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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) [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Robert Kegan , Lisa Lahey

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1. Januar 2009 Leadership for the Common Good
A recent study showed that when doctors tell heart patients they will die if they don't change their habits, only one in seven will be able to follow through successfully. Desire and motivation aren't enough: even when it's literally a matter of life or death, the ability to change remains maddeningly elusive. Given that the status quo is so potent, how can we change ourselves and our organizations? In Immunity to Change, authors Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey show how our individual beliefs--along with the collective mind-sets in our organizations--combine to create a natural but powerful immunity to change. By revealing how this mechanism holds us back, Kegan and Lahey give us the keys to unlock our potential and finally move forward. And by pinpointing and uprooting our own immunities to change, we can bring our organizations forward with us. This persuasive and practical book, filled with hands-on diagnostics and compelling case studies, delivers the tools you need to overcome the forces of inertia and transform your life and your work.

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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) + How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work: Seven Languages for Transformation (Psychology) + Die Entwicklungsstufen des Selbst: Fortschritte und Krisen im menschlichen Leben
Preis für alle drei: EUR 62,80

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Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, coauthors of How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work, have been research and practice collaborators for twenty-five years. Lahey is the William and Miriam Meehan Professor in Adult Learning and Professional Development at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. Kegan is the Associate Director of Harvard's Change Leadership Group and a founding principal of Minds at Work, a leadership-learning professional services firm.

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.6 von 5 Sternen  64 Rezensionen
78 von 81 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen "We have met the enemy and he is us." 23. Februar 2009
Von The Ginger Man - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Not simply a book about organizational transformation, Immunity to Change is a challenging analysis of how our well-developed methods of processing information and experience become barriers that hinder our attempts to achieve adaptive change. The first section of the book describes the theory and can be pretty tough going. The second applies the theory to case studies of organization change. The last is a primer on how to detect and overcome change immunity in your own organization.

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."

This all begins to explain why diets fail, smokers continue their habit in the face of a life threatening diagnosis or a manager does not increase flexibility even if his/her job depends on so doing.

If the authors are wrong, reading this book may add unnecessary complexity to our efforts to affect the change process. If they are correct, however, they are providing the beginnings of a critical understanding of the barriers to fundemental change as well as a methodology both to detect and resolve the problem.

Many business books present somewhat simplistic reformulations of problems with which managers have long wrestled. This book, on the other hand, offers a complex psychological and epistemological methodology to detect the seemingly insurmountable barrier to individual and organizational change. I found the arguments insightful and compelling but think it unlikely I could apply the approach suggested in section 3 without the assistance of a professional coach. Given that caveat, if the outputs can be as significant as the authors suggest, it would be worth the cost and the effort.
46 von 47 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A unique approach to developing leaders that works! 27. Februar 2009
Von Robert Goodman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I write this review from the perspective of an Executive Coach who has been practicing for 15 years and who has used this methodology with executives/leaders over the past three years. I can vouch that it works, not only with individual leaders but in a team development context as well. Working well means that individuals have changed behaviors; in the case of the team, that it learned to overcome difficult communication challenges resulting in a measured increase in trust among its members.

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. There are distinct actions one can take, experiments to design and run. It is an active process; the act of designing and running learning experiments while engaging others in the process puts the developer in the driver's seat encouraging agency and ownership for learning. Many of my clients have expressed excitement at their self generated discoveries. Other contributions: the positive frame and non-judgmental stance of their methodology bring people to their big assumptions gently, maximizing receptivity to learning and change. "Defenses" potentially can relax, respecting individual needs relative to the pace of change.

This is a very important tool for any Executive Coach's tool box, yet it is more than at tool. It is a way into developing a "bigger" world from which to lead others and that's what leaders need most.
33 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Greater Wisdom 28. Februar 2009
Von T. Thresher - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I am delighted to give my highest recommendation to Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey's newest book Immunity to Change. I have used their material (How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work) for nearly eight years in my capacity as a minister and in my work as a business school instructor. I have observed remarkable changes in individual lives using these tools.
Immunity to Change takes Kegan/Lahey wisdom to the next level. It elaborates and expands their tools for dealing with the invisible assumptions that run our individual lives. It clearly spells out how to create safe, effective tests of these Big Assumptions to subtly shift our foundational perspective. It then extrapolates these tools to team process to help us discover and change the Big Assumptions that stifle team productivity.
It is rare that a tool serves both spiritual development and the deepening of leadership capacity. This is one of those rare tools, expressed clearly and passionately. Buy it and enjoy.
Rev. Tom Thresher, Ph.D.
19 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen An Expanded View of Behavior Change 26. März 2009
Von William McPeck - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
As a worksite wellness specialist, I am constantly reminded of how difficult sustained behavior change can be. Despite strong desire and sincere commitment, most people fail in their attempt to permanently change their behavior. This book offers an explanation as to why.

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. The cases also do a good job of filling in the blanks, or in clearing up any confusion. The third section walks the reader through the process of applying the immunity to change framework to your own personal or organizational change initiatives.

