Chapter 10 Summary
Last Updated on October 6, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 321
In chapter 10, Grant explores how rethinking and risk-taking are crucial parts of a successful workplace and the changes that can be made in workplace cultures to encourage the flourishing of learning. While workplaces must encourage people to question things and take risks, the defining quality of productive workplaces is that they are marked by what is known as “psychological safety and accountability.” Psychological safety indicates the employees’ understanding that they are allowed to take risks without fear of punishment. In one case, a researcher named Amy Edmonson measured the levels of psychological safety in medical teams at a hospital. After accounting for the bias that these errors were self-reported, she found that psychologically safer teams reported a higher number of medical errors but made fewer errors in practice overall than other teams. An overemphasis on only successful results can make people more concerned with protecting their reputation.
Another thing that can help create a psychologically safe workplace is its authorities modeling and demonstrating how to be more open about one’s professional shortcomings. After Grant was hired by the Gates Foundation to improve their workplace culture, he proposed the making of a video wherein the executive leaders, including Melinda Gates, reacted personally and authentically to criticisms collected from other employees. The video successfully encouraged employees to be more proactive and transparent.
Meaningful accountability, on the other hand, refers specifically to process accountability rather than accountability for outcomes. There is an emphasis on employees working on the quality of their decisions and judgments. At NASA, a now-retired director named Ellen Ochoa would ask the launch team to justify to her that they were clear for launch. She would ask them to verbalize what their assumptions were, how they came to certain conclusions, the uncertainties of their analysis, and the pros and cons of certain decisions. In other words, she emphasized inspecting that their work process was sound rather than rushing final results.