Psychological Safety #8: Resilience Engineering and Building Communities

Training, Workshops, Exercises and Tools

Psychological Safety #8: Resilience Engineering and Building Communities

building and maintaining psychological safety for your team


Thanks for subscribing to the psychological safety newsletter! This week we have loads on psychological safety in healthcare and medicine, diversity and inclusion, technology, and exciting news about the psych safety community!
We now have a Psychological Safety Community on Slack! Read more here: and/or sign up here:

Work and industry: The big news this week – The UK FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) is espousing the importance diversity and inclusion and psychological safety in two recent speeches. One can imagine the importance of being able to “speak up” about financial misconduct, particularly given the prominence that financial misconduct and corruption have in the UK right now.

An interesting piece from Atlassian, using the SCARF model to describe why your team might not give you honest feedback:

Thanks to Jabe Bloom for reminding me of this fantastic story: How Paul O’Neill Fought For Safety At Alcoa

Health and Medicine:

I met with some folks in leadership roles in the NHS this week and had a great discussion about blamelessness, culture, performance and psychological safety. I also found this relevant paper, Leadership in the NHS by Roger Kline:

Cognitive Load, Communities of Practice, and Psychological Safety all in one paper: Psychology and learning: The role of the clinical learning environment:

Enhancing psychological safety in mental health services (Note – this is open access, so you don’t need to be part of an academic institution or pay subscription fees to read it.)

The trouble with conflict in General Practice? There’s just not enough of it.


The Easy Agile podcast is great. Catch Ep.7 with Sarah Hajipour, Agile Coach, talking about Agile spreading across organisations, and how psychological safety is fundamental to an Agile Transformation.

Here’s a great slide deck on Blameless Retrospectives, by Red Hat’s Jen Krieger:

And here is a super article on about the psychology behind blameless retrospectives

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Being a proximate leader is about much more than being exposed to or studying a group of people and its struggles to overcome adversity. It’s about actually being a part of that group or being meaningfully guided by that group’s input, ideas, agendas, and assets. Effective Change Requires Proximate Leaders:

Diversity is valuable, but it is inclusion that really drives performance.” A super piece by Dr Edmondson and Stephen Scott.:

Theory & practice:

Björn Schigt made contact with me this week, and his Masters dissertation was about how CEOs perceive their responsibility for establishing psychological safety in the management team. Check it out:

The Anatomy of Trust – a great article by Catherine De La Poer

Since the emergence of the field of Resilience Engineering in the early 2000s, researchers have collaborated across fields such as human factors engineering and cognitive systems engineering to understand how complex work in hazardous domains across many different industries can succeed. And it’s been making significant inroads into the tech industry, for good reason and with good outcomes. Contrary to how it sounds, resilience engineering is largely about people. Here’s a comprehensive article about adaptive capacity in incident response, by John Allspaw, Beth Adele Long and Dr. Richard Cook.

Her’s a great twitter thread here from David Spinks (@DavidSpinks) about  community-building techniques you can use to help remote teams build cohesion:

This is awesome: Recovery from Command-and-Control: A Twelve-Step Program:
“Command-and-control management remains, in the 21st century, a disease with no signs of abating. Results from studies over time show a stable if not worsening picture. The same management styles are repeated with the same results – poor performance and reduced well-being.”

Here’s an episode of Brainstorm Squared, a podcast by Damiano Tescaro and Aidan Cammies: Build Psychological safety at work

This week’s poem:

The Leader
Roger McGough, 1989

I wanna be the leader
I wanna be the leader
Can I be the leader?
Can I? I can?
Promise? Promise?
Yippee I’m the leader
I’m the leader

OK what shall we do?


If you skipped the first bit of the newsletter – we have a Psychological Safety Community! Read more here: and sign up here:

As always, check out, for more resources and articles. 
Read previous newsletters here, and get in touch if you’d like to share something in this newsletter.

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