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Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Leadership for the Common Good) Hardcover – January 13, 2009
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About the Author
Lahey is a Harvard-educated adult development psychologist.
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Top Customer Reviews
At the risk of being overly reductive, I will try to summarize the theory.
People deal with fear and anxiety as a normal part of life. They don't feel this fear most of the time because they have created effective internal anxiety management systems. Those frameworks for evaluating experience are beneficial and necessary but can also form a hidden barrier to the desire to achieve adaptive change. The development of a more complex mental framework (the "self-transforming mind") help the individual recognize the filtering effect and limitations of his/her own frame of reference. This recognition will allow the individual to begin to negate the effects of an internally imposed change immunity.
Looked at this way, any change which is adaptive rather than technical will, as a matter of course, put at risk "a way of knowing the world that also serves as a way of managing a persistent, fundemental anxiety." The authors argue that we can only succeed with adaptive changes by recognizing the seriousness of the internal challenge we face. The desired change can put at risk "what has been a very well-functioning way of taking care of ourselves.Read more ›
In clear language, Kegan and Lahey lay out a step by step methodology that facilitates a person's conscious understanding of his or her intentions, aspirations and goals to an identification of hidden "competing commitments", which may unintentionally hinder reaching these goals. The articulation of these competing commitments ultimately lead to an uncovering of the assumptions, beliefs and systems of meaning which can then be critically evaluated for their ability to promote or hinder success in the achievement of the goals and aspirations that anchor the process.
Their methodology helps people to reflect on themselves and their competing committments in a clear way. As an Executive Coach, I have repeatedly observed that leaders are limited most significantly by their inability to not only take the time to reflect but to know how best to use this reflection space. I also appreciate the fact that Lahey and Kegan link their methodology to a theory of development,demonstrating the process of increasing complexity of mind. This important link between practice and theory moves the user from an increase in self awareness (a very important step) to a broadening of how the leader thinks and acts.
I and my clients find their methodology very user friendly, specific and actionable.Read more ›
According to Kegan and Lahey, behavior change consists of two types: technical and adaptive. Technical behavior change involves the acquisition of new knowledge and/or skills which are then applied to achieving the new desired behavior. The necessary knowledge and skill are usually easily identified and straight forward in nature.
Most behavior change, however, also involves an adaptive element within the mind. This adaptive element requires a change in mindset, in addition to the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. Our mindset is made up of feelings, anxieties and motivations based on unconscious assumptions that can and often do result in equally strong desires and commitments not to change. The mindset is driven by "big assumptions" which create an immunity to change. Our mindset often sees our attempts at behavior change as being "life threatening."
This book lays out a theory and framework for how individuals and organizations can identify and change their mindsets and their underlying supportive assumptions.
The book is divided into three sections. The first lays out the underlying theory and change framework. Chapter 1 is especially tough reading, so don't get frustrated, discouraged or bogged down in it. The rest of the book is better. Section two is about case examples which serve as good illustrations of the theory and framework. You can gain an understanding from the cases that will help you to make sense of what you read in Chapter 1.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent practical book with lots of examples of how to put the theory into practise.Published 11 days ago by Fiona A. Fraser
Kagan's work will challenge you to think, differently and productively, about the issues you face, both personally and organizationally.Published 23 days ago by Robert
Great book for overcoming thorny blocks to professional development. Excellent detailed and practical steps for individual and group work at the organizational or departmental... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lorraine Williams
I read this as part of the Edex course on change. It is, IMO, the best book on how to change embedded beliefs on the market.Published 1 month ago by Mike
This is one of my all-time favourite books. The notion of an immunity to change is so profound that it'll stay with me in every leadership moment.Published 1 month ago by Brad Herbert
Excellent book for consultants engaged in a Change Initiative. It will provide practical help to determine the stage of adult development of your coachees and help you understand... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Poorly written (sales-y, many redundant examples)
Yet, the underlying model is extremely powerful and is totally worth... Read more