Amy Edmondson

Novartis Professor of Leadership & Management at Harvard Business School and Author, Teaming

Amy Edmondson

Edmondson’s insights that teams are verbs rather than nouns, and that leaders who focus on ‘teaming’ animate a more adaptive work environment, are a major advance in our grasp of leading, organizing, and learning. This is the work of a gifted, hands-on scholar at her best!

Karl E. Weick,
Professor, organizational behavior & psychology, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Amy Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School. She teaches MBA and Executive Education courses in leadership, service management, and organizational learning and is the Faculty Chair of the HBS World Bank Group program for new leaders. She was recently included in the 2011 Thinkers 50, a prestigious ranking of the world’s top fifty business thinkers.

A prolific author, Professor Edmondson’s book, Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete, was published in March 2012. In it, she examines group dynamics, how groups learn, and especially how to create highly effective collaborative teams. In her provocative Harvard Business Review article, Strategies for Learning from Failure, Amy explores why some failure is inevitable, and why some is even valuable. In addition to over 50 articles in academic journals, management periodicals, and books, Amy is also the author of dozens of HBS teaching cases, including classic leadership studies on The Cleveland Clinic, General Motors Powertrain, Prudential Financial, Simmons Mattress Company, YUM brands, IDEO product design, and NASA’s failed Columbia mission.

Professor Edmondson is widely known for her brilliant work around leadership influences on learning, collaboration, and innovation in teams and organizations. Her innovative field-based approach includes research in contexts ranging from health care delivery and manufacturing to space exploration. One stream of her work has shown effects of leadership behavior and a safe psychological climate on patient safety in hospitals while other streams have investigated management team practices that promote effective decision-making and organizational learning.

Professor Edmondson is a respected and beloved speaker and consultant to corporations, government entities, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. She typically receives the highest audience evaluations with clients often adding that she changed their thinking and was the best speaker they had ever engaged.

Before her academic career, Professor Edmondson was Director of Research at Pecos River Learning Centers, where she worked closely with founder and CEO Larry Wilson to design and implement organizational change programs in a variety of Fortune 100 companies. In the early 1980s, she worked as Chief Engineer for architect/inventor Buckminster Fuller, and her book, A Fuller Explanation, clarifies Fuller’s mathematical contributions for a non-technical audience

Professor Edmondson received her PhD in organizational behavior, AM in psychology, and AB in engineering and design, all from Harvard University.

Books by Amy Edmondson

Videos featuring Amy Edmondson View All

  • Personal Productivity is an Artform

    Amy Edmondson

    I struggle and yet I do get things done. I think ultimately I just give myself deadlines, often artificial, and take them seriously. This paper or even this paragraph has to be written by this time - and I sit down and I do it.

  • What it Takes to Lead

    Amy Edmondson

    I think it takes curiosity, humility, empathy, and passion to be a great leader. Passion is needed because if you don’t fundamentally and deeply care about something larger than yourself, something that involves making the world a slightly better place, then I think it’s really hard to lead.

  • Checking In With Your Team

    Amy Edmondson

    I think most leaders' blind spot relates to their passion to make something happen. It can lead them to not be fully aware of the gaps where they might be missing something and most importantly where others might be. The blind spot lies in failing to routinely and systematically check in with others.

  • Effective Teaming

    Amy Edmondson

    I would say if you have work in your organization that doesn’t require people to work interdependently with others to collaborate, to reach across silos and boundaries then stay away from this book, you don’t need it.

  • Leadership is a Journey

    Amy Edmondson

    The Art of Leadership in my mind is a reminder that leadership is an art; not a science. There isn’t a formula where you do this, this, this and this, and all will be well. It’s an art.


Previous Events featuring Amy Edmondson

Have you seen Amy Edmondson speak? What did you think?