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Timothy O'Brien Photo

Timothy O'Brien

Lecturer in Public Policy

Questions this course addresses:
Why are organizations so bad at developing their own people and leadership teams? Why do some performance and evaluation systems seem more punitive than growth oriented? Why do our own attempts to develop our employees fail? Why do some accountability systems actually sabotage their own best interests? Why is it so hard to start exercising - even after your doctor tells you to exercise?  What would it actually take to “build capacity” in relation to the problems and work you care about?

How we address them:
The psychological lens of adult development offers invaluable insight for understanding resistance to change and dysfunctional defensive behavior. A developmental psychology lens also helps us think differently about the challenges of making progress, capacity building, growth, change, and transformation.

What you learn:
Participants will learn adult development theory, a framework for understanding and overcoming resistance to change and skills and processes for developing themselves and others.

How you learn:
First, participants will focus on their own personal and professional developmental goals and challenges through a series of exercises rooted in the Immunity To Change process. Second, participants will learn how their own developmental challenges fit into a larger development framework of adult development by learning the language of developmental psychology. Third, participants will practice coaching and supporting others' change goals.  Finally, students elect a real world problem they would like to address and apply the course’s signature ‘Developmental Design’ process to that problem. Students can work alone, in pairs, or in teams.

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: 1) focus on their own growth edges, and 2) to explore the problems they care about through a developmental learning lens and structured process.

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