261. How to get more value from failures and setbacks

With Amy Edmondson, PhD
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Show Notes


Title: Failure happens! How can we get more value from our failures and setbacks? 

Episode 261

Guest: Amy Edmondson, PhD, professor of management and leadership at Harvard Business School



Rationally, we know that failure is an unavoidable part of life. Often, it’s our failures and setbacks that represent progress points on the pathway to our greatest successes. But it can be difficult to sort through and make sense of the competing emotions we feel as we endure failure and setback. Interestingly, according to this week’s guest, our aversion to failure can actually increase the chances of not only failure, but the type of failure that we don’t learn as much from. 

So what can we do to better understand and to utilize failure more effectively? 



Amy Edmondson is a world-renowned professor of management and leadership at Harvard Business School. Her new book “The Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well” (out on September 5, 2023) charts new ground related to failure and to understanding it in the context of psychological safety. 

Amy has been named by THINKERS 50 as the #1 management thinker in the world, and her TedTalk “How to turn a group of strangers into a team” has been viewed more than 3 million times. 



How understanding different types of failures is key to innovation and to creating an environment where we can more fully thrive. 

The role psychological safety plays in creating the conditions for the “right kind of failure.”

The best way to deal with fear that tends to accompany failure for most of us. 

How our failures can be differentiators. 

How to think about failure in the context of parenting and the importance of creating psychological safety for failure at home. 

The best ways to make the most of your failures. 

The role of shame. 

Amy’s pivot story and her advice for knowing when to persist and when to pivot. 



Amy Edmondson, Phd

Amy’s book: “The Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well” (pre-order before September 5, 2023)


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