Psychological Safety #14: Schwartz Rounds and Executive Privilege

Training, Workshops, Exercises and Tools

Psychological Safety #14: Schwartz Rounds and Executive Privilege

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Thanks for subscribing to the psychological safety newsletter! This week we’re talking about Schwartz Rounds, executive privilege, incident write-ups, ethics in AI and more. is open for contributions! Would you like to have an article or blog post published on If you would like to write about your own experiences, research, or opinion, and have it published here, get in touch by emailing!

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Work and industry:

This week, I discovered “Schwartz Rounds“. Schwartz Rounds are a really powerful practice that comes from the field of clinical healthcare, but I see no reason they couldn’t be utilised in any other field. You could think of them as a kind of human-focussed retrospective exercise. Watch an example Schwartz Round here. [Note: possible trigger warning – this round focusses on the treatment of a sick baby]

This is interesting: ISO 45003 is in draft stage at the moment, and is the first global standard giving practical guidance on managing psychological health in the workplace. It provides guidance on the management of psychosocial risk, as part of an occupational health and safety management system.

Here’s a great article by Azaleah Peterson “Don’t “Fake It Till You Make It.” In the Workplace, Keep It Real.” about understanding the connections among mental health, employee wellbeing, and authenticity.

Psychological safety and workplace safety – a great article in Safety + Health Magazine.

And here’s a provocative piece: “Executive Privilege — and ignorance — is Showing As Offices Reopen” – “Being remote is quite unsettling if you are a traditional executive – it feels like you are blind, even if you essentially always were.


“Still Not Safe”: Patient Safety and the Middle-Managing of American Medicine


Whether you call them “incident write-ups” “post-mortems” “RCAs” or retrospectives, what do you think? – Should individuals be named in the reports? Here’s an interesting article by Lorin Hochstein.

Excellent work by Ibrahim Cesar about psychological safety in technology teams, in the context of the pandemic. “It’s okay, not to be okay. Sometimes just affirming ourselves and reaffirming it, gives us a breath to keep working, making us a little safer.” [Translated from Portuguese]

AI, ethics, and diversity: “Before you even think about the products that you’re building or the research that you’re doing, you need to start imagining: how can you work with people at the margins to shape this technology?” A Powerful piece about Timnit Gebru, who is known for foundational work in revealing AI discrimination, developing methods for documenting and auditing AI models, and advocating for greater diversity in research. 

Here’s a nice article from Techrepublic about psychological safety in cybersecurity and information securityCybersecurity: Don’t blame employees—make them feel like part of the solution 

And here’s the piece referenced in the above article: Psychological Safety and Information Security.

Theory & practice:

An essay in the Journal of Conservation Biology – Black swans, cognition, and the power of learning from failure: “conservation professionals can draw on the research and experience of these other disciplines to institutionalize activities and attitudes that foster learning from failure…”

This week’s poem:

The Invitation
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer 

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

Read the rest of the poem here


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