• Anish Hindocha

The Fearless Organisation

Been reading a lot about psychological safety of late and am sharing my thoughts via a book review on 'the fearless organization' by Amy C Edmondson


Amy Edmondson's book is split into two parts.

The first part guides us through what psychological Safety is. For those of us not versed in psychology, it's thankfully an easy read, and full of interesting and recent case studies highlighting where a lack of psychological safety has led to failure to innovate (Nokia), distorting metrics (Wells Fargo) and in the case of the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal - plain covering up.

I really enjoyed reading this book cover to cover. It highlighted for me something I constantly observed in many meetings but couldn't quite put my finger on; and that was the issue of silence and why it occurs.

At face value it may appear that silence in meetings is simply an attribute of introversion. Amy gently takes the reader through the root causes of how and why silence may manifest. And without giving the game away, fear of looking stupid in front of others is only part of the answer.

The second half of this book explores solutions that may help embolden an organisation that wishes to take employee engagement seriously. It investigates how we need to re-learn how to truly listen for what is being said. There's an interesting section on leaders showing vulnerability in front of others by admitting they don't know all the answers, which i found quite compelling.

In my view, the book articulates in great depth, the problems that may result where there is a lack of psychological safety. And whilst it brilliantly describes ways in which to detect it, I felt it would be more balanced if more solutions were offered on how to improve the conditions for voice to be heard, and crucially listened to in an organisation.

That teeny tiny criticism apart , I'd highly recommend this book for anyone interested in creating a more engaged workforce.

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