Ready for the BIG Question?April 5, 2018
Today Schumy got a new home!May 14, 2018
When you hear the word ‘safety’ you probably think physical safety – hard hats, protective clothing and so on. However, attention has increasingly turned to another form of safety in organizations and teams – one that is psychological, as opposed to physical.
There is a growing body of research revealing an important, but unlikely, psychological driver of performance. This newly discovered and much publicised (1) performance driver is called psychological safety and it influences performance at all levels; organization, individual and team.
Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership at Harvard Business School, described psychological safety as ‘a climate in which people feel free to express relevant thoughts and feelings without fear of being penalized’(2).
If you are familiar with the Pitstop Meta-model of performance, you will know that this is captured under Trust & Respect as one of the dynamics shown at the bottom of the model. That is fitting because if you are going to work as part of a team (and a pit team in particular) you have to feel safe – you have to trust the driver. Well, It all came to life in last weekend’s race in Bahrain, where the Kimi Raikkonen drove over the leg of one of his pit team as he accelerated out of the pitlane (see it on the BBC here: https://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/43693181).
Hopefully, as you enter the executive suite today you can be sure of being safe!
1 Organizations such as Goolge™ have identified psychological safety as a key factor in team and individual performance and it has been written about everywhere from the New York Times to the Harvard Business Review. See for example: Charles Duhigg, ‘What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team’, New York Times Magazine, Feb. 25th 2016.
2 Amy C. Edmondson, ‘The Competitive Imperative of Learning’, HBR JULY–AUGUST 2008.