By recognizing the need to identify and address the "sociocentric and psychocentric perspectives," of behavior change, this book adds to the current change management literature. If you are involved in the world of behavior change, you will definitely want to read this book.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An adaptive approach to sustainable improvement of personal and organizational performance 3. März 2009
Von Robert Morris - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
There are many reasons why it is so difficult to overcome what James O'Toole aptly describes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." In my opinion, one of the most formidable barriers frequently involves a paradox: Whatever enabled an organization to prosper has become the primary cause of its current problems. To paraphrase Marshall Goldsmith, "whatever got you here may well prevent you from getting there." No one defends failure (except as a source of potentially valuable knowledge) but many (if not most) people will vigorously defend the status quo because "it isn't broken," they prefer a "known devil" to an "unknown devil," or because they have developed what Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey describe as an "immunity to change." In was in an earlier book of theirs, How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work (2001), that they introduced what they describe as "a deceptively simple process - distilled and refined over many years - by which people can uncover the hidden motivations and beliefs that prevent them from making the very changes they know they should make and very much want to make" whatever the given goal may be. They have developed what Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton characterize as a "knowing-doing gap."

As do so many other outstanding business books, this one focuses on three critically important problems that need to be solved: First, the aforementioned "knowing-doing gap" and our need to understand what it is and how to overcome it; next, "a deep-seated private pessimism about how much people really can change"; and finally, the need for a better understanding of human development (what it is, how it is enabled, how it is constrained) in order to transform the operating system itself. Kegan and Lahey identify and then explain with rigorous precision "a route to genuine development, to the qualitative expansions of mind that significant increase human capability at work - not by rehiring but by renewing existing talent." They divide their material into three parts. First, they suggest new ways to understand the nature of change; then they demonstrate the value of their "deceptively simple process" by which achieve and then sustain improvement of individual, team, and organizational; then in Part 3, they invite their reader to complete a self-diagnosis to identify various "immunities" (at the personal, group, and organizational levels) that need to be overcome.

I was especially interested in the various devices that Kegan and Lahey provide. For example, the "X-ray" that consists of three columns on which to identify Behavior Goals (e.g. be more receptive to new ideas), Doing/Not Doing Instead behaviors that work against the goals (e.g. giving curt responses to new ideas with a "closing off," "cutting off" tone-of-voice), and Hidden Competing Commitments (e.g. "To have things done my way!"). Throughout their book, Kegan and Lahey use this device to demonstrate how both individuals and organizations have specified desired goals, changes needed to achieve them, and "hidden" but nonetheless significant elements that could delay, if not deny, achieving the desired goals. In Chapter, "Overcoming Groupwide Immunity to Change," they introduce another column: Collective Hidden Competing Commitments. Check out Figure 4-1 on Page 90. The question raised is "Why are junior faculty in a humanities department so rarely promoted?" In the fourth column, two collective competing commitments are identified: "We are committed to not increasing our workload on advising, teaching, and committee fronts. We are committed to preserving the privileges of seniority." Not all applications of the X-ray device need four columns. (Figure 4-5 on Page 100 doesn't whereas Figures 4-6 and 4-7 on Pages 106 and 107 do.) Other variations on the device include a different four-column matrix such as Figure 9-1 on Page 231 that a reader can use to create her or his own immunity X-ray.

For me, some of the most valuable material is provided in Chapter 8 as Kegan and Lahey focus on three "necessary ingredients" that, for shorthand purposes, they identify as "gut," "head and heart," and "hand." The extent to which a person is connected to all three will almost certainly determine the extent to which that person will be able to achieve and then sustain the significant changes that are desired. The two-pronged challenge is to establish and then sustain a tight connection with each of the three necessary ingredients, and, to then get them and sustain them in proper alignment/balance with each other. Kegan and Lahey examine each of the three ingredients, stressing the unique role of each: the "gut" functions as a vital source of motivation to "unlock" the potential for change, "head and heart" work simultaneously to engage both thinking and feeling throughout change initiatives, and the "hand" metaphor correctly suggests the importance of doing what the mind perceives and the heart yearns to be done. The authors quote Immanuel Kant's observation that "perception without conception is blind." In this context, I am reminded of Thomas Edison's assertion that "vision without execution is hallucination."

Near the end of this chapter, they list and briefly discuss what those who have helped to accomplish adaptive change share in common. For example, they change both their mindset and their behavior. They are keen observers of their own thoughts, feelings, and actions to learn as much as they can from them, not only about themselves but also (and especially) about their impact on others. One of their more important, indeed compelling objectives is to create more mental and emotional "space" for themselves; that is, to create more opportunities to learn, stretch, and (yes) to fail because they realize that every so-called "failure" is a precious learning opportunity. They take focused, bold and yet prudent risks and thereby "build on actual, rather than imagined, data about the consequences of their new actions."(In this respect, they are "betting" on themselves.) And paradoxically, the more they experience and the more disciplined as well as enlightened they become, the greater their sense of personal freedom. They find an increasingly more numerous - and more significant - opportunities to apply what they have learned. Their new as well as their more highly developed mental capabilities can be brought to bear on other challenges, in other venues, both in their work and in their personal lives. In the final chapter, Kegan and Lahey list seven crucial attributes of those individuals and organizations that take "a genuinely developmental stance."(Pages 308-309) I presume to suggest that those about to read this book examine this list first, then the Introduction and twelve chapters. I think this approach will guide and inform a careful reading of the material provided.

When concluding their brilliant book, Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey reassure their reader "that there is no expiration date on your ability to grow." That said, "We wish you big leaps and safe landings." In personal development as in climbing the world's highest mountains, attitude determines altitude. Let the ascent begin!
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