LILA ~ Learning Innovations Laboratory at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

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What is the impact of multiple interfering change initiatives on employees? During the March LILA Harvard meeting, Rouven Kanitz shared the findings from a 4 year longitudinal qualitative study which revealed key factors that contributed to the harmful outcomes. The values and norms signaled by different initiatives led to negative individual emotional states such as those related to uncertainty (confusion and worry), moral (indignation and shock), and detachment (annoyance and apathy). Individual emotions were later translated into the social network and became collective emotion where a significant number of people were sharing, thinking, and feeling negative emotions. Over time, these negative emotions affected people who then became disengaged. This affected the performance of the change initiatives through delays, requirement of more resources, and departure of senior More »

Leadership in Times of Diversity: Astrid Homan

Leadership in Times of Diversity:  Astrid HomanWhat can leaders do to effectively manage diverse teams? If a diverse team is functioning well, what can a leader do to encourage the teams’ continued progress? Or conversely, if a diverse team is embroiled in conflict, how can a leader intervene in order to turn things around? Essentially, which competencies do leaders need in order to adapt and appropriately respond to their teams’ More »

Curiosity Where are You? Spencer Harrison

Curiosity Where are You?  Spencer HarrisonCuriosity is a great source of new ideas, a great source of finding these patterns – and yet the majority of people don’t feel like they have permission to be curious at work. Spencer and his colleagues spent six months creating a new set of measures to assess curiosity. During this process, he and his colleagues identified that there are different types of curiosity. There is productive curiosity – where someone is actively investigating problems that are associated with the work that they’re doing. And unproductive curiosity, where someone is taking a break at work to look at something else – usually sports or social media related and doesn’t have anything to do with work. These two types have different More »

LILA Theme 2020-2021: System Leadership

Each year, LILA focuses collective discussion and exploration around a contemporary theme that optimally encompasses members’ practical interests and illuminates challenges in the larger field of human learning and innovation. A fruitful theme is typically identified by criteria such as its resonance with members’ concerns, its readiness to be explored through multiple, interdisciplinary lenses, and its ability to frame and advance the experimental practices of LILA members. Based on member interviews, the discussions during past gatherings, availability of academic research on the topic, and the current social context, the theme for 2020-2021 is System Leadership – Navigating Complexity at More »

Navigating Complexity at Scale with Mary Uhl Bien

Navigating Complexity at Scale with Mary Uhl BienSystem leadership creates the container that allows solutions to emerge over time. Complexity Leadership is leadership in and of emergence. Emergence is what allows individuals and organizations to adapt and survive. The pressure of survival is the strongest complexity pressure that promotes the most adaptation. Three different types of leadership is required - entrepreneurial leadership, enabling leadership, and operational More »



Our Current Focus

What’s New

  1. Critical Knowledge Transfer by Dorothy Leonard


    As you may recall, Dorothy Leonard who is the William J.Abernathy Professor of Business Administration Emerita at Harvard
    Business School joined the LILA Community during the last several years as part of her research into the recently published book "Critical Knowledge Transfer." It is based on original research, numerous interviews with top managers,and a wide range of corporate examples, When highly skilled subject matter experts, engineers, and managers leave their organizations, they take with them years of hard-earned experience-based knowledge—much of it undocumented and irreplaceable. Organizations can thereby lose a good part of their competitive advantage.

  2. The Emotional Decision Maker

    A revolution in the science of emotion has emerged in the last few decades, with the potential to create a paradigm shift in thinking about decision theories. The research reveals that emotions constitute powerful, pervasive, and predictable drivers of decision making. Across different domains, important regularities appear in the mechanisms through which emotions influence judgments and choices. The present paper organizes and analyzes what has been learned from the past 35 years of work on emotion and decision making. It also proposes an integrated model of decision making that accounts for both traditional (rational-choice theory) inputs and emotional inputs, synthesizing scientific findings to date.

Upcoming LILA Events

  • September 23, 2021 - Member Call
  • October 20-21, 2021 - Activating Agency
  • November 18, 2021 - Member Call
  • December 9, 2021 - Member Call
  • January 13, 2022 Member Call
  • February 9-10, 2022 - Bolstering Belonging
  • March 10, 2022 - Member Call
  • April 13-14, 2022 - Cultivating Connection
  • May 12, 2022 - Member Call
  • June 7-8, 2022 - 16th Annual LILA Summit: Enabling agency, belonging and connection from the Inside Out and Outside In

Latest from Twitter

@AmyCEdmondson: Leaders who display compassion build psychological safety & commitment, and enable better work @HarvardBiz @WorkFearlessly
h J R
@gwucolumbian: Finally! Organizational Sciences Prof. David Costanza dispels millennial stereotypes. #GWU #GWCCAS
h J R
Great article about LILA February Faculty Guest @DamonCentola about his latest book and some of the ideas he shared at the LILA Gathering about social networks and the science behind what drives change.
h J R
@contemplatethis: listening to @snowded talk for @LILAHarvard gathering on catalyzing system leadership. He's been sharing a handy heuristic 4 complexity lately, drawn from song in Frozen 2: Do the Next Right Thing. I love that he's not embarrassed to admit he watched it (or & Buffy the V slayer).
h J R

Harvard Graduate School of Education