January 22, 2020

Amy C. Edmondson on Psychological Safety and “The Fearless Organization”

http://www.leanblog.org/356 

My guest for episode #356 of the podcast is Amy C. Edmondson, PhD, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. She is the author of three books on teaming and her most recent book is the topic of conversation today: The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth.

 

In the episode, we explore the incredibly important concept of "psychological safety," which means, as Edmondson defines it:

 

"...a climate in which people are comfortable expressing and being themselves."

 

This is necessary for Kaizen (continuous improvement) and it's also a huge contributor to people being able to speak up about patient safety risks (or other problems in the workplace).

 

One thing I love about her book is that she doesn't just diagnose the problem (that fear of speaking up is bad), but she also lays out a plan for how leaders can create a more psychologically-safe environment and culture.

 

From her bio: "Edmondson received her PhD in organizational behavior, AM in psychology, and AB in engineering and design from Harvard University."

 

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