Timothy O'Brien Photo

Timothy O'Brien

Lecturer in Public Policy


This course is for: 

This course is designed for the practitioner, change agent and adult still wondering who and what they are going to be when they “grow up.” This course is for anyone who knows they need more capacity and bandwidth to do the work they want to do and make the impact they want to make. This course is for anyone who will be managing, training and supervising people. This course is for the HKS student looking to protect some time and space to focus on their own growth edges.  


Questions this course addresses: 

What would it look like to really, truly, develop people in such a way that their capacity for complexity really does grow. Why is it so hard to start exercising - even after your doctor says you will die early if you do not exercise? What distinguishes a “more” complex thinker from a “less” complex thinker? How do you overcome deeply ingrained assumptions within yourself? What do you need to know and what skills do you need to have to help others overcome deeply ingrained assumptions about themselves? 


How we address these questions: 

We will use Constructive Developmental Theory to help us understand resistance to change and dysfunctional defensive behavior. This lens will also help us think differently about the challenges of making progress, capacity building, growth, change, and transformation – both in ourselves and others. 


What you learn: 

Participants will learn a framework for understanding and overcoming resistance to change and skills for developing themselves and others.  


How you learn: 

First, participants will focus on their own personal and professional development goals and challenges through a series of exercises rooted in the Immunity To Change process. Second, participants will learn how their own developmental challenges are explained Constructive Developmental Theory. Then participants engage in a practice coaching exercise to support others’ change goals. And fourth, participants will analyze and evaluate organizational practices for developing people. 

Please note, this course is not available for cross-registration.