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Management Impact on Psychological Safety

2023-07-21 — Michael Haupt

The importance of psychological safety cannot be overstated. A somewhat recent example with some magnitude is the discovery that Toyota’s truck brand Hino has faked emissions data for decades. Reportedly, this could happen because management set unrealistic goals that no one dared to challenge. This, in turn, was because the culture did not encourage or reward speaking up, but rather was one of fear around raising issues.

This story is especially painful because Toyota, of all companies, is famous for introducing the “andon” cord for anyone to stop the manufacturing line, raise issues, and enable focusing on problems. This is a key part of the famous Toyota production system. Using such a tool is possible only in an environment that is psychologically safe.

Tags: work