Amy Edmondson pod title

132: Amy Edmondson on the right kind of wrong

In this episode of Supporting Champions, we’re joined by Amy Edmondson, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School and a leading authority on psychological safety. We delve into her new book, “The Right Kind of Wrong,” a title that intriguingly challenges our perceptions of failure.

Our conversation begins with Amy’s sharing her expertise on creating environments that foster growth, development, and performance. Amy’s perspective is particularly timely, as there’s a growing appetite for understanding and skillfully nurturing psychologically safe spaces.

Amy emphasises that better teams don’t necessarily make fewer mistakes but are more open to discussing them. This is exemplified in her NASA example, where tired teams, who had been working hard together, outperformed fresh teams. We explore whether psychologically safe teams take more interpersonal and task-based risks.

Amy decodes sports contexts and consequences, addressing how results-focused environments can create fear-based decisions. We delve into the nuances of failure, error, and judgment in relation to goal setting, and how psychological safety, while promoting excellence, isn’t about comfort but about enabling intelligent risk-taking and learning from complex failures.

We wrap up the conversation by discussing the best and worst examples of enhancing performance through psychological safety, the increasing embrace of interpersonal skills by coaches, and the predominant factors influencing psychological safety.


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