About Lisa Lahey

A member of Axialent’s Advisory Board, Lisa is co-founder of Minds at Work and a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she recently served as the associate director of the Change Leadership Group, a national project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop greater internal capacity for leading organizational improvement in our nation’s public school districts.

Lisa, Ed.D., is Axialent’s advisor in personal and organizational transformation. Together with long-time collaborator Robert Kegan, Ph.D., she is credited with a breakthrough discovery of a hidden dynamic, the “immunity to change,” which impedes transformation.

For more than 20 years, Lisa and Robert have studied why people struggle to make the changes that would significantly improve their lives and repeatedly fail at it: from losing 10 pounds to becoming better leaders, through eating healthier food or quitting a bad habit. By means of a step-by-step, deep soul-searching methodology, Lisa and Robert guide people to close the gap between their good intentions and their behaviors.

Executives, senior teams and individuals are now using this work in business, governmental and educational organizations in the United States, Europe and Asia. It has also recently expanded its reach through the Immunity to Change MOOC, Harvard Graduate School of Education’s first MOOC to be taken by any individual through the EdX online platform.

Lisa and Robert recently received the Gislason Award for exceptional contributions to organizational leadership, joining past recipients Warren Bennis, Peter Senge and Edgar Schein. In 2013, they received the Vision of Excellence Award from Harvard’s Institute of Coaching.

For the past several years, Lisa has served as a trusted advisor and executive coach to leaders in the private and public sectors worldwide. A passionate pianist and hiker, Lisa lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and two sons.




Lisa is regularly asked to present her work throughout the world, most recently in Australia, China, Kazakhstan and New Zealand. Her seminal books, “How The Way We Talk Can Change The Way We Work” (2001) and “Immunity to Change” (2009) have been published in many languages. Lisa has been on the faculty of the World Economic Forum’s Davos Conference and had her work featured in the Harvard Business Review; The New York Times Sunday business section; O, The Oprah Magazine and Fast Company.


1 – Have You Found What Might Be Holding You Back?

Conversation with Brené Brown on her “Dare to Lead” podcast:

Part one

Part Two


2 –Applying Immunity to Change to helping people and organizations in their efforts to genuinely address DEIB.

Watch content here.


3 –Leading with Perseverance


More content:





Her latest book, An Everyone Culture (Harvard Business Press, 2016) was named “Best Management and Workplace Culture Book of 2016” by 800-CEO-READ. Immunity to Change and An Everyone Culture recently earned a place on Harvard Business Press Ideas with Impact List, joining just 19 other titles.