Breakthroughs: Designed with Heroes in Mind

Perhaps you have heard this phrase trending in learning and development circles: the rise of the individual.

While we know the individual has always mattered, wide-spread access to personal technology, and better education have empowered individuals worldwide—making it easier than ever for their voices to be heard.

This has led to an increasing need for transparency and a commitment to involve individuals across all levels of the organization. It’s never been more important to listen to, support, and engage our people.

Breakthroughs: High Performance from the InsideOut is an experiential, tool-based workshop based on the belief that every individual has the capacity to be great. It gives individuals the focus they need to make progress on the things that matter most to them. It supports them in making faster, more accurate decisions, increasing their confidence and commitment, and unleashing ever-greater capacity to achieve higher levels of performance.

We know that when individuals succeed, organizations succeed. It’s only through fully empowered and engaged individuals—either alone or in collaboration with others— that important work gets done.

Putting the Learner First

Almost 43% of employees who receive training find it ineffective. In another survey, 1/3 of employees said their company’s training techniques aren’t an effective use of time and another 1/3 said they weren’t interesting or engaging. Because today’s workforce responds more skeptically to traditional training and may be more distracted than ever, we knew we had to put learner engagement first when designing Breakthroughs. Every element is designed to support the learner as the hero in their own journey.

An InsideOut Approach

Traditional training focuses extensively on building knowledge. With the traditional approach, instructional designers try to answer this question: What can I put in to my employees to improve their performance? What don’t they know? We call this a “tell” or “Outside-In” mindset.

In building the Breakthroughs workshop, we focused on our own InsideOut Mindset, the guiding principle that individuals are smart and highly capable. Instead of focusing on what we could put in to them, we focused on what we could draw out of them. In the process, we had to confront our own biases about what was important. We challenged ourselves to focus only on elements that enhanced the learner’s experience. Rather than relay concepts or lecture, we set up discovery-based learning and structured applications guided by simple tools.

Intentional Decisions

More than a surface-level approach, each element of Breakthroughs has purpose:

1. The short, humorous, relatable videos in Breakthroughs are core to participant learning. They are meant to inspire self-discovery and perspective-sharing. Based on real-life situations, they spark discussions about similar experiences participants have had—which heightens the learning impact.

2. The Breakthroughs workshop is highly interactive and useful in the workplace. It contains at least eight group discussions and several practice drills using a powerful methodology to define goals, assess reality, explore options, and take action to further progress.

3. To be as inclusive as possible, our visual design was intentionally culturally agnostic. We incorporated iconography to ensure smooth translation and relatability across geographies and cultures.

4. Employees want training that is relevant and that they can apply to their day-today work. The streamlined Breakthroughs workshop keeps learners engaged and equips them with techniques that can be immediately applicable in the workplace.

Participants make progress on their projects within the session and calendar their follow-through to take place within just a few days. Breakthroughs gives people inside the organization a common language and a common framework for identifying goals, assessing reality, exploring options, and finding a way forward. When people find solutions to their own problems, they become more successful, more engaged, and more self-reliant.

Breakthroughs enables every individual to reach new levels of performance. Participants leave the workshop inspired and equipped to create more (and bigger) breakthroughs day after day.

Here are five more reasons to invest in your team:


40% of employees who don’t feel they receive enough training end up leaving their companies within their first year, and a lack of development opportunities is listed as one of the top reasons employees leave organizations.


Not only are external hires more likely to be overpaid, they’re also 20% more likely to leave your company.


87% of Millennials  say that professional development is a significant factor in their engagement at work.


Companies that offer comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee and a 24% higher profit margin than those companies who don’t invest in employee development.


High performing learning organizations are 92% more likely to innovate. They’re also 46% more likely to be first to market and 58% more prepared to meet future demand.

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