Co-Creating Change

Spring 2019


May 19-21 | 2019

[Application Deadline: April 22, 2019]

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Course Overview

Disruption and continuous change are now inherent to work environments across industries. Just as employees are asked to be more agile, lifelong learners, so too must organizational leaders who also are expected to model and coach the agility they expect from their employees. This course was designed in response to requests from executives seeking to learn how to be better leaders through continuous change by shifting away from top-down strategies for change and instead adopting approaches to co-create and inspire change. This course will focus on building “change sensibilities” and skills such as mapping and staying in the problem space, building trust and efficacy during uncertainty, and prototyping people management solutions. Leaders will apply the techniques used for facilitating design to practice facilitating change in their organizations.

3 days | 6 to 10 hours per day + prep

  • Day 1: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm (dinner then networking)
  • Day 2: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm (dinner on your own)
  • Day 3: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
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  • Who Should Attend
    • Executives and senior leadership team members in organizations of all types.
    • Senior managers or team leaders who are responsible for organizational change.
    • Experienced designers and consultants who want to help facilitate organizational transformation.
  • What Questions Will We Answer
    • How is taking a co-creation (design) approach to change different from traditional change management approaches? What difference does that make (in terms of impact/performance/results/well-being)?
    • What types of organizational change work with this approach (or, what types of problems are people trying to solve when they use this approach)? What are its limitations?
    • What does co-creation look like when it comes to organizational change? What are some specific examples from companies/non-profits?
    • How does this approach work? What steps do I need to take as a leader to be prepared and to lead change this way? Let's practice!
    • What are the risks/pitfalls of using this approach? Why isn't everyone doing this already?
    • Then what? What needs to happen "after" co-creation? (i.e., need to shift people away from change being an "event" that you manage/check off your list and move on to the next change).
  • Benefits and Outcomes
    • Learn how to approach organizational transformations using a design-based methodology, which puts co-creation at the center of the change initiative.
    • Become more confident leading in contexts where emergent strategy is demanded.
    • Practice using the tools and skills that leaders need to be proficient at to co-create change.
    • Avoid the mistakes that leaders often make when it comes to orchestrating change.
    • Learn practical tools and techniques to engage people in a change process that will mobilize others and create momentum for the change you wish to facilitate.
    • Be on the leading edge of change leadership by tapping into the potential that exists rather than fighting against the natural human tendencies that trigger resistance, frustration, and entrenchment.
Jeff Merrell, Teresa Torres


Jeff Merrell

Jeff Merrell, Associate Director of the Master’s Program in Learning & Organizational Change at Northwestern, is an organizational learning and knowledge management expert with experience consulting with global business leaders and designing for organizational change.

Teresa Torres

Teresa Torres is a Product Discovery Coach with a rich background leading product and design teams at early-stage internet companies.