My Summary | The Fearless organization

The Fearless organization — creating Phycological safety in the workplace for learning, innovation and Growth

Many organizations conduct Townhall meetings, and these meetings are much-anticipated event as leadership teams engage with the people and respond to the questions on growth, career progression, future etc. Townhall event is supposed to be the venue, where free and frank exchange of conversations, ideas and thought leadership would happen. The number of relevant and candid questions that are raised during the Townhalls can be a simple measure to check on culture whether organization is fearless or fearful. The type of questions that the employees ask, can become a measure for the transparency and trust on the leadership. If the Townhall is just a monolog without getting an question and surrounded by silence, then a culture of silence is a dangerous culture.

The fearless organization is one where interpersonal fear is minimised, allowing a freer flow of knowledge. It’s an environment where a person feels able to express their views on something openly and honestly without fear of recrimination, abuse, putdown, or humiliation. The Google’s study on team effectiveness — Project Aristotle observed that the psychological safety was the key factor that led to high performing teams. Teaming is the art of communicating and coordinating with people across boundaries of all kinds — expertise, status, and distance. This was supported by four other features:

1. Clear goals

2. Dependable colleagues

3. Personally meaningful work

4. Belief that the work has impact

Psychological safety is not about being nice. Psychological safety is crucial source of value creation in organization operating in a complex, changing environment. Fearless organization is not only a better place for employees, but also a place where innovation, growth and performance take hold. Psychological safety is essential for communicating, collaborating, experimenting, and ensuring the wellbeing of others in a wide variety of teams and organizational settings. Lack of psychological safety can create an illusion of success that eventually turns into serious business failures.

Today’s leaders must be willing to take on for driving the fear out of the organization to create a condition of learning, innovation, and growth. Leaders need to take two vital steps to achieve fearless organization

1. Build phycological safety to spur learning and avoid preventable failures by

a. Setting stage

b. Inviting participation

  • · Situational Humility
  • · Proactive Inquiry
  • · Designing structures for input

c. Responding productively by Focused Event Analysis (FEA)

  • · Express Appreciation

d. Destigmatize Failure

  • · Reframing the failure

e. Motivating the efforts

2. Set high standards and inspire and enable people to reach them

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