Change Management through Design

Workshop Dates: November 9–27, 2020

Enrol here!


In order to get the most out of the learning experience, this course will now take place remotely over three weeks from November 9–27. Students will focus on their own personal change management projects while working in small support pods.

Pre-session: Two weeks prior to class, the faculty will hold a one-hour session to discuss individual challenges and team formation.

Kickoff session (to be scheduled by faculty): 4-hour full group session

After the kickoff session, the following schedule will be used for the remainder of the course, starting the week of November 9:
• Monday: 3-hour full group session
• Tuesday: 2-hour pod session
• Wednesday: 3-hour full group session
• Thursday: 2-hour pod session

Faculty: TBA

What is this workshop?

Technology is changing our world faster than citizens, businesses and governments can respond, leading to uncertainty and increasingly negative outcomes. And, while organisations of all types, sizes and maturities are struggling to adapt—rethinking their external customer/citizen value propositions while simultaneously reinventing themselves internally—traditional change management schemes based on hierarchical models are proving less and less effective.

Although ‘digital transformation’ has become the new solution buzz word, experts like Chris Skinner have pointed out that digital is about culture and people rather than technology. To bridge this gap, businesses, governments and NGOs are finding an unlikely partner in design—building, buying or partnering not only to create cutting-edge products and services, design’s traditional role, but to foster innovation and organisational transformation as well.

Design Transformation is an emerging, holistic, and people-centred approach which focuses on building ‘social technology’ for the 21st century. The method drives innovation by developing the mindsets, skills and tools which enable people to co-create the processes and culture necessary for success in today’s ever-changing world.

Design’s focus on human needs and behaviours, positions it as a powerful player in the Transformation space. Indeed, the same methods and principles which create amazing products and services for customers and citizens are equally applicable to building strong, innovative and change-embracing teams, processes and cultures. The Design Transformation process bridges three traditional silos: leadership vision, organisational capacity building and co-created process change to deliver real and meaningful impact. It leverages the power of leadership vision while acknowledging that organisation-wide behaviour change in each individual employee is essential to success.

In order to get the most out of the learning experience, this course will take place remotely over three weeks from November 9–27. The workshop will use a hands-on project-based approach to explore the Design Transformation process for fostering innovation from the inside out. Each student will focus on their own personal change management project while working in small support pods. Students from the same organization can work on a group challenge. All students will receive a digital workbook to guide their learning journey.

What will you learn?

  • How to recognise and make the case for organisational change through design
  • How the Design Transformation process works in practice
  • How to envision a customer-centric value proposition 
  • Steps for connecting leadership vision to organisational capabilities
  • Methods for reinventing systems through co-creation
  • Ways of measuring impact and improving through iteration
  • Insights from case studies like BBVA, IBM and others
  • Steps for kickstarting Design Transformation in your organisation

How will you learn it?

Week 1: Understand
We will spend the first week researching and analyzing the desired change in terms of the system and its users. Our goal is to understand the real needs and behaviors of those involved and to build empathy. We will look at techniques to contextualize the change (defining the what, why, and how), research the change (deeply understanding needs, dependencies and opportunities), and finally we will reframe the change as a strategic organizational challenge. Tools include: Systems thinking, ecosystem/stakeholder mapping, qualitative research techniques, personas generation, and insights analysis.

Week 2: Experiment
In Week 2, we will focus on how best to enact the change based on what we know. Initially, we will consider as many ideas as possible before narrowing to just a few for exploration through prototyping and testing and iteration. We will look at quick and low-fidelity techniques to hypothesize, prototype and test change concepts before committing major resources to the effort. Tools include: Divergent and convergent thinking, ideation, storyboarding, paper prototyping, bodystorming, and concept testing.

Week 3: Implement
Implementation is crucial to effective change management and cannot happen in a workshop. Week 3 of the course focuses on implementing the most successful experiments by building and scaling through the organization. Our goal is to anchor change in a sustainable ecosystem connecting purpose, people and process. We will look at ways to connect the change initiative to the larger system/organization, mobilize people to engage with and take ownership of the change, as well as ways to extend the change through process and structure. Tools include: Impact/effort matrix, influence/interest matrix, people plan, process blueprint, and piloting plan.

Is this for you?

This workshop is open to anyone who is interested and curious about how to transform organisations leveraging the toolset of human-centred design. The workshop will be particularly relevant to those who work in or with large corporations and the public sector or have the aspiration to do so in the future. This five-day experience will be interesting for service designers, product/interaction designers, as well as business and engineering professionals interested in knowing more on how to apply design not just for products and services but for organisational change.

What you need to bring to this workshop:

  • A computer

Enrol now: There is a maximum number of 20 places available for each workshop, first come first served. Enrolment will be closed when the workshops are full.