One-Day Training for Working Professionals, led by UT Austin's Top Faculty. Open enrollment courses at The University of Texas at Austin. Professional development and executive education classes and workshops at The University of Texas at Austin.

One-Day Professional Seminars

Our seminars combine cutting-edge research with real-world application to provide practical and immediately relevant tools for solving key organizational problems, ranging from personal motivation and growth to strategic leadership.

Businesses and nonprofits often bring outside specialists on board to improve their organization’s overall efficiency, creativity, and productivity. Participants in our seminars learn to function as “internal consultants,” equipped with new skills and insights to enhance their existing expertise and institutional knowledge.

By exploring specific human, cultural, and communicatory aspects of organizations alongside professionals from a diverse range of industries, participants leave HDO seminars more effective, well-rounded employees.

Upcoming Courses


Communicating for Impact | February 4, 2020
Course Leader(s): Cyndee Lake, MA and Michael Larson, MA

Course Tags: Communication, Engagement, Narrative

Description: Whether an individual communication is complex or not, it needs to be crafted thoughtfully by engaging your audience in relevant and meaningful ways. If you don’t take the time to do so, your communication will still have an impact, but not necessarily the one you intend.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 4, 2020; March 12, 2020

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The Heart of Leadership: Moving Forward Through Change | February 5, 2020
Course Leader(s): Paul Woodruff, PhD & AJ Josefowitz, PhD

Course Tags: Leadership, Change Management, Resiliency

Description: This seminar draws on the disciplines of psychology and ethics to examine the various behaviors and strategies that enable leaders to build resilient teams and organizations. Participants will emerge with confidence that they know how to lead others through change successfully.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 5, 2020

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Human Error: Engineering it Away | February 6, 2020
Course Leader(s): Mike Legatt, PhD

Course Tags: Organizational Culture, Resiliency, Leadership

Description: This course provides participants with core scientific principles from psychology and engineering to help better understand what human error is, and ways of building barriers to keep errors from turning into major events. This seminar is helpful for people at all organizational levels and positions. The tools provided will empower participants to reduce error, both in their organizations and their personal lives.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 6, 2020

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Fulfillment in the Workplace | February 7, 2020
Course Leader(s): Raj Raghunathan, PhD

Course Tags: Leadership, Fulfillment, Productivity

Description: This seminar will provide participants with valuable insights into: 1) why employee well-being is such a powerful driver of firm profits and performance, and 2) what employees and managers can do to enhance employee well-being. Both of these questions will be explored from the lens of science, particularly positive psychology and behavioral economics.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 7, 2020

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View Complete Course Catalog

“I’ve been in Executive Management for over 20 years. The courses I took in the HDO program helped me to gain a fresh perspective on management; specifically, on how people work. I highly recommend taking a seminar or obtaining a certification in this program.”

Dorothy A. Benavidez, Executive Vice President, CRAssociates, Inc.



As an HDO seminar participant, you will learn to:

» Influence decision making and the flow of information in your organization.

» Discover why certain events and decisions led to your organization’s past successes and failures.

» Promote innovative thinking at all levels of your organization.

» Build an inclusive, rewarding organizational culture.

» Develop tools and strategies to drive organizational change.

» Deepen enjoyment in work, leading to an increase in job productivity and higher levels of success.

HDO seminars may be taken individually or as part of a four-course Certificate Program.

“Dr. Richmond-Garza was highly engaging and able to transmit an incredible amount of material to us in only a day’s time. The organization of the material and use of theater techniques was very interesting and useful. This seminar will enable me to pursue a more cognizant and consistent approach to understanding motivation.”

Francis Tsang, Site Lead, Clinical Transformation at University Medical Center Brackenridge
Understanding & Balancing Motivations participant

“The course was great. Deconstructing the human processes and reactions to change was very helpful, as was examining vocabulary and phraseology for moving change forward.”

