Rethink?? Part 1 of a 2 Part Blog

I get asked quite a lot what does “Rethink Everything” mean? I imagine that the same question is at the forefront of every customer’s mind that views the Innodev website, see the banners at sponsored events or even review our proposals. It is quite a broad statement, especially within the context of the disrupted and turbulent market place that today’s organisations find themselves.

To me, there are two layers to the “Rethink everything” philosophy; there is the personal level, where as an individual you need to explore your role within an organisation, whether you are adding value or not, what is blocking you from achieving your potential, etc.

The other layer is at an organisational level … do we challenge the current paradigms within the organisation, do the current processes, governance and organisational structure enable the organisation to respond to customer’s demands or even signals/threats in the market?

So, to enable you to “Rethink Everything” you need to adopt a certain mindset than you had previously. Over the last year, my reading backlog contained books with either the words Agile or Scrum in the title. My knowledge had a very narrow focus, I was challenged to “Rethink” my learning path by a fellow consultant; was being an expert in one area the best thing or should I look to the broader world to gain a more general knowledge and take artefacts that I could apply to other uses? Over the last few months, I looked to broaden my horizons and knowledge. My backlog now included such titles as “The Fifth Discipline” by Peter Senge and “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. Recently, it was recommended that I read the book “Immunity to Change. How To Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization" by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey.

The book presents an interesting concept called the X-ray or immunity map. Like Scrum, it seems simple to do and its power comes from its simplicity, but it is difficult to master. The X-ray is a 4-step process to create a 4 columns immunity map, essentially to help really get to the real cause of what is holding back the change. I will step thru the process with an organisational focus rather than personal one. To assist with understanding the model, I will provide a relevant example

Format of X_Ray/Immunity map..immunity_map

Step 1 “You cannot overcome, what you ignore”


First you need to choose a commitment/improvement goal that your organization has been unable to keep or see to its full conclusion. This should be an existing perception based on experience.

Example - The leadership may wish to transform the culture within the organisation, so they might choose an improvement goal like “Create a culture of mutual respect and trust that empowers our staff to experiment with new ideas”


Step 2 “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” 

You need to observe the behaviours (what you are doing or not doing) to support that commitment goal. Some reflection on the current system or existing paradigm is required here. I would recommend lifting the reflection to a high level and employ some critical or system thinking to further gain some useful insights.

There are behaviours that unknowingly have a positive or negative impact on the organisation. However even when they are carried out with the best intentions and the belief that they are simply the correct way it should be done, they can derail the organisation’s improvement goal. “Rethink everything”, means re-examine the assumptions and belief that your organisation holds, question the values and principles that the organisation espouses versus the ones that actually occur day in and day out.

From the example “Commitment”, Step 2, the leadership may note the following behaviours

  • We create silos to avoid sharing information
  • We are quick to point fingers when there is a failure
  • We don’t reward staff for streamlining process
  • We don’t encourage our staff to talk to each other
  • We adhere strictly to process and procedure

In the second part of this blog post I will cover off the next 2 Steps plus and additional fifth step for you to consider…coming soon!

David Clifford

David Clifford

Whether the project be waterfall or agile , David promotes a collaborative work environment to successfully deliver outcomes and value to the business. 

As a seasoned Project Manager, David has achieved success on his projects through open communication, empowerment of the project team and working side to side with the business.

As an experienced Scrum Master, David has provided guidance and coaching to development teams using the Scrum Framework. David works hard to ensure that all levels of the business (from executives to end users) understand the "Agile Mindset" and the values and principles as well as dispel the Agile myths and pre-conceived ideas.

David's aim is to continue to develop his understanding of "Being Agile" rather than "Doing Agile", building his Agile knowledge, to facilitate the adoption of Agile values and principles within organisations.