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Johanne Lavoie


Johanne Lavoie


Enhances top-leadership capacity and agility at moments of personal and organizational transitions and supports transformational change by catalyzing change agents and embedding behaviors and mind-sets in everyday work

Johanne spent her first decade at the firm leveraging her engineering training and analytical problem-solving tool kit to help clients drive performance in large-scale operational transformations. Curious about system change from a broader perspective, over time she became fascinated by the human dimension: how shifting underlying mind-sets, habits, and structural interaction dynamics could accelerate and sustain more profound transformations.

Following her passion, Johanne engaged in extensive study in developmental learning to help her clients transform how they handle the challenges they face. At the core, her work for the past 15 years has been about helping executives change their approach to their toughest leadership challenges and how they lead to create value. She seeks to develop leadership capacity and agility at points of personal and organizational transition and to magnify culture change through targeted interventions across an organization.

While Johanne works with companies in all sectors, she enjoys the challenges posed in people-intensive industries in which organizations rely on coordinated employee action at many levels and across cultures. In large corporate systems, she looks at human dynamics as the biggest leverage point for sustainable change. She also works with clients in postmerger contexts and in sectors in which digital disruption is changing the landscape—situations where fundamental evolution and more agile leadership approaches are required.

Johanne facilitates multimonth senior-team and executive coaching journeys to raise effectiveness and model new behaviors as these leaders solve for real-time business challenges. She conducts coaching interviews and targeted surveys to identify impact leverage points given the business context. She also facilitates a sequence of coaching dialogues to help leaders communicate a shared vision rooted in purpose, deepen trust and safe space for radical experimentation, enhance meeting effectiveness, and move from a reactive to a more creative engagement when problem solving and making tough decisions.

Johanne also guides leadership-development programs at scale, with a focus on using the change challenge as context to embed the new culture and develop greater leadership agility and resilience. In addition to working with the top team, she designs integrated learning journeys, including immersive forums with fieldwork, coaching, and online approaches, to help leaders at all levels learn in action as they apply an extended change-management tool kit to everyday business challenges. To drive culture change deep into the organization, Johanne uses train-the-trainer approaches to create networks of change ambassadors who can help shift behaviors and mind-sets by facilitating personal growth experiences with thousands of people at all levels—starting with themselves.

Examples of her recent client work include the following:

  • helping the top, HR, and supply-chain teams of an advanced-industrial company lead a fundamental business-model transformation in response to new entrants
  • directing the senior teams of two regional banks to embrace greater leadership agility to drive a digital transformation
  • supporting the senior team of a global insurance company transforming its operating model to drive innovation and double-digit growth
  • supporting a leading agricultural company through it postmerger-integration process
  • helping a chemical company undergo a profound transformation to enable collaboration, allow agility, and drive growth

Within McKinsey, Johanne has earned the distinction of master expert in leadership, the firm’s highest partner-level expertise recognition. She is also the dean of McKinsey’s signature multiclient program Leading with Inner Agility, which helps senior executives lead with greater purpose and impact in times of increasing complexity.

An author and frequent lecturer, Johanne actively engages in broader conversations at the nexus of leadership, mindfulness, and business. She serves as a visiting faculty at the Banff Centre, an institution recognized for fostering creative leadership. Johanne is an ICF-certified coach with extensive training in developmental and embodied learning.


Giving birth to a life that matters,” TEDxMontrealWomen, January 2017

Published work

New leadership for a new era of thriving organizations,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2023

Collide with your team for the best results,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, October 2018

Leaders: It’s OK to not know everything,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, July 2018

Will artificial intelligence make you a better leader,” McKinsey & Company, April 2018

Leading with inner agility,” McKinsey Quarterly, March 2018

Lead at your best,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2014

Centered Leadership: Leading with Purpose, Clarity, and Impact, Crown Publishing, March 2014

Developing better change leaders,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2012

The value of centered leadership: McKinsey Global Survey results,” McKinsey & Company, October 2010

Past experience

Bell Canada
System engineer
Customer service engineer


Harvard University

McGill University
BEng, electrical engineering