Co-Creating Change


Spring 2020


May 3 - 4 | 2020

[Application Deadline: April 20, 2020]

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Course Overview

Continuous change and the demand for innovative solutions in workplaces creates complex challenges for leaders. You constantly face new problems or opportunities that are filled with unknowns, require you to make judgment calls, and have layers of criteria upon which to measure success. Plans quickly go stale. So now you want the people you lead to be more agile, to adopt a more human-centered mindset through design thinking, to become continuous learners. But making that shift is a difficult journey. This course will help you explore how to make that shift as a leader - to lead with both design approaches and learning.

2 days | 6 to 10 hours per day + prep

  • Day 1: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm (dinner then networking)
  • Day 2: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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  • Who Should Attend
    • Executives and senior leaders in organizations of all types who seek a deeper look at design thinking for leaders.
    • Senior managers or team leaders in change management, organizational development, organizational effectiveness or talent development who wish to develop their ability to lead teams that use design approaches.
    • Experienced consultants who want to help co-create change with clients through design approaches.
  • What Questions Will We Answer?
    • How does a design approach apply to broader business challenges? How might we design for change?
    • Leading teams that use design approaches means giving them autonomy to explore and solve challenges. How do we do that as leaders while still moving toward desired outcomes?
    • Where are the key points where we co-create with our teams and the stakeholders who are impacted by our solutions?
    • How do we prototype solutions designed to change organizational outcomes?
    • What is the connection between design approaches and learning? What do we need to know about learning to lead it effectively?
  • Benefits and Outcomes
    • Learn how to approach organizational challenges using design methods and understand co-creation and learning as key elements.
    • Learn how to adapt your leadership role to better facilitate teams as they use design approaches to continuously discover new opportunities and develop new solutions.
    • Practice with tools and approaches on a current challenge you face - and learn how to adapt them to your specific role and setting.
Jeff Merrell, Teresa Torres


Jeff Merrell and Teresa Torres co-lead the Designing for Organizational Effectiveness Certificate program in the Master’s Program in Learning and Organizational Change and together teach MSLOC 456 Designing Solutions for Organizational Effectiveness.

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 an internationally recognized user research and design expert. She coaches product design teams and helps product design leaders make organizational changes to improve product decisions. See more about Teresa's work at Product Talk.