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The Fearless Organization


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Table of Contents

Introduction xiii What It Takes to Thrive in a Complex, Uncertain World xiii Discovery by Mistake xvi Overview of the Book xviii Endnotes xxi PART I The Power of Psychological Safety 1 Chapter 1 The Underpinning 3 Unconscious Calculators 4 Envisioning the Psychologically Safe Workplace 6 An Accidental Discovery 8 Standing on Giants' Shoulders 12 Why Fear Is Not an Effective Motivator 13 What Psychological Safety Is Not 15 Measuring Psychological Safety 19 Psychological Safety Is Not Enough 21 Endnotes 22 Chapter 2 The Paper Trail 25 Not a Perk 26 The Research 29 An Epidemic of Silence 30 A Work Environment that Supports Learning 35 Why Psychological Safety Matters for Performance 39 Psychologically Safe Employees Are Engaged Employees 41 Psychological Safety as the Extra Ingredient 43 Bringing Research to Practice 45 Endnotes 46 PART II Psychological Safety at Work 51 Chapter 3 Avoidable Failure 53 Exacting Standards 54 Stretching the Stretch Goal 60 Fearing the Truth 63 Who Regulates the Regulators? 66 Avoiding Avoidable Failure 68 Adopting an Agile Approach to Strategy 70 Endnotes 72 Chapter 4 Dangerous Silence 77 Failing to Speak Up 78 What Was Not Said 79 Excessive Confidence in Authority 83 A Culture of Silence 86 Silence in the Noisy Age of Social Media 92 Endnotes 97 Chapter 5 The Fearless Workplace 103 Making Candor Real 104 Extreme Candor 109 Be a Don't Knower 113 When Failure Works 116 Caring for Employees 119 Learning from Psychologically Safe Work Environments 123 Endnotes 124 Chapter 6 Safe and Sound 129 Use Your Words 130 One for All and All for One 135 Speaking Up for Worker Safety 138 Transparency by Whiteboard 142 Unleashing Talent 146 Endnotes 147 PART III Creating a Fearless Organization 151 Chapter 7 Making it Happen 153 The Leader's Tool Kit 154 How to Set the Stage for Psychological Safety 158 How to Invite Participation So People Respond 167 How to Respond Productively to Voice - No Matter Its Quality 173 Leadership Self-Assessment 181 Endnotes 183 Chapter 8 What's Next? 187 Continuous Renewal 187 Deliberative Decision-Making 189 Hearing the Sounds of Silence 191 When Humor Isn't Funny 193 Psychological Safety FAQs 195 Tacking Upwind 208 Endnotes 209 Appendix: Variations in survey measures to Illustrate Robustness of Psychological Safety 213 Acknowledgments 217 About the Author 219 Index 221

About the Author

AMY C. EDMONDSON is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. Edmondson, recognized by the biannual Thinkers 50 global ranking of management thinkers since 2011, teaches and writes on leadership, teams and organizational learning. Her articles have been published in Harvard Business Review and California Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, and the Academy of Management Journal. She is the author of Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy and Teaming to Innovate from Jossey-Bass.

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