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Fostering Meaningful Team Cultures

Wed 6 July, 2022 @ 6:00 pm Wed 3 August, 2022 @ 7:30 pm AEST

5 consecutive Wednesdays commencing July 6, 2022, 6:00 – 7:30pm AEST via Zoom, through to 3 August 2022.


UX practitioners apply a range of methods, tools, and soft skills to observe, make sense of, and improve user experiences. But how can we apply some of these same skills to champion meaningful cultures within our organisations?

In a series of five 90-minute hands-on sessions, we will explore our role in focusing on not just the work, but also the character, leadership, and culture traits needed for sustained, organisation-wide impact. This involves learning to spot practices that contribute to healthy, inclusive, and diverse cultures, and understanding the strategic importance of a studio-based learning community that nurtures talent and creates cohesive leadership. This ultimately allows us to identify skill gaps, and provide small, digestible, and practical upskilling and reskilling opportunities to foster contextual adaptability and deepen the partnerships in our organisations.

This program introduces critical practices to help insert meaning in what you do. It has been derived from 25+ years of professional experience and 10 years of research that has informed the Make Meaningful Work framework. Each facilitated session includes expert advice and uses a tool called “Practice Spotting ™” to help you identify relevant practices needed and actions to be taken in your own work context.

Note – this is not about using tools on the UX design of the products and services that we’re working on. Rather this looks at the critical practices we need to be aware of when engaging with projects and teams, and the implications of focusing on areas where we can apply our expertise accordingly.

Sessions and dates

  1. Introduction to make meaningful work (6 July)
    We will introduce the Make Meaningful Work framework and begin to explore how our narratives impact the character, leadership, and cultures of our work.
  2. Build relationships to strengthen team cultures (13 July)
    We will explore active listening to encourage the curiosity needed to understand people’s motivations, intentions, pain points, and viewpoints. This allows us to collaborate better across disciplines, challenge assumptions, and build confidence in setting standards for mutual understanding.
  3. Navigate complexity to understand organisational needs (20 July)
    We will explore ways to overcome obstacles and create partnerships to better understand the differing agendas of key stakeholders, and then develop shared values and missions that integrate everyone’s vision.
  4. Confront difficulties to reactivate direction (27 July)
    We will explore how to create safe and trusting spaces to raise issues and deepen relationships to better understand the problems, define intentions, and align expectations. This allows us to create unity and commitment, leading to outcomes that prioritise and focus collective benefit and clear direction.
  5. Lead sustainable practices to encourage continuous learning (3 August)
    Finally, we will explore how to create learning programs that provide spaces to reflect and practice, that encourages belonging, that demonstrates appreciation for our work, and that invites inclusivity and participation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Be proactive in shaping the meaningful cultures you want in your work and communicating with intent by growing confidence and awareness of the cultures at play.
  • Navigate relationships, build partnerships, and define strategic agendas by taking responsibility to insert meaning into what you do.
  • Take moments to reflect and record practices that connect and contextualise what you do by converting words into actionable practices and micro exercises.
  • Take responsibility for your own learning and development through better understanding of yourself and relevant practices and values to achieve the outcomes you seek in your role.
  • Create a community of practice that encourages self-directed learning and a spirit of curiosity by reflecting on the positive implications of character building and the role you play in developing sustainable practices for continuous effect.

About the facilitators

Dan Szuc

Dan is a co-founder and principal at Apogee and co-founder of Make Meaningful Work, as well as the co-founder of UX Hong Kong. He has been involved in the UX field for over 20 years and has been based in Hong Kong for over 20 years. Dan has lectured about user-centred design globally, and has co-authored three books: Global UX with Whitney Quesenbery, The Usability Kit with Gerry Gaffney, and Make Meaningful Work with Josephine Wong.

Josephine Wong

Jo is a co-founder and principal at Apogee and co-founder of Make Meaningful Work, as well as the co-founder of UX Hong Kong. Jo grew up in multicultural Hong Kong, with a Chinese-Burmese father and Chinese-Indonesian mother. She collaborates with global teams conducting research in Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Jo is passionate about the environment, political and economic systems and how we can live healthier and happier lives while not adversely impacting less fortunate people. She co-authored Make Meaningful Work with Daniel Szuc.

Susan J. Wolfe

Susan has been involved in the UX field for close to 40 years, dividing her time between San Francisco and Sydney. In that time, she has practiced UX design, run consultancies, mentored project teams, and introduced UX design practices and cultures into organisations around the globe. Susan also shares her expertise as a teacher and mentor, directly driving the career transitions into UX for well over 500 professionals to date.

$495 – $550 first 10 at Early Bird price

IxDA Sydney

Online, via Zoom