Immunity to Corporate Change Theory – Guidance

“The immune system is a system of influence that operates beneath the level of our awareness, and it’s designed to preserve our existing way of making meaning.” – Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, (Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization. Published 2009.)

Immunity to Corporate Change Theory

As a senior executive leader, understanding the dynamics of identity, status, and power is crucial for successful transformation. Identity refers to our sense of self, including our values, beliefs, and purpose. Status is our position or standing within a group or organization, while power is our ability to control our environment and shape outcomes.

Individual identity is shaped by our experiences, beliefs, and values, while group identity is formed through shared experiences, norms, and values. Leaders must navigate these complex dynamics to create an environment where change can thrive.

“The key to change is not to try to change others, but to change ourselves.” – Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey

Immunity to change is the unconscious conflict between our deep-seated beliefs and the need for transformation. It’s the silent killer of change initiatives, and it’s more prevalent than you think.

The Five-Step Consideration

To derisk immunity to change, you may consider five crucial steps approach:

1. Identify the Change Goal: Clearly define what you want to achieve and what needs to change.

2. Describe the Behavior: Honestly assess what’s preventing the change from happening.

3. Uncover Hidden Commitments: Expose the unconscious beliefs driving the resistance.

4. Challenge Assumptions: Test the validity of those beliefs and assumptions.

5. Take Action: Address the root causes and move forward with confidence.

The Leader’s Role

As a leader, it’s your job to create an environment where change can thrive. Here’s how:

1. Foster Trust: Build a culture of open communication and trust.

2. Empower Collaboration: Encourage teamwork and shared ownership.

3. Provide Support: Offer resources and guidance for growth and development.

4. Lead by Example: Demonstrate a growth mindset and adaptability.

5. Monitor Progress: Regularly assess and address immunity to change.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

By following these steps and leading by example, you’ll create a more transformation-friendly environment through leadership – where your team can thrive. Remember, immunity to change is a natural phenomenon, but with the right approach, you can appreciate it and achieve more lasting success.

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” – Peter Drucker

Immunity to change does and will always exist. With growth of individualism in working patterns and career patterns – we strongly feel coaching / advising on this is a critical skill.

Together we go in with good intent and help your leaders embrace the future, and lead the way. Contact Good Intent for advisory.