As the number of online learning platforms grow, we have an ever increasing wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. That represents incredible opportunity in terms of advancing our understanding of the world around us. But, the vast majority of online teaching essentially tells us what we should think about- instead of how we could be thinking. The distinction may sound small, but it has the potential to increase the likelihood that we achieve the goals we set for ourselves and it can optimize the outcomes of the things we work on. Elation Inc. was founded to address that oversight by combining the latest in neuroscience and psychology with a highly customized online and mobile platform.
In 1995, Chris Dimock, started one of Billings’ first internet service providers. Soon thereafter he joined a local chapter of the Rotary Club and met Bill Simmons, whose holistic approach to managing company culture impressed him. At about the same time, Ken Thuerbach had taken a sabbatical from running his very successful log home construction business to focus on teaching people how to think in more productive ways through a course he had developed and taught at the University of Montana called “The Principles of Personal, Business and Financial Achievement.”
The theme that you can teach people to embrace a different way of thinking, and radically improve the results they get in their life tied together the work that Bill, Ken and Chris had done, and led to the creation of the company they named Elation.
In early 2013, Chris and Bill put the plan for Elation together and incorporated the business. That year they also received a planning grant from the Montana Department of Commerce which allowed them to develop the architecture of their planned smartphone app. They later secured incumbent worker training dollars ( ) from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry that helped them grow their team. In early 2014, they solidified their Master Your Mindset℠ curriculum and developed the Edagio mobile learning platform (an app for mobile devices with a browser interface for desktop computers).
Since then, Elation has grown rapidly - employing nearly 20 people on their Coaching, Curriculum, and Software Teams, in addition to key administrative roles throughout the company. Chris points to the talented people Elation has been able to bring on board for the reason behind their success:
“It’s always been our goal to get the best possible team together, so we initially hired people with deep education and curriculum development expertise. When we expanded into one-on-one coaching sessions, we found people with incredible relationship-building skills. And, when we saw the possibility to develop a mobile platform that would ‘drip content’ over time instead of all at once for greater retention and a stronger takeaway— we hired amazingly talented software developers who created that technology from scratch.”
Elation’s technology platform isn’t the only aspect of the business that’s evolving; the team is constantly integrating refined neuroscience and psychology research which helps maximize the impact of their curriculum, and they’re always looking for ways to improve. As their website puts it: “we’re in the business of personal growth, and we believe that for us to be effective at encouraging growth, we must remain flexible to embrace change and new insights when and where they arrive.” Elation’s philosophy and innovative services have proven to be highly successful, proven through engagements with clients like First Interstate Bank:
Kevin Guenthner, Senior VP and Chief Information Officer for First Interstate had this to say about their experience working with Elation:
“We are an organization that is undergoing an immense amount of change due to both internal and external factors. My team is often at the center of much of this change. As such, the pressure to deliver and handle a myriad of competing demands can stress our resources. Knowing that we are not always able to control the changes, finding a way to handle them in a positive manner is important for not only for our employees who look to us for direction but for our own personal well being. Elation has been very helpful in providing us with guidance in taking care of ourselves, while we take care of our customers.”
That kind of feedback is what keeps the Elation crew motivated to keep innovating and pushing boundaries. Chris and the rest of the Elation team also see tremendous benefits to operating such an innovative business in Big Sky Country:
“This is such a highly networked state— you have access to business, government and education leaders at every level. There’s also this mindset where people are willing to share their knowledge and experience for the price of a cup of coffee. That combination of accessibility and openness isn’t really available in many other places…it’s invaluable to entrepreneurs and early stage businesses.”