Leading Change Through Design

Winter 2022


Experiential Learning

Session Dates: January 5 - February 2 | 2022
Application Deadline: December 20, 2021

Student presenting

Executive Learning and Organizational Change is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®

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Course Overview

Design thinking offers the potential to create an agile, human-centered approach to the continuous change that most of us now face in our organizations. But leading change through design thinking depends on having the right set of methods and frameworks to help guide you along the way. This course will introduce you to those design methods and frameworks, including how to lead a discovery process to better empathize with those who will be impacted by a change, how to lead idea generation to avoid narrowly-framed solutions, and how to implement change through a test to learn approach that allows for iteration and feedback. As a participant in this course, you'll walk away with new tools and methods to more effectively lead change in environments requiring agility.

Virtual sessions on Wednesdays - 7:00 - 9:00 pm CST

January 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2022

February 2, 2022


Learn More
  • Who Should Attend
    • Practitioners in for-profit and non-profit industries who wish to develop their ability to apply design methods in organizational change. No previous design experience needed.
  • What Questions Will We Answer
    • What are the fundamental elements of human centered design process and practice?
    • How do we apply design practices to lead organizational change efforts? How is this different than applying design practices to create products or services?
    • What are the challenges in adapting design practices for organizational change? How do I get my organization to embrace this approach? How might we use design methods to approach that change?
  • Benefits and Outcomes
    • Practice the elements of human centered design in a simulation.
    • Develop a playbook to apply design methods in your own organization.
    • Identify and plan for the changes required to adapt design methods in your organization.
Ryan Smerek


Ryan Smerek

Ryan E. Smerek, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Assistant Director of Academic Affairs in the Master's of Science in Learning and Organizational Change program at Northwestern University. He is the author of Organizational Learning and Performance: The Science and Practice of Building a Learning Culture (Oxford University Press) and a thought leader in organizational learning and performance, innovation and decision-making with a background in academia and culture and leadership consulting.

Maggie Lewis


Maggie Lewis

Maggie Lewis is a member of the leadership team at , a digital consultancy, and a graduate of the MS Learning & Organizational Program at Northwestern University. Combining theory and practice, Maggie employs principles of design thinking, learning and strategic change to increase organizational effectiveness.