Designing for Organizational Effectiveness Certification

Designing for Organizational Effectiveness Certification

designing for organizational effectiveness

You integrate strategy and design thinking to better leverage your organization’s talent and organizational capabilities to adapt to emerging opportunities and challenges. Several factors – culture, employee engagement, data analysis, structure, collaboration technology – empower your approach to transforming organizational effectiveness.

Developing this perspective is the goal of our four-course/12-month Designing for Organizational Effectiveness Certification (DOEC).


Certification Paths

Two paths are available to complete the Designing for Organizational Effectiveness Certification (DOEC) from the Master's Program in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC).

Four-Course/12-Month Program

where you live

Anywhere in
the U.S.


You meet on campus for two consecutive days during each 10-week quarter and participate in additional virtual class sessions and course activities in our unique online learning community - The Hive.

Master's Degree Program

where you live

Anywhere in
the U.S.


You complete the certification as part of your master's degree. Part-time students may live anywhere in the U.S. International students may complete the certification and degree as full-time students.

Important Program Dates



Orientation and Kickoff

Friday Sept. 15, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Application Deadline

June 10

June 10 is the final deadline for admission into the September, 2017 cohort. No applications will be reviewed prior to that deadline.

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A Foundation and Toolset for Innovating Organizational Effectiveness Solutions

This certification is for senior managers and professionals who wish to innovate in strategic leadership roles encompassing talent and organizational effectiveness. It will be valuable for professionals in human capital, organizational development, organization effectiveness or strategic talent development roles, as well as leaders whose responsibilities cross these disciplines.

As a participant in this program you will:

  • Learn to generate evidence-based insights and offer feasible yet innovative recommendations to senior-level audiences about organizational effectiveness
  • Gain experience interpreting and applying culture, engagement, and social network analysis data to diagnose and address organizational problems
  • Develop organizational design skills that help effectively influence conversations about organizational strategy, politics, culture, talent, and key processes
  • Understand social-practice perspectives on organizational knowledge and learning and use innovative models to design a technology solution to address strategic challenges
  • Learn to apply design methodology tools to envision and implement innovative solutions


Design an Innovative Solution for an Organization

The DOEC helps translate theory into practice through a 12-month process that involves designing an innovative solution for an organizational effectiveness challenge. You will apply MSLOC design methodology, along with insights from coursework, to a real-world challenge you define in collaboration with an experienced DOEC mentor and an organization of your choice.

You will also document your learning journey throughout the certification program in an eportfolio website, culminating in a case study about your design project. Your personal eportfolio website provides a platform to develop your thought leadership, build digital literacy skills, and begin to establish a digital presence among a network of key practitioners in your field. 

Design projects may address any of a variety of business challenges where strategy and organizational talent intersect. The following examples illustrate the types of challenges that may generate solution design projects:

  • Addressing culture challenges after major organizational changes – strategic direction, mergers/acquisitions, hyper-growth, outsourcing, etc.
  • Attracting, onboarding and retaining talent required to meet competitive challenges
  • Designing and implementing a new employee value proposition
  • Retooling performance management practices
  • Transforming professional or leadership development
  • Creating new approaches to achieve diversity and inclusion goals
  • Aligning collaboration and knowledge sharing to support digital transformation goals

Curriculum Overview

DOEC Four Courses and Co-Curricular Activities

The general pacing of the co-curricular modules is outlined below and mapped in relation to phases of the MSLOC design methodology.

Orientation Activities

  • Meet your peers in your certification cohort and your Mentor
  • Learn about the eportfolio process and MSLOC design methodology
  • Propose the organization that you want to work with for your case, which can be either your current employer or another organization to which you have access

Discovery Phase

Quarter 1: Co-Curricular

  • Learn about and document your case organization’s general context and strategic priorities
  • Begin collecting data available at the organization
  • Create a plan for how you will access any additional information that you need

Quarter 2: Co-Curricular

  • Continue learning about your case organization through both internal and external research
  • Dive deeper into the problem space that you want to explore
  • Define the strategic challenge that you will address

Strategize and Ideate Phase

Quarter 3: Co-Curricular

  • Explore possible solutions to your selected problem
  • Create a journey map of your proposed solution
  • Identify specific aspects of the solution that could be prototyped and tested

Prototype and Implement Phase

Quarter 4: MSLOC 456 Course Work


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Contact Us

Master's in Learning & Organizational Change

First Floor, Annenberg Hall
2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-7376

Email: msloc@northwestern.edu