Amy Edmondson addresses global audience on The Fearless Organization
We were delighted to host a global online seminar in June with Professor Amy Edmondson from Harvard Business School based on her book The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth.
The session was part of our QI Connect series of talks. These monthly sessions give a global audience across health and social care the opportunity to learn about the world of healthcare improvement, innovation and integration.
Amy spent time with a global audience of more than 500 Quality Improvement enthusiasts from around the world describing key learning from her leading research into psychological safety and teaming for safe, high quality care.
Amy talked about how Fearless Organisations develop psychological safety in health and care settings to empower everyone to have a voice. When this in place, services become safer as errors and near misses are more readily reported and addressed.
Communication, collaboration and leadership are key components to achieving psychological safety.
Psychological safety is not about being “nice” or accepting and adopting all ideas, rather it is creating a context where people feel safe to express views, question practice and raise concerns.
Learning was shared from a variety of industries to illustrate why psychological safety matters and how to build it, including; Google, Ford and Disney Pixar.
Creating strong and open team relationships also improves psychological safety for staff and, in turn, lead to safer and improved outcomes for service users.
The importance of leadership
Leadership is important when creating such a culture. Key roles for leaders include; framing the work, inviting engagement and responding constructively. This requires humility, curiosity and empathy. As a leader the best thing you can do is ask good questions.
Amy closed the session with an interactive and equally informative Q&A session, responding to the most popular questions raised from the audience.
QI Connect would like to thank Amy for her time and for sharing her unique insights as part of this session.
If you would like to explore any of the topics further the books and articles referred to include the following:
- Creativity Inc. Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (2014), by Catmull & Wallace, Bantam Press
- Extreme Teaming: Lessons in Complex, Cross-Sector Leadership (2017), by Amy C. Edmondson and Jean-François Harvey, Emerald Publishing Limited
- Making it safe: The effects of leader inclusiveness and professional status on psychological safety and improvement efforts in healthcare teams (2006), by Ingrid M. Nembhard and Amy C. Edmondson, the Journal of Organizational Behavior
- Resilience vs. Vulnerability: Psychological Safety and Reporting of Near Misses with Varying Proximity to Harm in Radiation Oncology (2020), by Olivia S. Jung, Palak Kundu, Amy C. Edmondson, John Hegde, Nzhde Agazaryan, Michael Steinberg, and Ann Raldow, Joint Commission Journal on Quality Patient Safety
- Speaking Up in the Operating Room: How Team Leaders Promote Learning in Interdisciplinary Action Teams (2003), by Amy C. Edmondson, The Journal of Management Studies
- Strategies for Learning from Failure (2011), by Amy C. Edmondson, featured in the Harvard Business Review
- The Age of Continuous Connection (2019), by Nicolaj Siggelkow and Christian Terwiesch, Harvard Business Review
- The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth (2018), by Amy C. Edmondson, Wiley
- What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team (2016), by Charles Duhigg, the New York Times Magazine