Tuesday Apr 30, 2024

Episode #46: How to leverage failure and psychological safety in your team or organization, with Dr. Amy Edmondson

We interview Dr. Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, a chair established to support the study of human interactions that lead to the creation of successful enterprises that contribute to the betterment of society. She has pioneered the concept of psychological safety for over 20 years and was recognized in 2021 as #1 on the Thinkers50 global ranking of management thinkers.

Amy is the author of Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy (2012), The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth (2018), and, most recently, Right Kind of Wrong: Why Learning to Fail Can Teach Us to Thrive (2023).

We speak to Amy about how to build psychological safety and learn from failure to promote flourishing, in teams, organizations, and our own lives.

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Dr. Amy Edmondson:


Harvard Business School webpage





Psychological safety

Right Kind of Wrong: Why Learning to Fail Can Teach Us to Thrive (2023)



00:00:05 - Introduction to Professor Amy C. Edmondson
00:00:27 - Defining Psychological Safety
00:01:10 - Disrupting Misconceptions About Psychological Safety
00:01:50 - Linking Psychological Safety to Thriving
00:02:21 - Exploring Psychological Safety and Learning from Failure
00:03:08 - Clarifying Psychological Safety in the Workplace
00:05:03 - Examples of Interpersonal Risk-Taking
00:06:35 - Insights from Amy's TED Talk on Teamwork and Error Rates
00:09:41 - The Role of Discomfort in Psychological Safety
00:10:07 - Creating a Psychologically Safe Environment
00:12:18 - The Relationship Between Psychological Safety and Performance
00:15:37 - The Spectrum of Psychological Safety in Teams
00:20:34 - Challenges in Creating Psychological Safety in Certain Industries
00:22:59 - Transition to Discussing "Right Kind of Wrong"
00:23:27 - The Connection Between Psychological Safety and Types of Failure
00:26:09 - Personal Stories of Intelligent Failure
00:29:18 - Distinguishing Between Types of Failure
00:37:19 - The Impact of Perfectionism on Psychological Safety
00:38:55 - Psychological Safety Beyond Interpersonal Environments
00:41:16 - Applying Right Kind of Wrong in Personal Lives
00:44:03 - Practical Steps for Embracing Failure and Thriving
00:48:01 - Leadership Behaviors to Avoid for Psychological Safety
00:50:07 - The Importance of Context in Embracing Failure
00:53:05 - When to Persist and When to Pivot in the Face of Failure
00:56:18 - Final Practical Advice and Resources

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