Psychological Safety

Psychological Safety

by Dr Amy Edmondson

Comparative Psychological Safety provides change leaders with the insights they need to create an environment tailored for knowledge workers in an environment of constant change and volatility.

Amy Edmondson
Dr Amy Edmondson
Professor of Leadership and Management
Harvard Business School

This assessment is based on the research conducted by Dr. Amy Edmondson at Harvard Business School.

Dr. Amy Edmondson’s groundbreaking research has demonstrated that one of the most important aspects of superior team performance is Psychological Safety.

The notion that a person can speak up without retribution, that their ideas are heard and that employees are empowered to take meaningful action is directly correlated to positive business outcomes such as speed-to-market, quality and customer satisfaction.

Leading Management Research

Backed by decades of research conducted by Dr. Amy Edmondson and her research team at Harvard Business School and confirmed through Google’s Project Aristotle, Psychological Safety is a key aspect of team performance.

Essential Insights

The Comparative Psychological Safety survey represents the extent to which the team views the social climate as conducive to interpersonal risk; it is a measure of people's willingness to trust others not to attempt to gain personal advantage at their expense.

An Invitation to a Conversation…

The survey reveals how your teams perceive they are doing across key dimensions of Psychological Safety. Use this knowledge as a basis for a conversation to understand better how you can help create a more psychologically safe environment at all levels of the organization.

A Critical Trait of Team Performance

Dr. Amy Edmondson’s research of team performance revealed a profound insight: teams need to feel safe in order to make mistakes. Without the ability to make mistakes – and learn from them – innovation, creativity and inspiration are left unrealized. Google, in a quest to isolate what separated their internal high-performing teams from the rest, backed Dr. Edmondson’s research: Psychological Safety is the single most important determinant to success.

The implications are clear: creating an environment in which people feel comfortable to take risks is key to fostering innovative workplaces.

Agile Assessment

“Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.”

Amy Edmondson

Sample Questions

In this team, people are never rejected for being different.
It is easy to ask other members of this team for help.
Members of this team often raise concerns they have about team plans or decisions.
In this team, it is easy to discuss difficult issues and problems.
Members of this team value and respect each others' contributions.
This team frequently obtains new information that leads us to make important changes in our plans or work processes.
It is completely safe to take a risk on this team.
When someone makes a mistake in this team, it is never held against him or her.
Problems and errors in this team are always communicated to the appropriate people (whether team members or others) so that action can be taken.

Sample Questions

Acceptance

In this team, people are never rejected for being different.

Collaboration

It is easy to ask other members of this team for help.

Awareness

Members of this team often raise concerns they have about team plans or decisions.
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Top Features

Leverage proven, peer-reviewed research to quickly identify where your organization needs attention and initiate a conversation to understand how you can help.

Give your teams a voice – and allow them to express where you can do the most good for your organization.

Gain insights expeditiously - perform analysis at the team, program and organizational levels.

Benchmark the level of Psychological Safety across your teams and organization against other organizations in your industry.

Leverage proven, peer-reviewed research to quickly identify where your organization needs attention and initiate a conversation to understand how you can help.

Give your teams a voice – and allow them to express where you can do the most good for your organization.

Gain insights expeditiously - perform analysis at the team, program and organizational levels.

Benchmark the level of Psychological Safety across your teams and organization against other organizations in your industry.

Amy Edmondson

Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School.

Edmondson has been recognized by the biannual Thinkers50 global ranking of management thinkers in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 and was honored with the Talent Award in 2017. She studies teaming, psychological safety, and leadership, and her articles have been published in numerous academic and management outlets, including Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Harvard Business Review and California Management Review.

Her books – Teaming: How organizations learn, innovate and compete in the knowledge economy (Jossey-Bass, 2012), Teaming to Innovate (Jossey-Bass, 2013) and Extreme Teaming (Emerald, 2017) – explore teamwork in dynamic organizational environments. In Building the future: Big teaming for audacious innovation (Berrett-Koehler, 2016), she examines the challenges and opportunities of teaming across industries to build smart cities.

Her latest book, The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation and Growth (Wiley, 2008), offers a practical guide for organizations serious about success in today’s business environment.

Try it out now!

Fuel data-driven continuous improvement efforts at the team, program and organizational levels through uncommon insights and actionable feedback.