What It Is:
Immunity to Change, also known as the Immunity Map, is a concept and tool developed by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey. It is a psychological framework used to explore and understand why individuals or teams may resist or feel immune to certain changes, even when they consciously desire those changes. The approach helps uncover hidden, underlying assumptions and beliefs that act as barriers to personal or organizational change.
Origin of Immunity to Change: Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey introduced the concept of Immunity to Change in their book “Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization,” published in 2009. Kegan and Lahey are psychologists and educators known for their work in adult development and organizational learning.
How to Use It:
Using Immunity to Change in Agile Coaching:
- Identifying Hidden Assumptions:
- When coaching an Agile software delivery team, use the Immunity to Change framework to identify hidden assumptions and beliefs that may be hindering the team’s ability to embrace change. This could involve exploring resistance to adopting new practices, tools, or methodologies.
- Individual and Team Assessments:
- Facilitate individual or team assessments using the Immunity to Change process. This involves creating “maps” that help individuals and teams visualize their current mindset and the competing commitments that may be impeding change.
- Creating a Safe Environment:
- Foster a safe and non-judgmental environment for team members to explore their underlying assumptions. The Immunity to Change process encourages open dialogue and reflection, creating a space for individuals to share their concerns and fears without fear of reprisal.
- Iterative Experimentation:
- Encourage individuals and teams to design and conduct small, iterative experiments aimed at challenging and testing their existing assumptions. This allows for incremental change and learning while addressing the root causes of resistance.
Leveraging the Immunity to Change framework in Agile coaching can lead to a deeper understanding of the psychological barriers to change within individuals and teams. By addressing these hidden assumptions, Agile coaches can contribute to a more adaptive and resilient organizational culture.
- “Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization” by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey:
- The book by Kegan and Lahey is a comprehensive resource that provides in-depth insights into the Immunity to Change framework, including practical examples and case studies.
- Articles and Case Studies:
- Look for articles and case studies that apply the Immunity to Change framework in organizational settings. These resources can provide real-world examples of how the approach has been used to facilitate change.
- Workshops and Training Programs:
- Explore workshops and training programs that teach the Immunity to Change process. Participating in such programs can enhance your understanding of the framework and provide practical facilitation skills.
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