The ABT Story
When Kathryn Cramer, Ph.D., founded The Cramer Institute (TCI) in 1991, she already knew there was a need to translate the insights she had learned from her years as a psychologist into concrete tools to help individuals and organizations become more effective. In her previous position as Director of the Stress Center at St. Louis University Medical Center she often met people who were more harried and reactive than they were confident and creative. These were people with the right ideas, the right desire, and the right skills who were sabotaged by their worry, disappointments, perfectionism, and very human tendency to dwell on deficits and lacks. Focusing on the negative sapped their passion, their sense of personal power, and their energy to persist to make big things happen.
How Asset-Based Thinking Was Born
As relationships with clients like the United States Air Force, numerous hospitals nationwide, and corporations such as Monsanto, Microsoft, MasterCard, DuPont, and Peabody Energy deepened, TCI was asked to make their signature programs more accessible to broader and broader audiences. In response, Kathy and her colleagues began to systemize their methods to offer teams and groups a new framework for looking at their successes and disappointments and powerful new tools to leverage their assets to create huge positive results. This is how the principles and practices of Asset-Based Thinking were born.
ABT and Positive Psychology
The Asset-Based Thinking model that evolved brought together the latest research, insights, and proven approaches from TCI’s work as well as from academics and experts in the fields in positive psychology, emotional intelligence, and mindset management. The response was powerful. There was a “click” that happened when people got the benefits of this new way of thinking in simple language and straightforward techniques.
Going beyond motivational approaches that stop working in the face of setbacks, or can seem at odds with reality, Asset-Based Thinking provides people with tangible ways to harness their individual assets and positive energy no matter what their natural level of optimism or pessimism might be.
The First Best-Seller
Kathy and her team saw the interest in ABT continue to grow. Their desire to make ABT available to the mass market led Kathy to partner with Hank Wasiak and The Concept Farm (a cutting-edge New York-based advertising agency) to produce the breakthrough business best-seller: Change the Way You See Everything Through Asset-Based Thinking (Running Press, 2006.) Hank and his creative team brought the fundamentals of ABT alive through rich graphics and compelling images. As a result, more than 50,000 people have experienced a unique, high-impact read.
To extend the reach, Kathy partnered with Hank and The Concept Farm again to publish the sequel, Change the Way You See Yourself Through Asset-Based Thinking (Running Press, 2008.) This edition shows readers how to unleash their power, expand their influence and impact, and create the future they most desire. In 2009, the third book in the ABT series, Change the Way You See Everything for Teens, was released by Running Press. This edition gave rise to a special series of ABT programs for teens, teachers and schools called ABT in Action.
Kathy and Hank are working with their respective colleagues to expand the reach of ABT through signature programs, keynotes, and online and new media platforms.
Most recently, The Cramer Institute has joined forces with Appreciative Coaching to give coaches and their clients new ways to jump start and sustain coaching results.
ABT guidebooks for Innovation, Change Leadership, Creativity, Strategy Development, Sales Effectiveness, Problem Solving, and Career Transition are also under way.