The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth by Amy C. Edmondson

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Date Added
Nov 28, 2022 1:02 PM

Community Reviews

“A culture of silence is a dangerous culture” This book does well with defining psychological safety and its importance in any organization. It also describes the consequences of low levels of psychological safety and organizations that are driven by fear. I was less impressed by the part about increasing psychological safety in the organization which felt a bit short and not so well structured (I guess more work is needed on that part). This is already not the first book that brought Nokia as a ...more

It's unmanly to admit, but sometimes I'm afraid. I worry about what might happen. Sometimes the problem is beyond my strength. I can attest that if anxiety takes hold, it dominates my thoughts. This leads to my biggest point of agreement with Amy Edmondson. You can't think clearly when you're afraid. I want to create a safe environment in my office. I don’t want my team to burn calories on anxiety so that they don't have the resources to do their best.


Recommended by Matthew McDaniel

Librar ...more

Powerful, emotion invoking case studies and stories showcase the role psychological safety plays in the success and failure of teams, projects, events and endeavors. The fearless organization is a book that leads by example. While explanations illuminate the anecdotes, the stories themselves speak to the necessity of creating workplaces that embrace people speaking up.

Interestingly as well, several tables and sections throughout the book list common mindsets that are antithetical to psychologica ...more


TL;DR A great intro book that scratches the surface of this concept, but deems it necessary to explore the cited materials, because it fails to go into depth itself.


It's a great entry book if you're new in the space of "psychological safety" and have not read much about great company cultures of leaders such as Google or Pixar. While it presents a certain amount of valuable concepts and examples, it fails in exploring them more thoroughly.

First few chapters are kind of a drag, as ...more

This is an important topic, but it's a pretty bad book. Chapters 1-6 are packed with cautionary anecdotes demonstrating the badness of psychologically unsafe organizations. The chapter summaries for these are virtually interchangeable. Chapter 7 is a hodge-podge of management and leadership best practices ranging freely through coaching, emotional intelligence, communication, strategic vision, and governance. The theme of psychological safety is present as a kind of guiding star, but otherwise i ...more

This book reminded me of what the Anna Karenina-principle. Successful organisations are often alike one another, whereas every failed organisation (usually) has an interesting story to tell. However, avoiding mistakes will only get you so far (as the author does point out), so doing things right takes gut and effort. I knew about the google example from before and had the privilege of working for good organisations so far. Hence I bought the main claim on page 10 of the book. Hearing more and mor ...more

Do you know those books that upgrade your understanding of the world and enact real good changes in your life? This is what "The fearless organization" was to me.

The author is not only very precise to describe the "psychological safety" concepts with scientific rigor, but also to address practical advices on how to implement these concepts in real life.

One week after reading this book and I can feel positive changes on my behavior when dealing with people.

I hope this book can reach a broader au ...more

This book is a smooth read to get a bit more insight into the research and case studies around psychological safety. However, you can see the tension between a well researched scholastic book and an easy how to guide for business people. Unfortunately It ends up falling short in both categories.

Some of Amy Edmoson's articles and blogs give you the same info with no narrative behind but accomplish the same goal perfectly. ...more

I honestly feel I could give this book 10 stars--it sure deserves them. We all should read and give away this book to our bosses.....Too bad some of our bosses do not care about reading nor learning about how to run companies better...I do like the example about health care--the example of a nurse afraid of telling the doctor anything--and what is more amazing--it keeps happening. Why? because some Doctors still not capable to understand how to work better together--how to encourage freedom of s ...more

Oct 22, 2021 Sri Shivananda rated it really liked it · review of another edition

An informative book on psychological safety in the workplace and the benefits it creates in a culture of inclusion, learning, innovation, and growth. It reiterated many aspects of a book called the four phases of psychological safety and enhanced it with examples from the industry. I recommend it not just for leaders in an organization, but, for everyone. The ideas here can support the cultivation of a workplace that enhances belonging, engagement, inspiration, and better outcomes towards the mi ...more

Most of this I knew...I'm starting to think I know more about psychological safety than most. Anyway if you're not up on it this book will make sure you are now! The first half just talks about the research and the baseline. The second half was almost case studies -intriguing.

"Asking questions tends not to make the leader seem, not weak, but thoughtful and wise....rules of thumb for asking a good question: 1) you don't know the answer 2) you ask questions that d not limit the response options to y ...more

4.5 stars The book is dedicated to a very clear topic (psychological safety as a foundation of successful organizations) & I think it does what's promised - covers the topic end-to-end. But I couldn't help a feeling that what was truly essential was covered in the chapter 1 and the rest of the book is not much more than a repetition ;/

What did I like? There are good & relevant examples, there's clear clarification what's the difference between fearless & over-protective (I can't recall the exact ...more

#thefearlessorganization by #amyedmondson @harvardhbs #harvardbusinessschool #wileypublishing Amy Edmondson takes quite some time to define what Psychological Safety is. And probably even more time to specify what it is not I have defined psychological safety as the belief that the work environment is safe for interpersonal risk taking. The concept refers to the experience of feeling able to speak up with relevant ideas, questions, or concerns. Psychological safety is present when colleagues tr ...more

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