Leading Through Change

Why is it that we often want to change, but find that we are unable to do so? Why is change so difficult even when everyone and everything is aligned around the goal? The reason is that most of us have built-in Immunity to Change.

Based on their research in adult development theory, Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey have developed an innovative teaching methodology and process called Immunity to Change.

According to Kegan; “We think we have discovered a powerful dynamic that tends to keep us stuck exactly where we are, despite sincere, even passionate, intentions to change. A recent study concluded that doctors can tell heart patients that they will literally die if they do not change their ways, and still only about one in seven will be able to make the changes. These are not people who want to die. They want to live out their lives, fulfill their dreams, watch their grandchildren grow up—and, still, they cannot make the changes they need to in order to survive.”

“If wanting to change and actually being able to are so uncertainly linked when our very lives are on the line,” Kegan asks, “why should we expect that even the most passionate business leader’s aspiration to improve or close achievement gaps are going to lead to the necessary changes actually occurring?” What this implies, says Kegan, is that more knowledge is needed about the change process itself, and more understanding of the ‘immunity to change’.

This workshop framework and tool is an awareness-building exercise that makes explicit that which is currently implicit. Immunity to Change helps participants better understand their competing commitments and truly begin to understand the motivation behind behavior and why change, with all of the very best of intentions and goals, can be so difficult to master.

Michael Ryder and Helen Mitrofanis from InsideOut Consulting Group regularly teach Immunity to Change Workshops / Master Classes, having both trained at Harvard USA under the direct supervision of Professor Robert Kegan and Dr Lisa Lahey in the facilitation of the Immunity to Change framework.

The framework is a powerful tool for those individuals, teams and organisations which, despite having very clear goals and aspirations for themselves and / or others, somehow struggle to implement the necessary changes that will successfully enable them over the long term.