Leading Organizational Transformation

Printer Friendly Version

Certificate Program Director: Nancy Southern, EdD

Organizations are made up of people, but they rarely change and adapt as well as people do. Leading organizational transformation requires an understanding of the nature of transformation, personal experience of transformation, the ability for authentic leadership, and knowledge of organizational culture, systems, and processes that support change.

Becoming a Change Agent

At Saybrook we believe that we can change the world by acting in ways that are socially responsible and ethical, and that engage the human spirit. The Leading Organizational Transformation certificate provides the learner with the opportunity to develop organizational systems knowledge and practical skills needed to be an effective leader and change agent in whatever professional setting he or she chooses.

Develop the practical skills to understand organizational cultures and teach organizations large and small how to adapt in positive ways


The certificate in Leading Organization Transformation consists of four three credit courses, a three-credit practicum, and a one-credit integrative paper. Required Courses: ORG 7032, 7070, 7076, 7096

Practicum:The practicum must be directly involved with leading transformation in any type of organization. You may work with a defined project in your own organization or contract with another organization. With the assistance of the faculty advisor, you will develop a project plan, which constitutes the first assignment. A mid-project reflective status report and a final project summary are required.

Integrative Paper or Project: The last activity in the certificate program is writing a final paper that integrates what you've learned from the four courses and the practicum. This culminating assignment also gives you an opportunity to assess your strengths, identify further learning needs, and develop a specific plan for continuing your personal and professional development in the area of organizational transformation. The paper provides the opportunity to demonstrate praxis by applying theory to practice.

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this certificate, you will:

  • Understand the breadth and depth of transformational change
  • Be able to critically evaluate existing theories and models of organizational transformation
  • Be able to work with some of the tools, techniques, and practices now available
  • Have an enhanced capacity to guide successful transformation efforts
  • Appreciate the cultural, ethical, and psychological aspects of transformation and be able to apply your work with compassion and respect.

Learning/Teaching Approach

Once you have enrolled in the certificate program in Leading Organizational Transformation, please contact the certificate director above to develop a plan based on your area of interest. You will then work through the courses, using the learning guides available on the Saybrook online learning platform, and selecting instructors that best complement your learning objectives.

The next section of the certificate, the practicum, is planned with a faculty advisor. The practicum is tailored to the professional needs of the student and requires the direct involvement of leading transformational change in an organization. You will need to consider your learning interests and find an organization in which to work that will enable you to meet the course requirements and, ideally, complete the work within a semester.

The Practical Value of This Certificate

Businesses, as well as public, nonprofit, and community organizations strive to develop new cultures, structures, systems, and processes that enable them to thrive in an ever-changing world. To accomplish this, they need leaders who can envision and facilitate the needed transformation. Since we do not yet have enough people with the desire and ability to lead transformational change, these skills are highly valued. Professionals with specialized training in leading transformation might find themselves in a variety of leadership roles where change and transformation are needed. People with these skills can choose to be leaders holding positions in the organizations or become organizational consultants.