Lisa Kwan, Ph.D.

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

Lisa Kwan obtained her joint PhD from Harvard Business School and Harvard Psychology, and her Master of Science with distinction from the University of Oxford. She is a seasoned executive coach at Harvard Business School, a collaboration consultant, and a Senior Researcher at Harvard.

Lisa’s research and consulting focus on barriers and solutions to organizational effectiveness, with specialized expertise in bridging siloed units and identifying what leaders commonly miss when fostering collaborations between teams. Her recent feature article on collaboration in Harvard Business Review (Mar-Apr 2019 issue) was selected as one of the three “Best of the Issue” articles by head HBR editor, Amy Bernstein. Lisa also has research on elite performers’ motivation, resilience, and goal achievement, which has direct impact on her executive coaching.

Lisa’s executive coaching uses multiple methods to identify root causes and hidden patterns that hinder personal and organizational effectiveness. She works with senior leaders (e.g., chairmen, CEOs, SVPs, founders, GMs, VPs etc.) and "rising star/high potential" leaders from companies around the world.  Lisa’s goals for all of her clients are to gain pragmatic and evidence-based tools and habits that they can make their own as they develop their own authentic forms of leadership and overcome challenges and constraints that keep them from their true potential.

In all of Lisa’s work, she facilitates solutions grounded in evidence-based methods. She has worked with clients from PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Red Bull, Scotiabank, Barclays, among other industry leaders across the globe.

Lisa has taught internationally and domestically, including at the Harvard School of Public Health. She has facilitated and coached in HBS executive education for 7+ years. She has been teaching in executive education programs for the last 10 years.

In addition to Harvard Business Review (print), 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 optimizing expertise within teams and has co-written 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’s dissertation introduced the construct of territory management among groups in organizations (work for which she won the best paper award in the Conflict Management Division at the Academy of Management, the largest conference in business research). She was also awarded the Canadian Psychological Association's Award for Thesis Excellence for prior research on motivation and goal achievement. She continues to advance knowledge in these areas through her research, consulting and evidence-based resources on

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