Amy Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. She is best known for her pioneering work on psychological safety and failure. The topic recently gained widespread popular attention after a February 2016 New York Times Magazine article described psychological safety as the key factor in determining team performance at Google.
Her new book, The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation and Growth (2018), offers a practical guide for organizations serious about success in the modern economy.
In the interview, Amy and I discuss:
- How an advice-seeking letter that Amy sent to the iconic American inventor Buckminster Fuller landed her a job as his chief engineer.
- How Amy went from engineering to becoming a business school professor.
- What psychological safety is, and why it’s crucial to creativity and high performance
- What factors set apart organizations that promote psychological safety from those that don’t
- How corporate leaders can foster an environment where employees are willing to openly share their mistakes and failures
- What we can learn from the organizational causes behind the 2003 Columbia space shuttle disaster, which Amy spent over two years studying
- How teachers can promote psychological safety in the classroom.
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