Why We Embrace Our Agile Workplace – O'Donnell Learn

Why We Embrace Our Agile Workplace

Published by Carrie O'Donnell
on Mar 07, 2019

“Truly great workplaces understand the benefits of putting their culture and employee engagement at the center of their agile growth strategy. Great workplaces help innovation thrive, bring ideas to life, and ensure people can easily collaborate across the business…” Harvard Business Review

For the past three decades, O’Donnell Learn has strived to create an agile workplace and a culture of innovation and collaboration. I founded ODL in the early 90s, while I was in my 20s, with a family on the way. I had witnessed my friends struggle to balance motherhood with their careers and I wanted to create a company that would be sensitive to that. I thought, why not create a business that provides a flexible work environment AND helps companies design digital learning products? ODL’s dedication to cultivating an agile workplace has proven to be profitable and efficient.  Our people have the flexibility to work anytime and anywhere. And, it fosters a continuous culture of innovation and experimentation.

Since the company’s start, O’Donnell Learn’s agile culture has endured and thrived because it aligns with our company’s DNA. A key element of our DNA, or what we call  our “special sauce”, is our decades old practice of combining creativity and expertise. We see ourselves as learning experience innovators. Our structured approach to collaboration fosters creativity and innovation. Our DNA is conducive to, and strengthened by, our agile workplace as we put together flexible teams of experts who collaborate to innovate.

We also embrace a set of tenets and guiding design principles that are based on learning science and proven instructional design practices. For example, we exclusively utilize backwards design. We start with outcomes–then design assessments that will show mastery of the outcomes.  Only after this do we create or curate content and learning activities.This uniform practice, among others, is how we ensure consistency in an elastic work environment.

Lastly, O’Donnell Learn has a unique culture marked by its dedication to quality, creativity, collaboration, and a commitment to continuous learning and evolution. Our culture aligns with, and is enriched by, an agile workplace because our culture is better served in a climate of fluidity and collaboration. We believe that the agile workplace and ODL’s culture are inseparable, as both aid  in our mission to develop best practices and high quality, effective and engaging learning experiences.

Now that agile and elastic workplaces are commonplace, I look forward to the future, to being able to evolve the O’Donnell Learn workforce. To learning, collaborating and innovating together. Our agile workplace is here to stay.


Purposeful Learning DesignTM – Why People are at the Center of Everything We Do

Published By Carrie O'Donnell
on Jan 15, 2021

I’m often asked why our company is so good at collaborating with  faculty. The first time I heard this question, I didn’t realize clients found this unique to O’Donnell Learn. We’ve always been great partners  because people are at the heart of everything we do. In fact, our entire design philosophy - Purposeful Learning DesignTM - is anchored around people.  It starts with this truth: learning is for people. As such, learning design should be grounded in empathy and it should promote success for both learners and faculty. Purposeful Learning Design is the philosophy we embrace to ensure we never lose sight of this truth. It is comprised of six key considerations.

2020 Reflective: Breathe Deep and Stay Agile

Published By Joana Jebsen
on Dec 22, 2020

While end-of-year survey results are still to come for how enrolled students are evaluating their 2020 college experience, I queried two of our staff, both students, about their overall experience and considered how these compared to what I was seeing with O’Donnell Learn clients. Kellie, our graphic design intern, just completed her Associates Degree in Graphic design. Prior to 2020, all of her courses met on campus. Cathryn, a Learning Design Associate is currently enrolled in an online Master of Education program in eLearning and Instructional Design. As this program was conceived as online delivery, it serves as a benchmark to compare against courses that were forced by COVID to switch delivery modes.

Evolving Our Project Management to Advance Client Results

Published By Craig Leonard
on Dec 16, 2020

If you were to talk to anyone in our organization, you’d quickly discover that we are all truly passionate about learning. So much so, that always learning is one of our core values. Learning from our successes, failures and each other is integral to how we operate and how we’ve grown into the agile company we are today.