Richard Bralow, Legal Counsel, TransCanada
Addressing Change-o-Phobia: Leading Change Up and Down the Org Chart participant


“As a professional, I don’t always have time for continuing education, and frankly, much of it goes ‘in one ear and out the other.’ HDO seminars are different. Not only do they provide an invigorating and inspiring experience, you learn tangible, applicable, and very relevant tools and techniques to apply to your everyday life. The way I look at the work I do has changed and the impact on my overall effectiveness has been substantial. These seminars give you a new lens through which life and work just make more sense!”

Rachel Fox, Senior IT Manager, Hewlett-Packard (HP)
Multi-course participant


“HDO Seminars prepare me in ways that I didn’t even know were possible. The lessons constantly open my mind to new ways of thinking and interacting with people and my surroundings.”

Rachel White, Public Affairs Representative, College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas at Austin
Multi-course participant

One-Day Seminars Course Catalog


Organizational Improvement Certificate Program: February 4-7
Communicating for Impact | February 4, 2020
Course Leader(s): Cyndee Lake, MA and Michael Larson, MA

Course Tags: Communication, Engagement, Narrative

Description: Whether an individual communication is complex or not, it needs to be crafted thoughtfully by engaging your audience in relevant and meaningful ways. If you don’t take the time to do so, your communication will still have an impact, but not necessarily the one you intend.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 4, 2020; March 12, 2020

Learn More & Register
The Heart of Leadership: Moving Forward Through Change | February 5, 2020
Course Leader(s): Paul Woodruff, PhD & AJ Josefowitz, PhD

Course Tags: Leadership, Change Management, Resiliency

Description: This seminar draws on the disciplines of psychology and ethics to examine the various behaviors and strategies that enable leaders to build resilient teams and organizations. Participants will emerge with confidence that they know how to lead others through change successfully.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 5, 2020

Learn More & Register
Human Error: Engineering it Away | February 6, 2020
Course Leader(s): Mike Legatt, PhD

Course Tags: Organizational Culture, Resiliency, Leadership

Description: This course provides participants with core scientific principles from psychology and engineering to help better understand what human error is, and ways of building barriers to keep errors from turning into major events. This seminar is helpful for people at all organizational levels and positions. The tools provided will empower participants to reduce error, both in their organizations and their personal lives.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 6, 2020

Learn More & Register

Fulfillment in the Workplace | February 7, 2020
Course Leader(s): Raj Raghunathan, PhD

Course Tags: Leadership, Fulfillment, Productivity

Description: This seminar will provide participants with valuable insights into: 1) why employee well-being is such a powerful driver of firm profits and performance, and 2) what employees and managers can do to enhance employee well-being. Both of these questions will be explored from the lens of science, particularly positive psychology and behavioral economics.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 7, 2020

Learn More & Register

Communication and Leadership Certificate Program: February 18-21

Behavior Change & Influence | February 18, 2020
Course Leader(s): Art Markman, PhD

Course Tags: Change Management, Influence, Productivity, Creativity

Description: Behavior Change and Influence is led by Psychology Professor and HDO’s Founding Director, Dr. Art Markman. Drawing on research that was the basis for his book, Smart Change (each participant receives a copy), Dr. Markman provides insights from cognitive science to help you achieve your goals in fostering behavioral change and exerting greater influence.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 18, 2020

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A Good Idea is Not Enough: Persuading Like an Entrepreneur | February 19, 2020
Course Leader(s): Clay Spinuzzi, PhD

Course Tags: Persuasion, Engagement, Communication

Description: In this one-day seminar, Dr. Clay Spinuzzi uses examples from his research on startups and his expertise in rhetoric and communication to illustrate how persuasion works and to discuss principles that can make us more persuasive — in our ventures, our organizations, and our lives.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 19, 2020

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Ethics, Culture, and Leadership | February 20, 2020
Course Leader(s): John Traphagan, PhD

Course Tags: Ethical Leadership, Decision Making, Cultural Awareness

Description: This course focuses on how awareness of culture can contribute to ethical leadership and good decision-making in organizations. Participants will use case studies to think about ethical issues in organizations related to topics such as compliance, technology use, health and illness, and sustainability.

