Applied Organizational Change: Methods Dojo

Course Number
DYNM 6440 001
Course Code
Course Key
Primary Program
Course Description
This seminar is designed to support existing and emerging leaders who recognize their need for more adaptive practices to effect organizational and individual change in complex and rapidly changing environments. Building on a strong base of theory, this seminar is largely experiential. Students are expected to identify a real need in a system (work, internship, or volunteer), which, if improved, would have a substantial improvement on overall organizational performance and satisfaction. Beginning with this problem or dilemma, the seminar is designed as a 'dojo.' or practice space, where students can clarify their own assumptions about how and why change occurs and practice new techniques and approaches for eliciting change. Theory provides the foundation for our work and students will be expected to recognize and be able to articulate how they are operationalizing theory in their setting. The purpose of the seminar is to evoke change at more impactful levels and improve organizational performance and personal satisfaction. Participants will examine their own and others' change theories by identifying assumptions about change, testing methods that evoke change, and field-testing actual shifts in behavior. Participants will engage in a four-phase exploration over the course of the seminar: first, participants will have an opportunity to articulate their mental models about how change occurs and examine those of a few cutting-edge theorists; second, participants will be asked to learn and practice a minimum of 16, and possibly up to 25, organizational change micro-methods in class; third, participants will be asked to activate and test their change model using some selection of these methods learned in class on the problem they identified at the beginning of class real-time; and finally, participants will be asked to report on their experiences and re-examine their own models for possible revisions. This course is designed to create an 'action-learning' community in which participants will gain new knowledge and applied skills and give and receive feedback while weaving their professional experience, this class, and other graduate course work into a new, more robust toolkit of change methodology. This course is also designed to strengthen students' ability to lead change from wherever they find themselves in a system. Non-DYNM students: please include a brief job description in your permissions request.
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