented by the ancient Egyptians that was used over centuries in navigation. For every leader and learner, it is key to be able to navigate through the challenges in one’s inner and outer world. In this sense, triangility illustrates the ability of triangulation – of navigating uncertainty and complexity on one’s learning journey.

2) triangility is related to agility

Agility is the ability to move quickly and easily in an ever changing world. It’s not only important to learn things that are useful for personal and business operations today, but to be prepared for what might happen tomorrow. Agility is a core competence for conquering the ever-changing sea of obstacles, uncertainties, and disruptions leaders face in the 21st century. Triangility’s mission is to help people grow an agile mindset and facilitate the adaption of agile principles in organizations.

3) triangility refers to triangles

In training, Michael and I loved to work with triangles. Many simple but effective concepts are based on, or can be explained with triangles. So we started to play around with them, combining triangles with words such as innovation, sustainability, and agility, which eventually lead us to ending up with triangility. Of course I don’t need to mention the significant amount of beer and fun that was aiding the process of finding a name for what we wanted to do back then, which seemed rather crazy at the time.

The future of learning and triangility

Our core belief that learning is no one-dimensional activity which you complete alone or solely in the classroom, but a dynamic process that needs practice and peer-feedback did not change over the past 10 years since we founded triangility.

From the beginning, Michael always said:

Change means doing different things and doing things differently.

Looking back at the Mozart was a Rolling Stone presentation that I found, we included a very similar English saying in it that claimed:

A rolling stone gathers no moss – so keep on rolling!

And that’s what we do until today: We aim to continuously challenge the status-quo and re-invent how learning can be aligned to the needs of leaders in todays virtual and globalized world. With our latest training innovation that we refer to as Learning Journeys, we roll on and inspire many executives and organizations to join us on the path of becoming the Rolling Stones of the business world in the 21st Century: People, who do different things, and do things differently.