About Excelsior Learning

Excelsior Learning, founded in 2001 by Dan Coleman, is a training company that specializes in designing and delivering custom, non-traditional training programs for individuals and teams to significantly improve their productivity.  Over the past twenty years, the company has developed a wide variety of programs for clients across a diverse set of industries.  The programs cluster in four primary skill areas:

  • Creative Thinking and Creative-Problem-Solving
  • Custom Programs in Sales and Sales Management
  • Negotiation
  • Team Building

The Excelsior Advantage

All of the hands-on programs integrate the use of creative thinking tools to strengthen the targeted skills of team members (e.g., negotiation, presentation, consultative selling), to elevate their confidence level and to anchor the use of strategies, tools and techniques as repeatable, sticky habits.  This is accomplished by leveraging the three Excelsior Advantage design principles:

It’s the Energy

The content comes to life through a high-octane mixture of content bursts, creative thinking tools, unique action-learning methods & learning exercises, practice simulations, expert feedback and facilitated discussions.  This combination of methods fosters an innovative and supportive climate so team members can learn and apply the skills, strategies and tools in a highly productive and idea-friendly climate.  This approach enables associates to encounter and embrace immediate learning and to apply the content to real-life situations.

Off the Shelf is off the Mark

All programs are designed to the unique client needs, no exceptions.  No two clients have identical needs so delivering an off the shelf program is simply off the mark.  To hit the mark sufficient time is invested with key people to discover and reach an appreciative understanding of what is truly working in their environment – and what would accelerate increased productivity.  Working from a framework of abundance, the three fundamental questions used in a creative-problem-solving discovery are:

  • What is right with the team – what is currently working?
  • What do you want to see more of?
  • What ideas are necessary to accelerate increased productivity?

These proactive, affirming questions spark a robust dialogue and facilitate early identification of novel and feasible ideas to accelerate productivity.  Let’s start with what is currently working as a baseline – and improve on it.

Investing sufficient time with key people and conducting a thorough and proactive creative-problem-solving discovery method to ensures every program developed is on the mark – and pays profitable dividends every time, no exceptions!

From the Habit in

All programs use a Post-Program Challenge where associates practice using the skills and implement the strategies, tools and techniques back on the job.  Strike while the iron is hot and anchor the skills, strategies and tools to be a sticky repeatable habit!  This post-program regimen is the special sauce ingredient that enables the training to stick…and to realize the return on the program investment.  The elements of the 21 Day Challenge include the following:

  • Teams of 3-4 people each with a team captain are assembled.
  • Weekly coaching calls are conducted where associates report out on their goals, the strategies, tools and techniques implemented, their results and adjustments for the upcoming week.  Associates receive expert feedback from the coach, their peers and the program sponsor.
  • A friendly competition between the teams is established where each team is provided weekly feedback in relation to their peers from the sponsor.

The 21 Day Challenge fosters positive energy and brings accountability and friendly competition together to ensure repeatable sticky habits are formed, the training sticks…and the investment in training pays off.  Now that’s a special hot sauce!

About Dan Coleman

Dan Coleman is the founder of Excelsior Learning and a leading authority on teaching deliberate creativity.  He is consistently praised by his clients as a knowledgeable and energizing trainer who brings fresh content, Break Set Thinking tools and techniques and unique experiential learning methods to deliver and anchor training to be a sticky, repeatable habit.  He has developed practical, fun and easy to use methods to integrate creative thinking with physical exercise to help groups to consistently generate more novel, valuable and feasible ideas and concepts!

Prior to founding Excelsior Learning, Dan led national account sales and negotiation teams at AT&T and American Greetings and consulted with Fortune 500 clients at Accenture.  Over the past two decades, Dan has collaborated with a host of leading companies and trained thousands of people in his trademark high-energy, non-traditional programs.

Learn more

Also by Dan Coleman

What if you could ignite innovation across your organization?

In Bursts of Fresh-Squeezed Ideas, you will discover how to:

• Apply a practical and repeatable creative-thinking and problem-solving
process, and robust set of tools to Xccelerate innovation.
• Master creative-thinking and problem-solving skills in a disciplined, flexible way to significantly improve your ability to produce novel and useful ideas and solutions that address real problems and opportunities.
• Re-energize your motivation, passion, and resilience, and get your creative juices flowing at a high rate.

“Dan Coleman brings a tremendous amount of positive energy and passion to the subject of creative thinking. He has a unique way of getting people genuinely excited to improve their skills. We have utilized many of Dan’s creative thinking tools and approaches in our leadership development programs, and have found them to be practical, easy to use, and most importantly—very effective.”
Zev Weiss, CEO, American Greetings

“Dan’s creative-thinking methods work. They’ve allowed my company to bring a defined process and set of tools to what was previously an undefined and inefficient method for idea generation and innovation.”
Mark Savan, CEO, Simonton Windows

“One of the biggest challenges in helping people understand and use creative thinking deliberately is the lack of comprehensive, accurate, and appealing materials for teaching and training adult learners in both content and process. I found Bursts of Fresh-Squeezed Ideas to be as refreshing as the title implies. An excellent resource for those who are interested in credible teaching and training in deliberate creativity!”
Dr. Mary Murdock, Associate Professor, Center for Applied Imagination at at Buffalo State University

Representative Clients