Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization

Immunity to Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey.

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, Kegan and 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, the authors 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.


When it comes to change, desire and motivation aren’t enough. Kegan and Lahey examine why change is so hard and offer innovative, practical insight to overcome the internal and external obstacles and to meet the challenge of change. Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks; President, Disney-ABC Television Group

…brilliant insights into the mysteries of the change process at the heart of personal and organizational success…Any leader seriously interested in developing new strengths in others-and in oneself-needs to read this book. —¬†Daniel Goleman, author, Emotional Intelligence

Immunity to Change is a wonderfully original approach to a familiar problem: why many crucial change efforts fail. It shows how the core problems of resistance to change stem from the critical gaps between what is required and a leader’s own level of development. I know of no book that does a better job of helping leaders understand the commitment to change and how to put it into practice. —Peter Senge, author, The Fifth Discipline, and coauthor, The Necessary Revolution

Not being able to change doesn’t mean we’re lazy, stubborn, or weak. A pair of Harvard educators (Lahey and Kegan) argue that our best-laid plans often fall through for smart, self-protective (and ingeniously¬†hidden) reasons. —¬†O Magazine, December 200