Recognizing and fostering the design mindset

Through years of evolution, design has changed how we respond to complex problems in our everyday life. In the last decade, we have started to focus on how the mindsets that show up in design can be fostered in non-designers. It has helped us better understand how design can be used to transform teams, organizations, and entire systems. 

About the course

The design process is messy, yet it’s important that we feel comfortable in the ambiguity inherent in an iterative process like Human-Centred Design (HCD). As someone leading projects, teams of people, or even creating space for HCD within your organization, you not only have to recognize your own development but the development of others. You will need to anticipate common reactions and roadblocks to the process in order to create momentum.

In this course, you will bring to life the core mindsets (competencies) that are the foundation for the HCD process. With that knowledge in hand, we will review different models for how you can make change happen and how you can shift your organizational culture to be more human-centred.


Discovering the HCD competencies

Learn about diversity, problem framing, and other key competencies, and how you and your team can benefit from them. Review models for change that can be used to transform traditional processes and structures into design-led organizations.

Designing change

Take the time and space to develop a plan for leading change at your organization. Evaluate yourself, and your team, across the six competency areas to understand which strengths you should leverage and which areas need focus.

Learning Outcomes

This course will support you, your team and your organization on the journey to becoming human-centred. You’ll learn about the specific competencies that can make successful change happen, and how to make progress in each one.

What you will learn:

  • HCD competencies: core mindsets developed through research and real-world application that form the foundation for the HCD process
  • Models for change: create the conditions for successful, sustained culture change
  • Evaluation and adaptation: tailor your approach based on the strengths and weaknesses of the current team
  • Competency framework: develop, establish, and leverage a framework for HCD competencies. 
  • Leading change: planning iterative and incremental changes that lead to transformation
  • Overlap Associates Inc. | Creative Problem Solving School

    “Overlap’s approach help take the fear outta learning while you insert fun. I have had this sick feeling every time I had to engage with technology–but your attitude and approach take away the scariness.”

    Intro to HCD Participant

  • Overlap Associates Inc. | Creative Problem Solving School

    “Overlap was able to explain concepts and engage people effectively and emotionally in the learning process. From concept thinking to design, they brought an element of a new Human feelings approach that gave me a new perspective of incorporating an end-user approach to a problem versus a global approach.”

    H. B. Com, CPA, CGA, Director of Finance and Administration, KW Habilitation

  • Overlap Associates Inc. | Creative Problem Solving School

    “Taking (Intro to HCD) rejuvenated my enthusiasm for work at a time when I was starting to feel disconnected. Not only was it refreshing to work through Launch activities with an interdisciplinary group, it gave me ideas for engaging my own team differently. I immediately applied what I learned with noted success!”

    Educational Developer | Curriculum Development and Program Improvement Centre for Teaching & Learning | Queen’s University

  • Overlap Associates Inc. | Creative Problem Solving School

    “...Overlap training introduced me to a process and a wealth of tools that will take our planning to the next level. Moving to virtual training did not dampen Ryan and Nicole's enthusiasm, and their insights helped me understand how to apply these tools in my own organization. I cannot wait for my next planning session!”

    Head of Public Services Law Library, Dalhousie University

  • Overlap Associates Inc. | Creative Problem Solving School

    “The training at Overlap encouraged me to fall in love with the problem and understand it deeply. The iterative design process teaches that failure is valued as a necessary step to designing the best solutions. This relieves the pressure of trying to 'get it right the first time.' Using this approach in our organization has promoted a new sense of engagement in our staff team, as people feel their voices are valued in the process.”


    Extend-a-Family Waterloo Region

Upcoming Courses

Leading Change Through Design 

Creative Problem Solving: 304

(Live Online Cohort)

*new dates* March 23 & 25, 2022

9am-12pm EST

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