What’s A “Springboard”?
While many people recognize the springboard for the diving board used in the water sport, the world has alternative meanings. Some of the formal definitions found in dictionaries and encyclopedias are:
- Dictionary.com and Webster’s 1913 Dictionary Definitions: Springboard (\Spring’board`\, n.) An elastic board, secured at the ends, or at one end, often by elastic supports, used in performing feats of agility or in exercising. A flexible board for jumping upward. Diving board. A flexible board which helps you to jump higher when jumping or diving into a swimming pool or when doing gymnastics.
- Springboard (n.) A beginning from which an enterprise is launched. Example: “He uses other people’s ideas as a springboard for his own.” Syn: jumping-off point, point of departure, commencement, start, beginning – the act of starting something.
- Springboard (n.) Something which provides you either with the opportunity to follow a particular plan of action, or the encouragement that is needed to make it successful. Example: “The firm’s director is confident that the new project will act as a springboard for/to further contracts.”
- Springboard (v.) To launch a career or activity. Example: “The runner used her stamina to springboard off to make sure she could run the marathon.”
- A springboard story. A springboard story is a story that enables a leap in understanding by the audience so as to grasp how an organization, community, or complex system may change. A springboard story has an impact not so much through transferring large amounts of information, but through catalyzing understanding. It enables listeners to visualize from a story in one context what is involved in a large-scale transformation in an analogous context. The idea of a springboard story is explained in the book, The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations. Published by Butterworth Heinemann, in October 2000. The Springboard describes in detail how a springboard story works, as well as how to craft, frame and perform a springboard story.
- Translations. Springboard in German is Sprungbrett; in Hungarian is trambulin, ugródeszka; in Spanish is trampolín.
Why Use the Symbol?
Key words throughout the above definitions include “upward”, “flexible”, “higher”, “performing feats of agility”, “beginning from which an [enterprise / idea] is launched”, “encouragement to make it successful”. Even the springboard story is a catalyst to understanding, using visualization and analogies as tools that aid in understanding.
These words are what Springboard Training is about. I passionately believe that we humans, from birth to death, must embrace knowledge and develop skills in some way. We must embrace and cultivate this knowledge and these skills every day in order to launch, build, and maintain successful lives. To each of us, success in life means something different and we measure “success” using a variety of parameters. We perform feats of agility with our minds, consciously and unconsciously. These mind gymnastics serve as launching points from which accomplishments and ideas evolve.
We gather knowledge, learn skills, and shape attitudes by communicating with each other in ways known to us today as well as ways in which we can only imagine tomorrow. My mission is to be a catalyst of influence to help people be better – better leaders, better followers, better relationship builders, better in ways I can’t even think of – by being effective communicators through all aspects of their lives. I am a visual learner and visual thinker and find my most-effective teaching and influencing tools revolve around visualization and analogies.
This is why the springboard is our business symbol and we embrace the word “springboard” to represent our professional quest.