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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Leadership Makes It Happen", June 5, 2012
This review is from: Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy (Hardcover)
With "Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy," Professor Edmondson has written a book rich in its research roots, engaging in its use of cases, unusual in the depth of its cross disciplinary perspective, and packed with bulleted advice you can put to work immediately. Even highly enlightened leaders, will come away with many new insights that will make them reexamine how they lead, and the organizational culture they have fostered.

Basing her conclusions on decades of research in organizations as diverse as hospitals, government agencies, and Fortune 100 firms, Edmondson writes about "the right leadership mindset to optimize outcomes" - work environments that are organized for learning, in which the fear factor has been removed and employees are encouraged to experiment and take reasonable risks, resulting in increased innovation. She explains, "This way of working allows employees to grow personally and professionally" and also leads to mission success.

Professor Edmondson explores the social and cognitive barriers to teaming, drawing on bodies of psychological research. She then distills her findings into remarkably practical advice for the reader.

For example, there is an entire chapter devoted to "the power of framing" - "a crucial leadership action for enrolling people in any substantial behavior change" - followed by another that is entitled, "Making it Safe to Team." Here we learn about the role of leaders in creating a psychologically safe environment, which research shows delivers the following crucial benefits: "...it encourages speaking up, enables clarity of thought, supports productive conflict, mitigates failure, promotes innovation, moderates the relationship between goals and performance, and increases employee accountability." Bulleted lists such as, "Signs That a Workplace is Psychologically Safe" give the reader concrete "takeaways" that can be readily applied.

Many of the ideas Professor Edmondson explores will resonate with IT and engineering executives, who are applying Agile methodologies to project management and software development. They are especially pertinent for those heading up Product Development.

But it's hard to imagine any reader, particularly one in a leadership position, who will not come away with an entirely fresh perspective. The title of the last chapter says it all - "Leadership Makes It Happen." With Teaming, Edmondson has created a fast-reading and thoroughly engaging text that will improve the effectiveness of every leader who taps into her wisdom.

Karen Fine Coburn, President & CEO, Cutter Consortium
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