Paradigm Learning’s Discovery Map™ Makes Unique Debut at Transitions Optical Inc.’s Training and Employee Appreciation Event for North American Employees

Contact: janet henderson 813/832-3999


Pinellas Park, FL – More than 450 Transitions Optical employees from throughout North America were invited to “Discovery Day” to participate in a discovery learning class and employee appreciation event August 20, 2004.

Using a customized Discovery Map™, created by Tampa-based Paradigm Learning, small groups of Transitions Optical employees, all with varying job titles and responsibilities, reviewed the company’s past and took part in strategic planning for its future through a Discovery Map™ game, called “Racing into the Future:  Speed, Value and Customer Focus.”

“We wanted to make this training special,” said Marie Murray, Manager of Business Processes at Transitions Optical.  “We also wanted our hardworking employees to know how much we appreciate them. We combined the two objectives and here we are!”  Instead of the typical class or seminar, Transitions Optical created a Love Boat maritime theme which was incorporated into every aspect of the event as well as into the Discovery Map ™ itself. 

“Transitions Optical took a different approach to this training launch,” said Ray Green, CEO of Tampa-based Paradigm Learning. “We’ve always thought that discovery learning happens best in an enjoyable atmosphere.  This was definitely a fun day for these folks.”

Paradigm Learning’s Discovery Maps™ are large, colorful maps with a compilation of detailed graphics designed to lead the player down a path of learning, using a deck of cards with specific thoughts and instructions.  This highly customized training tool helps capture abstract ideas, strategies and initiatives in a way that employees can understand and utilize. 

Transitions Optical facilitators, along with Paradigm Learning staff, offered initial instructions and occasional suggestions, flip charts and a few pens, but players were mainly left alone to “discover” the messages for themselves.

“You could hear a lot of ‘aha’s’ coming from the tables,” said Yvonne Orr, Lens Caster Logistics Coordinator for North America, at Transitions Optical.  “Our game table represented many different areas of the organization. We seldom know how we as individuals affect the ‘big picture.’  It was energizing to be able to see each of us find our contribution and how connected we really are. This strategy game provided a way to visualize the future.  It reinforced our core values and allowed us to focus on specific challenges and the direction Transitions is going.”

“It was a very exciting event for Transitions,” agreed Shannon Hunt, a Senior Lens Consultant in Florida, for Transitions Optical.  “The company and the facilitators made it fun and enlightening, especially for those employees who don’t really understand or have to work with the marketing component of our business.”   

“What I liked best was sitting down with employees from different areas of the company and hearing how our company mission statement and objectives pertain to their areas of expertise,” added Chris Borton, a Senior Lens Consultant in Michigan, for Transitions Optical.  “Interacting with the game as well as with people from production and sales and technical research allowed us all to gain valuable insight.  I thought it was great.”

The event opened with a breakfast, skits and songs tied in with the Love Boat theme.  Transitions Optical management, including Dave Cole, general manager for North and South America, were a part of the skits, which really got the audience going, according to Murray.  A production shift manager, wearing a powder blue tuxedo, sang a revised rendition of “Imagine,” with Transitions Optical lyrics and the three back up singers included a company travel agent, a production supervisor from the Philippines and a lens consultant.

After the skits, employees broke out into small groups to attend the Discovery Map™ sessions. Other activities included a trade show, games and short seminars on upcoming product launches and new developments in the optical industry rounded out the day and gave employees the opportunity to meet face to face with counterparts from other areas of the country.  Passport stamps were given at each venue which resulted in prizes for lucky attendees. 

Transitions Optical, headquartered in Pinellas Park, Florida, was the first to successfully commercialize a plastic photochromic lens in 1990.  The company is the leading supplier of photochromics to optical manufacturers worldwide.  Transitions Optical offers the most advanced photochromic technology and the widest selection of lens designs, materials and brand names.

Transitions Optical has manufacturing operations in Pinellas Park; Tuam, Ireland; Laguna, Philippines; Sumare, Brazil; and Adelaide, Australia.  Sales offices are located in Cambridge, Canada and nine other countries.

For more information about the company and Transitions ® Lenses, the first to earn the American Optometric Association’s Seal of Acceptance for Ultraviolet Absorbers/Blockers, visit or contact Transitions Optical Customer Service at (800) 848-1506 (United States) or (877) 254-25909 (Canada).

Paradigm Learning is a leader in the corporate training and communications industry.  The privately held company has created award-winning business games, simulations and communications tools since 1994, including Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy, played by more than 1 million people in more than 400 organizations worldwide.  Other programs address teamwork and leadership (Neon Buzz®), project management (Countdown®), and strategic communication issues (Discovery Maps ™).

Since 2001, Paradigm Learning has been named national business of the year by the ISA, a collection of the world’s top business educators, and was named to the University of Florida’s list of the state’s 100 fastest-growing private companies for three consecutive years.  For additional information, please visit our Web site at

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