For a number of years, Novartis in the UK has been working on psychological safety as a way to improve performance. As part of this commitment, we have a long-standing relationship with Amy Edmondson, Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard University and world-leading academic on psychological safety at work.

We create opportunities for collaboration and experiential learning that enable colleagues from Novartis and the NHS to work with Professor Edmondson.

The following resources share some insight and learning from those collaborations – all packaged into short videos to help more people across health and care in the UK to access them.



Click on any of the four headings to be taken to a list of videos which explore that topic.


For more details on Professor Edmondson’s work on the value of psychological safety, including insights from different integrated care systems, download NHS Horizons’ ‘A practical guide to the Art of Psychological Safety in the Real World of Health and Care.’

Learn about psychological safety, how it is relevant in the UK health and care system and what it takes to lead a team today. 



What does it take to lead in a volatile, uncertain and complex world?

Those of us in the health and care sector work in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. In this short video, Professor Edmondson offers her recipe for success based on over 20 years of research.


What is psychological safety?

This video provides the perfect introduction to psychological safety, what it is and why it is so relevant to the UK health and care system. 


An example from Wall Street that applies to the ward

Who would think that there are parallels between Wall Street and the hospital ward? This video gives a pertinent example of why quality is central to both.


Empowering teams to succeed

What isn’t psychological safety? In this short video, Professor Edmondson explains what it is and also what it is not, and why it is important in the workplace to ensure an optimal work climate.


Partnering with the NHS

What parallels are there between the NHS and Novartis? Professor Edmondson underlines how Novartis can draw on its strengths and work with the NHS to develop leadership, help people look forward and what it requires from the team to get the best results. 


Attitude to risk and failure

How do we create an environment for innovation? In order to innovate, we have to feel safe. This video shows the highlights from the psychological safety programme led by Professor Edmondson. Hear different people’s reactions to what is being said and how empowered it can make them feel by acknowledging the importance of psychological safety.  


Novartis UK culture drives our collective purpose

How do you create the Novartis culture, so that it is able to partner with the NHS? This video explores how working together with the NHS to bring to reality their vision that nobody should have to wait for an extraordinary life can be achieved through fostering empowerment and accountability.


Learn how recognising and supporting diversity within teams can create synergy and success in the workplace.  



Collaboration through difference

‘It is the leaders in the middle that are really making this happen.’ Using real-world case studies from health and care this video demonstrates the importance of recognising and understanding points of difference between and within cultures and how embracing this fosters psychological safety.


Management assumptions in a VUCA world

‘Nobody woke up today and jumped out of bed because they could not wait to get to work and look ignorant, incompetent, intrusive or negative.’ This video helps us all to understand the courage of taking interpersonal risks on a daily basis, in an ever-changing work context. 


The potential of diverse teams

Diverse teams have the potential to achieve synergy and to innovate. But, a diverse composition of a team is not enough. Leaders still need to create the right performance climate and have high quality conversations across differences. This video considers what public services can do to support this.


Next generation case studies – Effective teaming in high stakes, the Beijing Olympics

This case study explores how effective teaming can be achieved when there is clarity of purpose despite country, cultural and language differences. 


Patient safety initiative and open culture

This video explores why words matter and why they are the stuff of psychologically safe leadership.


What does teaming mean?

How can teams develop a sense of collective purpose? Professor Edmondson discusses what teaming is and how it can be exciting. In healthcare delivery, many people have to team rather than be in a team – what can be done about this?  


Willingness to help

Why is teaming important to Novartis? In this video, Professor Edmondson discusses why, in a knowledge-intensive environment such as healthcare, the setting needs to encourage people to want to share ideas, ask questions, and discuss what is critical to them, in order to fully engage and get the work done.


Explore how failure can be learned from and prevented with the right mindset.   



Impression management

In many workplaces, impression management is driving the car and the work to be done is in the back seat. This video explores how we flip this to create the conditions for high productivity and permission for candour.


Willingness to help the Chilean mineworkers

When 33 Chilean mineworkers became trapped underground, everyone, including the technical experts, suggested that a rescue mission would be futile. This video explores how the framing of the problem, inviting suggestions from others and extending a willingness to help, contributed to a successful rescue mission. 


Blame culture and just culture

Psychological safety and just culture is not an “anything goes” environment. It is about creating the conditions for supported accountability with clarity and consistency of boundaries. This video explores the difference between blame culture and just culture. 


Intelligent failure

Intelligent failure is something we can all aspire to. It is when we operate in the learning zone, creating the conditions to try new things, experiment and fail (First Attempt In Learning) fast. This video explores the difference between preventable failure, complex failure and intelligent failure. 


Next generation case studies – Effective teaming Chilean mineworkers

This video is a case study simulation learning about how psychological safety played a fundamental part in the rescue of Chilean mineworkers trapped underground. This case study provides some useful parallels with the crisis that response health and care faced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and face during annual winter pressures. 


Explore the practical application of psychological safety as it brings about improvements within teams.  



Standards and measurement

This video describes the worse before better effect, this being the patterns of data that emerge as we begin the process of improvement.


Aspirational inquiry

This video describes the process of aspirational inquiry in how leaders respond productively to those resisting change.  


Collaborative leadership for integrated care systems

As the integrated care systems become a legally embedded piece of the health and care system architecture, this video looks at organisational boundaries and the necessity for open conversations in order to move beyond the boundaries and silos. 


Next generation case studies – How to apply psychological safety

This video explores the practical application of psychological safety – how to frame the work, invite participation and respond productively. 


NHS, National Health Service; VUCA, volatility uncertainty complexity and ambiguity.

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UK | February 2022 | 190055

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