These topics are considered from a global perspective emphasizing how cultural values inform ethical decision-making and how different ethical and cultural systems address and define moral issues that arise in organizations.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 20, 2020

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Telling Your Story: Crafting an Honest, Effective Organizational Narrative | February 21, 2020
Course Leader(s): David Beaver, PhD; Danny Gutknecht; Bijoy Goswami

Course Tags: Leadership, Employee & Customer Engagement, Communication, Purpose

Description: We communicate meaning through strong and honest personal and organizational narratives. It is crucial that an organization’s narrative can be naturally interwoven with the personal stories and values of employees and customers, and that it evolves along with the personal journeys of those stakeholders as well as the wider cultural and business environment. Participants in this course will be presented with methods for identifying and developing these narratives.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 21, 2020

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Emerging & Aspiring Leaders Certificate Program: March 10-13

The Cognitive Science of Career Management | March 10, 2020
Course Leader(s): Art Markman, PhD

Course Tags: Career Development & Management, Communication

Description: Many of the hurdles you face throughout your career are, first and foremost, psychological challenges. In this course, Dr. Markman will show you how to use your different mental systems—motivational, social, and cognitive—to manage these challenges more effectively.

Upcoming Course Dates: March 10, 2020

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Achieving Balance: Time Management for Modern Professionals | March 11, 2020
Course Leader(s): Clay Spinuzzi, PhD

Course Tags: Time Management, Productivity, Project Management

Description: Due to changes in work and technology, people’s personal and professional lives are more connected than ever before—and more fragmented, more busy, more crammed with tasks and obligations. How can we regain work-life balance? How can we achieve confidence, clarity, and the ability to plan? In this one-day seminar, Dr. Clay Spinuzzi will use a mix of research, theory, and experience to discuss the challenges we face in planning our time and projects.

Upcoming Course Dates: March 11, 2020

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Communicating for Impact | March 12, 2020
Course Leader(s): Cyndee Lake, MA and Michael Larson, MA

Course Tags: Communication, Engagement, Narrative

Description: Whether an individual communication is complex or not, it needs to be crafted thoughtfully by engaging your audience in relevant and meaningful ways. If you don’t take the time to do so, your communication will still have an impact, but not necessarily the one you intend.

Upcoming Course Dates: February 6, 2020; March 12, 2020

Learn More & Register

Decisions by Design | March 13, 2020
Course Leader(s): Cyndee Lake, MA and Michael Larson, MA

Course Tags: Decision-Making, Communication, Leadership

Description: Quality decisions can be measured by their level of clarity, efficiency, and commitment. In this seminar, we explore a decision-making approach that focuses on each of these at the right point in the process with the right people involved.

Upcoming Course Dates: March 13, 2020

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Personal Leadership Certificate Program: April 14-17

The Art & Science of Negotiation | April 14, 2020
Course Leader(s): Mary Faria, FACHE, PhD & Zachary Elkins, PhD

Course Tags: Negotiation, Communication, Strategy

Description: This seminar explores the central concepts, strategies, and scripts of successful negotiation. Negotiation, understood broadly, is an element of nearly every relationship and enterprise. Our premise is that successful negotiators employ interpersonal skills characterized by an artful deployment of both empathy and cunning — that is, heart and mind.

Upcoming Course Dates: April 14, 2020

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Understanding & Balancing Motivations | April 15, 2020
Course Leader(s): Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, PhD

Course Tags: Leadership, Ethics, Management Strategy

Description: Literature, especially drama, provides concrete and practical cases that help us to understand how ethical decisions are made and to see how ethics and leadership intersect. This course will use dramatic texts to question the nature of ethical challenges and to explore ideas behind human motivation.

