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Alumni Stories > Alumni Stories > Lisa, Reimaginaire

Lisa, Reimaginaire

From earning a degree in drama to becoming a coach who is committed to making workplaces more human and innovative, Lisa Gill (2005 Cohort) has reimagined herself in more ways than one.

Career paths used to be traditionally linear but as the world evolves, more and more graduates are taking on a non-linear one. Lisa, from the Class of 2005, is one of them.

 “I graduated from the University of Manchester with a BA Honours in Drama and after realising that I wasn’t quite cut out for acting, I explored lots of different jobs in different industries – the arts, media, PR, software, travel – and finally ended up in a learning and development company in London. There I developed a passion for areas like leadership and organisational culture.”

Taking an alternative path

Although it was quite a big leap from her original career path, Lisa made the best of it and even set up her own company, Reimaginaire, where she coaches organisations that are interested in becoming self-managing. She also facilitates leadership courses that train people in a more adult-adult, coaching style of leadership with a company called Tuff Leadership Training. So what made her decide to choose this career path? 

 “When I was working in the learning and development sector, I became increasingly interested in the more radical organisations that were challenging the status quo to make workplaces more human and innovative. One particular instance that stood out to me was Buurtzorg, an organisation in the Netherlands with 15,000 nurses and no managers. It has transformed the home care sector and inspired copycat models around the world. Eliminating needless bureaucracy and humanising work has led to soaring employee and patient satisfaction, and Buurtzorg's overhead costs are a third of their competitors. Inspired by how I could make this kind of a difference in people's workplaces, I decided to set up Reimaginaire where I work with organisations such as SAP and Save the Children to develop self-managing, sustainable teams that can thrive in an ever-changing world.”

Sharing her passion 

Aside from her work, Lisa is also passionate about sharing examples of progressive organisations in the global south on her platforms because many management books are written from a eurocentric perspective. And that’s not all. Lisa went on to publish her first book Moose Heads on the Table in 2020, created her own podcast called Leadermorphosis and was even named on the Thinkers50 Radar 2020 list for helping to make self-managing teams a reality through her work. Sounds like Lisa has been pretty prolific in the past few years! 

Inspired by Tanglin teachers

As a Tanglin student, Lisa told us that her teachers had a positive impact on her even though she admitted that she could be a difficult teenager. Mr Veness, in particular, challenged her during drama lessons to look at the world differently and gave her the opportunity to perform at the Esplanade twice. Mr Curran created a jazz band, which in turn gave Lisa great memories of recording in a studio while Mr Date helped her overcome her phobia of Maths with his friendly approach. She said, “There are many more I could name who had a real impact on me and I made some lifelong friends at Tanglin, in both students and teachers. I’m still in touch with several of them to this day. It’s a real joy to see my friends thriving in their lives, both in their careers and also starting families of their own (I’m 35 now!). And we’ve certainly coached and helped each other over the years – for job interviews, for next moves and so on. The Tanglin experience is quite unique and it’s special to stay connected with people who shared it with you.”

Cultivating an explorer’s mindset

Having travelled down a career path that was anything but linear, what advice does Lisa have for our Class of 2022? She replied with an encouraging smile, “Don’t worry if you have no idea what you want to do! My biggest piece of advice is to be curious and try things. The world of work is changing fast and one of the best skills for the future is the ability to unlearn, learn and relearn. Have an explorer’s mindset, try lots of things and have fun! There are great places to work out there – organisations that want you to be your whole self and really drive things, and not be just another ‘employee’.”

Wise words indeed, Lisa. We are glad that you have found your calling just by going off the beaten track! If you want to find out more about what Lisa is currently doing, visit her website at 


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Registration period : 7 June 2023 to 6 June 2029

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