Agile coaches blame failed Agile adoption on people’s resistance to change. But two Harvard professors showed that people do not necessarily resist change. They often have a hidden competing commitment. The result is a stalled effort, which looks like resistance. We call it immunity to change.

A medical study showed that when doctors tell their seriously ill heart patients that they will die if they do not make changes to their lifestyle, only one in seven patients is able to make a change. Crazy! According to Harvard professors, Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, people do not resist change. Even when people are genuinely committed to change, they subconsciously apply effort toward a hidden competing commitment. It is like shoveling sand against the tide.

In this workshop, I want to demonstrate the power of the Immunity to Change framework developed by Kegan and Lahey and share my practical experience overcoming this immunity when implementing Agile.