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Week 3: Testing assumptions that hinder change

An important aspect of self-managed organizations is the development of individuals. Robert Kegan & Lisa Laskow Lahey describe in their book on adult learning Immunity to change, Deliberate Developmental Organizations (DDO) as organizations that enable their collaborators to overcome their own internal barriers to change, become aware of their own blind spots, weaknesses and biases to be able to transcend them as an opportunity for growth.

DDO leaders strive to create an environment where it is safe to risk working with both thinking and feeling and being open to try new behaviors to bring about true change and innovatioin.

The Immunity to Change Worksheet developed by Robert & Lisa is a metaphorical exploration of how our competing commitments protect us from our worries and thus stop us from changing for the better. Another metaphor to illustrate the change process is having one foot on the acclerator while the other foot is on the brakes.

This individual work contributes to the growth and change process of the company.

4 key questions to uncover hidden assumptions that block us from change:

  1. What are my improvement goals? What actions do I need to take to achieve my goals?
  2. What are the behavivours that work against my goals?
  3. What are my current worries that block me? What are the competing commitments, that is behaviours that keep me safe from my fears ?
  4. What are my big assumptions and beliefs that assist my competing commitments and blocks my improvement goals?

The first three questions help us probe and identify underlying behaviours and the competing commitments while the last question uncovers the assumptions that need to be tested and busted.

Testing assuptions

I’m not working in a Deliberate Developmental Organization while I believe that my strengths lie in coaching and facilitation. One of my big assumptions is that I don’t have enough experience to play the coaching role as I have been working for standard organizations until now, nor do I have the qualifications.

Looking into my fears, the competing commitments and my behaviours I believe there are 2 ways of testing my assumption. The first one is by contacting DDO or by applying for open positions in DDO to get their feedback, and the second option which resonates more is to apply DDO tools and practices in my current role to see how my current team and organization welcome it. It would be as simple as engaging with my team at the next meeting while planning for a new project or discussing a change initiative.

The Immunity to Change Canva helped me identify this assumption that would let me prosper and as an individual to live a richer version of myself in my current organiation.



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