Kathryn Stanley finds deep satisfaction in helping clients change their mental models so they can adapt and thrive in even the most unexpected circumstances. She has worked to build, steward and transform human systems for more than 20 years as a consultant, coach, and leader, assisting leaders and teams in breaking through impasses to find greater clarity and success.

As a Harvard Business School executive coach in the Advanced Management and Owners and Presidents programs, it is routine to hear the leaders she coaches say that working with her has been life-changing. Kathryn also mentors and trains business coaches and consultants in a variety of psychological processes and assessment tools that serve as catalysts for renewal in organizations around the world.

Education and Experience: Kathryn’s extensive academic background and hands-on experience in management and organizational development provide her with a solid foundation from which to help clients navigate real-world challenges. Kathryn honed her entrepreneurial and leadership skills at high tech startups including GeoCities and Yahoo!. As a senior program manager at Raytheon, she worked with the CEO’s executive leadership teams facilitating system redesign to successfully integrate acquisitions and increase alignment across the organization saving millions of dollars in efficiencies gained. She has facilitated systems renewal at John’s Hopkins Medicine, Avery Dennison, Bose and global NGO’s like Action Against Hunger among others. Her extensive experience across industries and sectors enables her to help diverse leaders, teams, and organizations navigate change, unleash innovation, and quickly reach high performance.

Kathryn holds PhD and MS degrees in organizational psychology, a BA in philosophy, and a BFA in fine arts. She created an award winning master’s program in organizational psychology and the first PsyD program in leadership psychology. She designed and taught the doctoral courses in Use of Self, Qualitative Research, and a Neurobiology of Leadership that led to the formation of the only Neuroscience of Leadership emphasis and Lab in a doctoral program in the US.

Kathryn won the prestigious Faculty Award in 2016 for outstanding teaching. Her warm, energetic, and compelling teaching style has engaged students around the world.  She brings this same energy and passion to her work as a consultant, trainer, and coach. She is a visiting professor at Wellesley College and has also taught at Harvard Business School, Babson College, and Suffolk University.


Special Areas of Expertise: Among Kathryn’s areas of special focus and expertise are developing authentic presence in leaders, using neuroscientific tools to promote radical innovation, understanding and improving system-wide patterns, creating inclusive workplaces, unraveling hidden interpersonal dynamics, mindfulness in the workplace, and training trainers to help facilitate a ripple effect of organizational transformation on a wider scale.

Kathryn co-authored a business fable that playfully conveys the concept of executive presence.

Research and Writing: For her doctoral research Kathryn created the Radical Innovation Readiness (RIR©) assessment tool to pinpoint where innovation is stuck across human systems. Her research on executive presence led her to co-author a management fable, Which Bird Gets Heard? How to Have Impact Even in a Flock, and to create the Authentic Presence Inventory (API©) self and 360 assessment. The API assessment has helped hundreds of leaders get heard and have the influence they need to realize their vision and goals. Her research on David Kantor’s model of Structural Dynamics led to the creation of the bMaps behavioral assessment tool that helps individuals and teams bridge difference and accelerate performance. She has presented her research to the US Army Labs, the Academy of Management, and the International Leadership Association, and presented a symposium on The Neuroscience of Innovation at the New England Psychological Association.

Certifications: Kathryn is an expert train-the-trainer in Structural Dynamics. She is licensed in Kantor Baseline and Team instruments. Kathryn is certified in Adaptive Coaching from Lore International. She received training in strategic (re)Design of whole Systems from the Center for Effective Organizations (CEO) with the late Dr. Jay Galbraith. Her graduate program awarded her with training in Mergers and Acquisitions from The Conference Board. She is a Fearless Organization Partner and licensed ‘train-the-trainer’ for Amy Edmondson’s Fearless Organizational Scan (FOS). She is certified in numerous assessment instruments including the Zenger Folkman 360, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation (FIRO-B), Social Styles Inventory, the Teamwork Assessment Inventory (TAI), and the Existential Universe Mapper (EUM), among others.

Personal: As a true creative spirit, Kathryn loves to paint trees, clouds and landscapes, dragons, and whatever else emerges from the combination of pigment, oil, and light. She loves flying small planes and being in and near the ocean. She is writing a cookbook to capture the whole foods puree’ recipes she created for her daughter who has cerebral palsy. As a blogger for disabilities advocacy, she has received several awards for her writing including the True Thinking Blogger Award and the Medical Assistant Society Award. Her post, Dancing with Death, was featured in What to Expect When Your Expecting blog. She is currently leading the charge with a team of parents to build an integrated work-life community for adults with disabilities. The deeper purpose is to create a sustainable community that will allow some of the most vulnerable among us to live a life of deep purpose with dignity and grace. She serves on the Governor’s Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council and lives with her husband and daughter outside of Boston.

Kathryn Stanley, PhD
CEO and Founder of Holonix, LLC