People in the Argonaut community know that connecting cultures is a human-to-human thing. We just do it better when we get tech-enabled.
What is Argonaut for?
We’re here to help our customers connect people across cultural divides.
There’s a diverse community of people around this company and they are united by their passion for making intercultural relationships succeed. The unique thing about this community – and it’s true of Argonaut customers too – is that we see a big role for technology in building cultural competence.
Technology can make better training, it can support self-study, bring insight and foresight and reduce culture shock. It can make everyone in our community more efficient builders of cultural competence.
We know that connecting cultures is a people thing. We just do it better when we get tech-enabled.
So Argonaut is for people who believe technology is a cost-effective and sometimes powerful way to make us better at dealing with other cultures.
The first step: do intercultural training in a more modern way
Where did Argonaut come from?
We decided to use technology to help Argonaut customers get better at intercultural training
The Argonaut story begins with a single idea around the start of this century, when the team at leadership consultants Coghill & Beery met up with the e-learning developer Transdemica at an intercultural training event and asked the question
“Couldn’t we achieve so much more if we switch from paper and pencil assessments to a personalised computer-based assessment?”
Yes, back then people used pencils. The conversation happened under the summer sun in the English countryside between Maria Jicheva, Caroline Beery and Richard Farkas. Back at their desks, they set to work with some passion to make things happen quickly.
Less than a year later, the first web-based intercultural assessment was being completed by hundreds of employees of P&O Ports, GSK, LG&E and more. It was a rapid success. The insights previously done by paper-and-pen assessments could be rapidly delivered to large numbers of people, with human trainers adding depth, meaning, practical application and personal commitment. We went computer-based losing none of the human element.
We had taken the first big step towards the CultureConnector.
The tool was called Argonaut, after the Greek legend – in which heroes seek to rise to greatness by success in their travels – and we were getting great feedback. At this time, Argonaut was a collaboration between two companies: Coghill & Beery, experts in leadership development, assessment and intercultural training and Transdemica, specialised in content management and e-learning design.
The next step: change what intercultural training is
Where did the CultureConnector come from?
It’s born out of the opportunities of mobile, social, digital business, and the ambition to be awesome
Progress was rapid, but we wanted to do more. In 2004 we decided it wasn’t enough to help our customers use computers to do the same training they had been doing offline. We had to expand the whole experience of training and learning.
During this period, Transdemica evolved into the company Power of Learning and then in 2007, for the first time, Argonaut was formed as a company with new team member Manuel Heidegger in the driving seat soon after. By 2015 all the founding companies had transferred their Argonaut intellectual property and operations into the Argonaut company itself.
Richard Farkas rejoined the team full time as CEO in 2015, having spent the previous years working in the field of design and customer experience, technology and analytics.
At Argonaut, the owners have executive responsibility for different parts of the business, including content, operations, technology, legal and data. The trends toward digital business in our operating environment were clear and with the new CEO installed in 2015 we set about accelerating our own pace of development.
Our customers wanted us to open up the Argonaut platform to more learners. And the learners began to want something as powerful, fun, useful and as cool as anything they could get on the internet. The Argonaut that caused a “wow” in 2002-2004 should not be a “meh” in 2016. We were targeting “awesome” .
That awesome learner experience was created and named CultureConnector. It focused on engaging people, culture analytics and learning management.
We’re building a community of intercultural innovators
Who are today’s culture connectors?
It’s a community of HR professionals, visionary managers, specialist interculturalists and anyone with an openness to learn. It could be you too.
Our transformation project in 2015-2016 engaged our partners, customers, learners and the entire Argonaut team. Argonaut was completely rebuilt as a cloud service, designed for the needs and expectations of learners in 2016-2020, based on a core profiling concept defined in the 1990s and using real-world cultural data consistently gathered for almost 15 years so far.
CultureConnector changes what’s possible for organisations and specialist consultants. It turns the vision of advanced management of cultural differences into a practical reality by offering insights and identifying risks in a personal and relevant way.
The simplicity of CultureConnector means that anyone can manage intercultural challenges confidently and efficiently: individuals, teams, organisations.
The human factor remains a powerful force for getting us all to the next level. Intercultural professionals become enablers, advocates, analysts, coaches and leaders in making global connections succeed. That’s a pretty amazing community of innovation-hungry customers and partners for Argonaut team to be part of. And this community is the secret energy source for our continued innovation.
This community is the secret energy source for our continued innovation
Join us and be part of the continuing Argonaut story.