January to March are often filled with planning, budget reconciling or approval, and goal-setting. Whether you’re starting a new year, or wrapping up the last one, it’s a great time to think about what you’re aiming to accomplish at work, and how you’re going to get there.

Learning a new set of skills and tools is usually an important step in accomplishing something new, by yourself or with your team. At Overlap, our mission is to democratize design, so it’s no surprise that we’d recommend training about human-centred design and creative collaboration—we know these tools and mindsets are highly effective in many different contexts. We also know that our training helps people achieve goals that they didn’t expect.

Here are 5 goals our training will help you accomplish in 2020. You can also find out more about our training options on Overlap’s Training landing page, or look at our upcoming training dates at our Kitchener studio

1. Make your meetings more productive.

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of meetings that are too long, unfocused, or unnecessary. If you are looking to pick up some new ideas for meeting facilitation, or your team needs to hit a refresh on your culture of meetings, our training will help.

Our training is filled with tactical approaches to making meetings more productive, which means you get higher quality results from the same or shorter meeting times. Whether it’s through starting solo, asking the right discussion questions, or using one of our tried-and-true process activities, we will help you have the conversations you need to have to make good decisions and use your time together wisely.

Get started on more productive meetings right now.

Check out our blog post that gives 6 compelling reasons to start solo. It’s one of the most simple and effective ways to get the highest quality discussion at your next meeting.

2. Learn new tools and skills you can apply right away.

There’s nothing worse than investing the time, money, and planning in a day of training that ends up feeling disconnected from your work. That’s why everyone that attends our training walks away with tools and skills they can immediately apply. 

Sometimes, it’s using a particular tool or exercise to approach your job in a different way. Other times, it’s as simple as asking a question slightly differently, which creates more opportunities for clarity, creativity, and collaboration. One of the most common reflections we hear during our training sessions is that participants will try something different at work the next day because of something they’ve learned.

Try using an empathy map in your work today.

One of the most popular tools from our training is the empathy map, which enables you to understand situations or stakeholders in an in-depth and respectful way. Read our blog post on how to use an empathy map, then give it a try. It doesn’t take long and you’ll be surprised by the results.


3. Learn a common language on your team around problem-solving and process.

When you are working towards complex, challenging goals, it can be extremely valuable to have a common language around your process and tools. When a team takes our training, the whole group builds a solid foundation for future work. Being able to name experiences, objectives, and challenges from that same foundation creates strong alignment and resilience within a group. This will make it easier to navigate complexity and ambiguity as you work towards your goals.

If you’re interested, find out more about our training options on Overlap’s Training landing page.

Learn about how a common language and process helped another team.

If you’re curious about how a common language and process helped another team, read our case study about Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region using human-centred design to set a new strategic direction and culture shift.


4. Build inclusive and creative habits.

When hierarchy, personalities, and learning styles are not accounted for at work, these factors contribute to strong power dynamics that exclude or silence different voices. As a result, teams miss out on insights and perspectives from people that can make the team more creative and effective. Our training teaches habits to build more inclusive and creative team dynamics. We also identify and help you address common challenges that can make it more difficult for people to contribute meaningfully.

Learn how to lead a more inclusive meeting.

There are some quick ways you can create more space for different voices and perspectives on your team. Read our blog post about how to facilitate inclusive ideation meetings to get started.

Of course, creating a more inclusive work environment is a much bigger, more complex undertaking, requiring organizations to address systemic barriers and change policies, processes, and culture. If you’re interested in understanding more about this, Deloitte published a useful report about The Diversity and Inclusion Revolution, and Harvard Business Review has an ongoing series on diversity in business.


5. Get better ideas by engaging employees and clients/customers.

Gathering feedback and new ideas from employees and customers can be challenging. However, we can create more informed decisions when we bring different perspectives into a process. Our training teaches easy tools and approaches to doing meaningful engagement that will help you gain richer insights and more creative results.

Try using the Feedback Grid to gain a new perspective.

Looking to start today? Learn about the feedback grid–a tool that uses 4 questions to improve any project.


Let us help you with your 2020 goals!

Find out more about our training options on Overlap’s Training landing page

Want to try it for yourself?

We offer our HCD: Launch course from our Kitchener Studio, with dates coming up soon.

Visit our Kitchener studio landing page for details on other date and course offerings.