Wednesday, September 11

2:50 pm - 3:30 pm

Learning and Leadership Development professionals are increasingly called to drive innovation and change in their organizations. Expectations are high in at least two ways: (i) in the midst of information overload, you’re tasked to identify and craft the right tools for your organization’s talent so they can support organizational performance and change, and (ii) when everyone is facing demands to “get more done with less time,” you’re required to collaborate successfully and directly with the departments, groups and leaders you support in order to create the most effective learning experiences.

To meet both expectations, a deeper understanding of collaboration and an orientation toward growth mindsets are necessary.

In this session, we will discuss the challenges to collaboration between groups – e.g., teams, departments, units – and the role of fear and security in this often-difficult phenomenon. Based on original research and research in organizational behavior and psychology, we will demonstrate that collaboration, the roles of fear and security, and collective growth mindsets are intertwined and ultimately critical to supporting your talent’s ability to execute strategic change and organizational performance.

You will learn:

  • To identify common challenges that hinder cross-group collaboration – in both the collaborations that your leaders must understand how to support, and the collaborations you are directly part of in learning development
  • To diagnose the state of your current and future cross-group initiatives against 5 evidence-based conditions that are necessary for a chance at collaborative success.
  • To understand how to foster the most critical condition for cross-group collaboration.

Lisa Kwan, Ph.D.

Senior Executive Leadership Coach, Senior Researcher, & Collaboration Consultant
Harvard University

About Lisa Kwan, Ph.D.

Dr. Lisa Kwan is a researcher, lecturer, and consultant on collaboration and organizational change. She is a Senior Researcher and Executive Leadership Coach at Harvard Business School. She also instructs on collaboration, teams, and leadership at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. She earned her PhD joint between Harvard Business School and the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Science.

Lisa’s research interests focus on the tensions organizations face in collaborating across boundaries, especially between groups. “Groups” in Lisa’s world span from large organizations and companies to divisions, departments, and small teams. She has projects both in the experimental lab and in the field via interviews, observations, and survey data.

Lisa’s expertise areas include: intergroup collaboration (and resistance), geographically dispersed teams, group effectiveness, and resistance to organizational change.

While Lisa has research focused on topics spanning individual to organizational levels of analysis, her dissertation focused specifically on the spaces in between groups inside organizations. One direction of her dissertation research explored how groups – such as divisions, departments, and teams – manage overlap with one another within the same organization.  Through one theory paper (winner of the 2015 best paper (theoretical or empirical) award in the Conflict Management Division at the Academy of Management) and one empirical paper, Lisa introduces the phenomenon of territory management among groups in organizations.  The second direction of her dissertation research focused on how formal and informal cross-group collaborations overlap (and sometimes conflict) in organizations.

Lisa has published Harvard Business School cases on managing business ties in emerging markets (published in both English and Chinese) and balancing creativity and business in high-end fashion. She has a working paper on the complexities of utilizing expertise within teams, and she recently co-wrote a book chapter on the implications of subgroups within teams, which was published in the capstone volume of the foundational series, Research on Managing Groups and Teams*.

Lisa has additional research experience in the technology, professional services, public health, construction, and multinational restaurant sectors.

Prior to her PhD at Harvard, Lisa obtained her Master of Science, with distinction, from the University of Oxford, and her Bachelor of Science from McGill University.  Her undergraduate thesis focused on motivation, resilience in the face of failure, and goal achievement for which she was awarded the Canadian Psychological Association’s Award for Dissertation Excellence.  She was an Oxford Clarendon International Scholar and is a recipient of the Canadian Science Achievement Gold Medal.

Lisa has also taught in the classroom, workshop room, and 1-on-1 at Harvard, Oxford, and internationally, which have been highly-rated for the development of managers and executives. Among these opportunities, Among these experiences, she has taught senior executives for Executive Education at Harvard Business School for 6+ years.