Amy C. Edmondson
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About Amy C. Edmondson
Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. Her work explores teaming – the dynamic forms of collaboration needed in environments characterized by uncertainty and ambiguity. She has also studied the role of psychological safety in teamwork and innovation. Before her academic career, she was Director of Research at Pecos River Learning Centers, where she worked with founder and CEO Larry Wilson to design change programs in large companies. In the early 1980s, she worked as Chief Engineer for architect/inventor Buckminster Fuller, and innovation in the built environment remains an area of enduring interest and passion.
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Books By Amy C. Edmondson
Conquer the most essential adaptation to the knowledge economy
The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth offers practical guidance for teams and organizations who are serious about success in the modern economy. With so much riding on innovation, creativity, and spark, it is essential to attract and retain quality talent—but what good does this talent do if no one is able to speak their mind? The traditional culture of "fitting in" and "going along" spells doom in the knowledge economy. Success requires a continuous influx of new ideas, new challenges, and critical thought, and the interpersonal climate must not suppress, silence, ridicule or intimidate. Not every idea is good, and yes there are stupid questions, and yes dissent can slow things down, but talking through these things is an essential part of the creative process. People must be allowed to voice half-finished thoughts, ask questions from left field, and brainstorm out loud; it creates a culture in which a minor flub or momentary lapse is no big deal, and where actual mistakes are owned and corrected, and where the next left-field idea could be the next big thing.
This book explores this culture of psychological safety, and provides a blueprint for bringing it to life. The road is sometimes bumpy, but succinct and informative scenario-based explanations provide a clear path forward to constant learning and healthy innovation.
- Explore the link between psychological safety and high performance
- Create a culture where it’s “safe” to express ideas, ask questions, and admit mistakes
- Nurture the level of engagement and candor required in today’s knowledge economy
- Follow a step-by-step framework for establishing psychological safety in your team or organization
Shed the "yes-men" approach and step into real performance. Fertilize creativity, clarify goals, achieve accountability, redefine leadership, and much more. The Fearless Organization helps you bring about this most critical transformation.
Continuous improvement, understanding complex systems, and promoting innovation are all part of the landscape of learning challenges today's companies face. Amy Edmondson shows that organizations thrive, or fail to thrive, based on how well the small groups within those organizations work. In most organizations, the work that produces value for customers is carried out by teams, and increasingly, by flexible team-like entities. The pace of change and the fluidity of most work structures means that it's not really about creating effective teams anymore, but instead about leading effective teaming.
Teaming shows that organizations learn when the flexible, fluid collaborations they encompass are able to learn. The problem is teams, and other dynamic groups, don't learn naturally. Edmondson outlines the factors that prevent them from doing so, such as interpersonal fear, irrational beliefs about failure, groupthink, problematic power dynamics, and information hoarding. With Teaming, leaders can shape these factors by encouraging reflection, creating psychological safety, and overcoming defensive interpersonal dynamics that inhibit the sharing of ideas. Further, they can use practical management strategies to help organizations realize the benefits inherent in both success and failure.
- Presents a clear explanation of practical management concepts for increasing learning capability for business results
- Introduces a framework that clarifies how learning processes must be altered for different kinds of work
- Explains how Collaborative Learning works, and gives tips for how to do it well
- Includes case-study research on Intermountain healthcare, Prudential, GM, Toyota, IDEO, the IRS, and both Cincinnati and Minneapolis Children's Hospitals, among others
Based on years of research, this book shows how leaders can make organizational learning happen by building teams that learn.
Leading experts Amy Edmondson and Jean-François Harvey analyze contemporary cases that expose the complex demands of cross-boundary collaboration on management, and inform our understanding of teams. Containing powerful insights and practical guidelines that allow managers to bridge professional divides and organizational boundaries in order to work together effectively, this is a new exploration of the challenges involved in today’s global enterprises.
The authors demonstrate that the work done in the modern organization is less and less about looking inward and creating strong teams inside the company, and more about teaming across boundaries – that often are in flux.
Extreme Teaming is a must-read book for all courses related to leading open innovation; teamwork and collaboration; project management; and cross-boundary work.
A case study of how an award-winning start-up used a large-scale collaboration to achieve a bold objective, and what it shows us about leadership.
Machiavelli famously wrote, “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”
That’s what this book is about—innovation far more audacious than a new way to find a restaurant or a smart phone you can wear on your wrist. Amy C. Edmondson and Susan Salter Reynolds explore large-scale systemic innovation that calls for “big teaming”: intense collaboration between professions and industries with completely different mindsets. This demands leadership combining an expansive vision with deliberative incremental action—not an easy balance.
To explore the kind of leadership required to build the future we need, Edmondson and Reynolds tell the story of Living PlanIT. This award-winning “smart city” start-up was launched with a breathtakingly ambitious goal: creating a showcase high-tech city from scratch to pilot its software—quite literally setting out to build the future. This meant a joint effort spanning a truly disparate group of software entrepreneurs, real estate developers, city government officials, architects, construction companies, and technology corporations. By taking a close look at the work, norms, and values in each of these professional domains, we gain new insight into why teaming across fields is so challenging. And we get to know Living PlanIT’s leaders, following them and their partners through cycles of hope, exhaustion, disillusionment, pragmatism, and renewal. There are powerful lessons here for anyone, in any industry, seeking to drive audacious innovation.
“Building the Future provides a rare inside look at how a start-up company takes on the world and copes with numerous challenges along the way. Go it alone or partner? Keep the bold goal or go for small wins? Seize other opportunities in technology or stick with the smart-cities plan? Edmondson and Reynolds present thought-provoking lessons for those who want to dream big and need big teaming to get the work done.”—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, and bestselling author of Confidence andMove
“This unique book by a brilliant researcher and a veteran journalist not only illuminates the problems of large-scale innovation for a sustainable future but, in the process, teaches us about industry cultures, leadership, and the massive problems of collaboration in an increasingly complex multicultural world.” —Edgar Schein, Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management, and author of Helping, Humble Inquiry, and Humble Consulting
`This book takes an important first step towards integrating theories of competitive advantage and... organizational learning, a rapprochement which can come none too soon for the management practitioner′ - Peter Senge, Director of the Center for Organizational Learning, MIT Sloan School of Management, USA
Organizations need to develop learning strategies to survive and develop in increasingly uncertain and changing markets. In this book, researchers from Europe and the United States explore theories of strategic management and organizational behaviour to establish a link between learning processes and competitive advantage, within a variety of organizational settings. The diverse, multidisciplinary approach takes an important step towards developing a new integrative theory of management.