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. As employees are asked to be more agile, lifelong learners, organizational leaders must be able to coach the agility they expect. This course was designed in response to requests from executives seeking to learn how to be better leaders through continuous organizational change by shifting toward approaches to co-create change through continuous discovery and learning. The course takes a unique perspective based in design methods plus learning, helping leaders to lead teams as they explore complex challenges that require multiple criteria for evaluating solutions and much judgment along the way. Participants will learn ways to stay in the problem space, build trust and efficacy during uncertainty, prioritize opportunities, and prototype 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 who must address uncertain futures and wish to do so by focusing on outcomes instead of outputs and leveraging design thinking.
    • Senior managers or team leaders who are responsible for organizational change and wish to broaden their toolkit.
    • Experienced designers and consultants who want to help facilitate organizational transformation.
  • What Questions Will We Answer
    • How is taking a co-creation (design + learning) approach to change different from traditional change management approaches? What difference can it make?
    • What types of organizational challenges 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 examples?
    • How does this approach work? What steps do I need to take as a leader to be prepared and to lead my teams this way?
    • 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? How does co-creation become a continuous process?
  • Benefits and Outcomes
    • Learn how to approach organizational transformations using design methods, 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.