Throughout the course, you will work on getting better at something that is important to you in your professional life. This course is about you taking action to change your life in a meaningful way. While there are readings and quizzes most weeks, the focus is not learning about something new. Instead, the focus is on learning how to do something new. You will only achieve your goal if you actually fully engage in all of the exercises each week.
Each week, you will engage in four to six different activities online, plus the exercises that you will carry out in the real world, in your real life. All of these activities are self-paced, meaning you can do them at any time during the week (provided you budget yourself enough time to complete both the “on-screen” and “real world” activities in the same week).
- Videos – Watching recorded lectures of Professor Robert Kegan and Lecturer Lisa Lahey. The videos generally provide instructions on how to carry out the exercises you will record in the Change Diary (#5 below).
- Readings – Most but not all weeks have readings. The readings include excerpts from Kegan and Lahey's books Immunity to Change (required purchase) and Right Weight, Right Mind (provided for free), plus documents made specifically for this course with additional examples.
- Quizzes – Multiple-choice quizzes about the video lectures and readings.
- Polls and Surveys – Some weeks have quick polls so that we can learn more about how you all are doing; other weeks have important surveys.
- Change Diary – The Change Diary is the key element of the course. This is a dynamic online journal, and it's where you will record your experiences with the course activities.
- Discussion Forum – This is an online threaded discussion forum, and it's where we build our online community. There will be forums for the entire course, as well as smaller, more private forums.
This is a 12-week course (including a "week 0" orientation). By the end of the 12 weeks, you should have made very real progress towards a goal that matters to you.
What a week is like
As you’ll read below, some of the weeks of the course include an exercise for you to do in your real life, while others do not (instead they include on-screen exercises where you reflect and write at your desk). When a real world exercise is assigned, we recommend that you spend time with the course early in the week (so you can learn about the exercise), then spend the middle of the week doing the activity, and then return to the course late in the week to record what you have done and discuss with your peers. In such weeks, it won’t be possible to complete all the work in a single day. You need at least one day, and preferably several, in between learning about the assignment and writing your reflections on it, to actually do the exercise.
During weeks that only involve on-screen exercises, the timing is quite flexible. As long as you meet the deadline for the discussion forum post, you could do all the work in a single session. However, we recommend that you spread the work over several days so you have more time to be truly reflective.
In this session you will become acquainted with the course web platform and the role of instructors, coaches, and learners in our courses. You will meet your fellow course participants and learn about each other’s backgrounds and work contexts.
During session 1 and 2, you will create your "Immunity to Change map." You'll begin in this session by choosing your improvement goal — what you hope to get better at over the next 12 weeks. Choosing your goal is the first step in creating your ITC map. This week, you’ll also learn about the relationship between your individual goal and the collective goal or goals of your team or work context.
This week you will complete your Immunity to Change map. You'll be guided through a process (via the course videos and Change Diary) to create a map of your psychic immune system. This map serves as the foundation for the remainder of the course.
Your Immunity to Change map includes the assumptions you make about the world that are holding you back from achieving your goal. Dismantling these Big Assumptions is a key component of the ITC process.
Having hopefully created a compelling picture of your "immune system," you will now have the chance to try on a series of activities designed to overcome your "immunity to change." This week, you will do an exercise called "Self Observations." This week, you will watch videos, do some on-screen reading, take some quizzes, and go through two screens of the Change Diary, all to help you learn how to do the Self-Observation exercise. Then you will do the self-observation during your normal, day-to-day life for several days. Next, you will return to the Change Diary to capture your reflections. That means that you cannot fill out the entire Change Diary assignment for this week in a single sitting. You have to leave your computer for a few days, do the exercise, then return to complete your entries.
This week, you will write your Continuum of Progress, also known as your Picture of Progress, where you imagine what your life would be like if you were not subject to your Big Assumption. This is a writing exercise, so you don't need to leave the computer and engage with an activity in "the real world" (like you did with the Self-Observations last week). But you will still benefit from taking time to reflect, in order to create your fullest vision of yourself no longer subject to your Big Assumption and fully succeeding at your goal.
This week you will learn how to design a safe test of the accuracy of your Big Assumption. Testing Big Assumptions is how we overturn the aspects of our psychic immune system that are limiting us.
You will be guided through a process to help you design the best test you possibly can. You have the whole week to design your test, and next week to run it and interpret the results (next week's lesson is called "running and interpreting your first test"). We’ll be encouraging you to take your time in designing your first test — you want it to be a good one.
This week you will run the safe test of your Big Assumption that you designed last week and then interpret the data you collected. This means leaving your desk and taking action in the real world, whether at home or at work. You give the world a chance to show you that your Big Assumption, which might have made complete sense at an earlier time in your life, is due for some modification for today and tomorrow.
Remember that you first take action and record the results of that action. Your focus should be on what you actually did (versus what you planned to do) — record this in detail for best results — and what happened — the data you were actually able to collect (versus what you planned to collect). Again, record this in detail for best results. This will give you the most information when you take the next step, which is interpreting your test to learn what it tells you about the validity of your Big Assumption.
This week you will design your second test of your Big Assumption. You have one week to design your test and next week (session 9) to run and interpret it. Running multiple tests is important to help you fully overturn the aspects of your psychic immune system that are holding you back.
This week you will run the second test of your Big Assumption that you designed last week and then interpret the data you collected.
This week you will design, run, and interpret a third test of your Big Assumption. This session’s lesson is optional to provide time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
In the last two sessions, we wrap up our learning and change process. In session 10, you complete the Hooks and Releases exercise, where you will reflect on how far you have moved towards overturning your psychic immune system and work to recognize those elements that still “trip you up” (and how you can set yourself free again when you are tripped up).
In the final week of the course, we focus on "ending well." We will "look back to look forward," as we reflect on what we have learned over the course of our weeks together. People taking the course as individuals will review their Change Diaries; people taking the course as part of a team will also have the chance to reflect on their collective progress and how they would like to work together after the course has ended.