Monday, May 7, 2012

Amy Edmondson's "Teaming"

I'm so delighted that Amy Edmondson has published "Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy," a summation of her 20-year study of organizational learning & performance. Amy's ideas provide one of the pillars for this site and have helped shape my thoughts about perfectionism, leadership and teamwork.

I'm equally delighted that the book is utterly worthy of the expectations I had for it. Impeccably organized and crisply written, it sets out Amy's arguments so cleanly that you forget how radical her ideas are. At least, until you read something like this:

When I ask executives to...estimate what percentage of failures in their organizations are caused by blameworthy events, the answers usually come back between 2 and 5 percent. But when I then ask what percentage of failures are treated as if caused by blameworthy events, after a pause or laugh, their responses often yield a much higher number in the 70-90 percent range.

If you are looking for an introduction to the ideas we're exploring on The Mistake Bank, please read Chapter 5, "Failing Better to Learn Faster," several times. And then all the other chapters.

We'll spend the rest of the week sharing a few of the countless valuable nuggets from "Teaming." Expect it to be on our year-end "best of" list.

A full collection of posts related to Amy Edmondson's work can be found here.

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