Five things #5

1) In fearless organisations, psychological safety is about leaning into the tough conversations

It’s important to note that working in a psychologically safe environment does not mean that people always agree with one another for the sake of being nice. It also does not mean that people offer unequivocal praise or unconditional support for everything you have to say. Psychological safety is not an “anything goes” environment where people are not expected to adhere to high standards or meet deadlines. It is not about becoming “comfortable” at work. Psychological safety enables candor and openness and, therefore, thrives in an environment of mutual respect. (Amy C. Edmondson, strategy+business)

2) High-performing leaders promote trust underpinned by vulnerability

It is in how an organization treats its employees that trust is built or destroyed. Research shows that when the top management gives trust to its managers, its managers will consider this the way to act and will treat their employees in similar trusting ways. As a result, the normative behavior in place will become giving trust to each other. The activity of building trust is therefore an important leadership responsibility and one that should be exercised continuously. If accepting vulnerability and thus giving trust to others is observed as the default behavior, then it will become the norm to follow and foster all the positive effects of trust. (Knowledge@Wharton, World Economic Forum)

3) The new digital reality requires you to stop some things and adjust your talent strategy

In our experience, between 25% and 60% of the tech workforce is involved in indirect activities—coordination and other steering and administrative tasks—that are redundant or don’t create independent value. By drawing up a map of current roles, skills, and activities you can zero in on activities to eliminate. This will enable your workforce to focus on value-generating tasks, generating real efficiencies.

Finally, although talent plans typically look three to five years down the road, you’ll want to develop a series of six- to eight-month workforce scenarios. In light of the uncertainty about what lies ahead, scenario planning can give you a set of options that aligns more closely with evolving situations, constraints, and requirements. (Karalee Close , Michael Grebe , Marc Schuuring , Benjamin Rehberg , and Matthew Leybold, BCG)

4) Johnny Barker, musician, director and actor, on artistic growth [podcast]

Brendon Kahi and I talk to multi-disciplinarian Johnny Barker about making an international career step and what brought him back home again. Johnny describes going from hometown notoriety to obscurity, and how he adopted a growth mindset to add a fascinating chapter—with occasionally hilarious footnotes—to his creative journey.

Listen or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or elsewhere (RSS here).

5) Ryuichi Sakamoto — solari (Jóhann Jóhannsson Rework)


That’s five posts on five things so far. If you’re enjoying these notes on talent, leadership, culture and music, please share with a friend. If you haven’t already, join the newsletter to get updates in your inbox.

Until next time,

M.