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Book review: How to create a ‘Fearless Organization’

Richard Bistrong | February 26, 2019

Recently, in our compliance world, we’ve seen a much greater discussion on whistleblowing, but also on how to encourage a “speak up” culture. And when I think about speaking up, I’m not only considering speaking up about the risks we might witness or observe, but also about ourselves. In fact, I think that quite often the hardest people to speak up about are ourselves, especially where we might harbor rationalizations, assumptions, or other internalized debates around pressure and what management really wants and expects.

Accordingly, I was fascinated when a professor who was speaking at a Transparency International event in the Netherlands I attended recommended “The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth” by Amy C. Edmondson. Edmondson’s proposition is quite simple, addressing how psychological safety empowers an environment in which employees are “communicating and collaborating with people...

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