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Right Kind of Wrong with Amy Edmondson

"Intelligent failures are intelligent because they're the only way to get some valuable new knowledge that you need to make progress."

In her forthcoming book, Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, Amy Edmondson offers a new framework to think about, discuss, and practice failure wisely, using human fallibility as a tool for making ourselves and our organizations smarter.

Amy Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School and the author of seven books, including The Fearless Organization, which has been translated into more than 15 languages. She was ranked number one on the 2021 Thinkers50 list, a ranking of the world’s most influential management thinkers.

Together with Martin Reeves, Chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute, Edmondson discusses the distinctions that can help us separate good failure from bad, strategies to decrease the cost of learning, as well as practical actions for leaders to establish a culture where intelligent failure is predominant.

Key topics discussed:

  • [1:13] The distinction between failing well and failing badly
  • [9:36] How to avoid the “illusion of knowing” and mistaking a mental model for a fact
  • [12:02] Institutional and leadership-level moves to create an environment where intelligent failure is predominant
  • [18:27] How to decrease the cost of learning
  • [19:42] Can AI help to analyze the potential for failure or identify learnable lessons and failure patterns?

Additional inspiration from Amy Edmondson:

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