A Day with Harvard Professor, Dr. Lisa Lahey – A Message From Angelina Wang

A Day with Harvard Professor, Dr. Lisa Lahey.


The Aged Care sector is facing enormous change. As leaders in this industry, we need to be constantly prepared through ongoing education in change management methodologies and tools for effective change in individuals, organisations and the wider industry. In June 2014, I have had the privilege to attend a full day masterclass at ANZ pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne, presented by Harvard University lecturer Dr Lisa Lahey.

Dr Lisa Lahey is the research director of the Change Leadership Group at Harvard University Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the co-founder and senior consultant at Minds at Work. She is the co-author of How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work, and Immunity to Change: How to Overcome it and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organisation.

In Immunity to Change, Lahey shows how individual beliefs – along with the collective mind sets in organisations – combine to create a natural but powerful immunity to change and provides insight into ways to unlock potential and move individual and organisation forward. Immunity to Change is not simply a theory about organizational transformation, it is a challenging analysis of how our well-developed methods of processing information and experience become barriers that hinder our attempts to achieve adaptive change.

Lahey argues that people deal with fear and anxiety as a normal part of life. They do not feel this fear most of the time because they have created effective internal anxiety management systems. Those frameworks for evaluating experience are beneficial and necessary but can also form a hidden barrier to the desire to achieve adaptive change. The development of a more complex mental framework “self-transforming mind” help the individual recognize the filtering effect and limitations of his/her own frame of reference. This recognition will allow the individual to begin to negate the effects of an internal imposed change immunity.

In the class, Lahey lays out a step-by-step methodology that facilitates all participants’ to interact and identify our own immunity to change, focus on goals that will help us all to lead change in Aged Care sector reform. Although the theory is well structures in plain and simple language. Lahey reminds us how difficult sustained behaviour change can be. Despite strong and sincere commitment, most people fail in their attempt to permanently change their behaviour.

At the end of the session, I walked out of Lahey’s class feeling challenged and yet confident. Thinking of the unknown accompanying current industrial reform, excitement rushes in me to share the new knowledge with my team.



Angelina Wang

Angelina Wang has been with Belvedere Aged for five years and is the Finance Manager. Angelina holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Management & Accounting) from Monash University and is an associate member of CPA Australia. She was born in China and grew up in India. Angelina is passionate in ensuring that families have all the information available to make the right decision when moving into Aged Care.


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