Upcoming Course Dates: April 15, 2020

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Addressing Change-o-Phobia: Leading Change Up and Down the Org Chart | April 16, 2020
Course Leader(s): Davida Charney, PhD, and Marcia Silverberg, MSW

Course Tags: Reducing Change Apprehension, Leading Change Effectively, Navigating Organizations

Description: Changing an organization’s policies, culture, or operating procedures requires the utmost in persuasive strategies. Drawing on rhetorical theory and organizational psychology, this workshop will help you understand why people resist change, plan out steps for introducing changes, and design communications promoting change directing at different kinds of audiences.

Upcoming Course Dates: April 16, 2020

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Organizational Leadership & Strategy in Uncertain Times | April 17, 2020
Course Leader(s): Jeremi Suri, PhD

Course Tags: Strategic Thinking, Leadership, Change Management

Description: As a participant in this seminar, you will learn how to: (1) leverage historical thinking for effective leadership; (2) become a better strategic thinker; (3) define and guide change, even in a resistant environment; (4) anticipate future changes in your field; and (5) define your self-image as a leader.

Upcoming Course Dates: April 17, 2020

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Strategic Thinking Certificate Program: April 21-24

Emotional Intelligence for Leaders | April 21, 2020
Course Leader(s): Kirsten Bradbury, PhD & Jim Pacey

Course Tags: Leadership, Decision-Making, Communication

Description: In this information-packed and interactive seminar, Consultant Jim Pacey and Psychologist Kirsten Bradbury guide participants in developing the skills and knowledge they need to increase their use of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in workplace leadership.

Upcoming Course Dates: April 21, 2020

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Millennials, Innovation, and the Future of Work | April 22, 2020
Course Leader(s): S. Craig Watkins, PhD

Course Tags: Management, Productivity, Engagement

Description: Millennials are a generation on the rise and yet our understanding of the most diverse cohort in U.S. history often leads to misunderstanding and missed opportunities. Drawing from the field research that informs his new book, Don’t Knock the Hustle: Young Creatives, Tech Ingenuity, and the Making of the New Innovation Economy, UT Austin Professor S. Craig Watkins explores why organizations must reset their views about millennials.

Upcoming Course Dates: April 22, 2020

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Managing Knowledge in Organizations | April 23, 2020
Course Leader(s): John Traphagan, PhD & Austin Yekpabo, EdD

Course Tags: Leadership, Strategy, Communication

Description: Knowledge management (KM) is the process of creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information of an organization. This course addresses the philosophy, art, and tools of KM in a fast-paced, interactive format.

Upcoming Course Dates: April 23, 2020

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Flourishing in the Workplace | April 24, 2020
Course Leader(s): Caryn Carlson, PhD & Michael Starbird, PhD

Course Tags: Effective Thinking, Positive Emotion, Strengths Training, Flow

Description: This course presents practical strategies for optimizing personal and employee performance via identifying and utilizing character strengths, increasing positive emotion and flow, and creatively conceptualizing issues and solving problems.

Participants identify personally relevant areas for improvement or growth and work individually and in small groups to apply practical strategies presented in the course to enhance satisfaction and success both professionally and personally.

Upcoming Course Dates: April 24, 2020

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Not Currently Scheduled

Maximizing Mental Agility
Course Leader(s): Art Markman, PhD

Course Tags: Productivity, Creativity, Critical Thinking

Description: The course focuses on six areas of thinking that provide easy-to-learn strategies rooted in Cognitive Science that will help people to be more productive, efficient, creative, motivated, and satisfied in their working lives, and beyond.

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Teams and individuals from over 500 companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations have participated in HDO Professional Training, including:

One-Day Training for Working Professionals, led by UT Austin's Top Faculty. Open enrollment courses at The University of Texas at Austin. Professional development and executive education classes and workshops at The University of Texas at Austin.