Amy C. Edmondson

Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management

Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. The Novartis Chair was established to enable the study of human interactions that lead to the creation of successful business enterprises for the betterment of society. 

Edmondson is the author of Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy (Jossey-Bass, 2012), Teaming to Innovate (Jossey-Bass, 2013), and more than seventy articles on leadership, teams, innovation, and organizational learning.  Number 15 on the 2013 Thinkers50 list of the worlds’ most influential management thinkers, Edmondson teaches on topics including leadership, teamwork, and innovation at HBS and around the world.

She has received numerous awards, including the Cummings Award for mid-career achievement from the Academy of Management in 2006, the Accenture Award for significant contribution to improving the practice of management in 2004, for her article with Anita Tucker, “Why hospitals don't learn from failures,” and selection as one of the 20 Most Influential International Thinkers in Human Resources (#7) by HR Magazine in 2013. 

Before her academic career, she was Director of Research at Pecos River Learning Centers, where she worked with founder and CEO Larry Wilson to design change programs in large companies. In the early 1980s, she worked as Chief Engineer for architect/inventor Buckminster Fuller, and her book A Fuller Explanation: The Synergetic Geometry of R. Buckminster Fuller (Birkauser Boston, 1987) clarifies Fuller's mathematical contributions for a non-technical audience. Edmondson received her PhD in organizational behavior, AM in psychology, and AB in engineering and design, all from Harvard University.   

 

 


  1. Teaming

    New breakthrough thinking in organizational learning, leadership, and change

    Continuous improvement, understanding complex systems, and promoting innovation are all part of the landscape of learning challenges today's companies face. Amy Edmondson shows that organizations thrive, or fail to thrive, based on how well the small groups within those organizations work. In most organizations, the work that produces value for customers is carried out by teams, and increasingly, by flexible team-like entities. The pace of change and the fluidity of most work structures means that it's not really about creating effective teams anymore, but instead about leading effective teaming.

    Teaming shows that organizations learn when the flexible, fluid collaborations they encompass are able to learn. The problem is teams, and other dynamic groups, don't learn naturally. Edmondson outlines the factors that prevent them from doing so, such as interpersonal fear, irrational beliefs about failure, groupthink, problematic power dynamics, and information hoarding. With Teaming, leaders can shape these factors by encouraging reflection, creating psychological safety, and overcoming defensive interpersonal dynamics that inhibit the sharing of ideas. Further, they can use practical management strategies to help organizations realize the benefits inherent in both success and failure.

    • Presents a clear explanation of practical management concepts for increasing learning capability for business results
    • Introduces a framework that clarifies how learning processes must be altered for different kinds of work
    • Explains how Collaborative Learning works, and gives tips for how to do it well
    • Includes case-study research on Intermountain healthcare, Prudential, GM, Toyota, IDEO, the IRS, and both Cincinnati and Minneapolis Children's Hospitals, among others

    Based on years of research, this book shows how leaders can make organizational learning happen by building teams that learn.