Continuous Improvement Requires Psychological Safety and Continuous Improvement

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“At least two of the major things that are required for continuous improvement to take root: Psychological Safety and problem-solving…”

Here's a clip from my 2023 keynote talk at KaiNexicon, the KaiNexus user conference. I invite you to learn more in my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation.

And let me know if I can add value and insights to your corporate event, leadership team meeting, or conference – learn more about my speaking.


At least two of the major things that are required for continuous improvement to take root: psychological safety and problem solving.

To get closer to that situation that Toyota describes, highly engaged people improving and innovating for better organizational performance….

Not focusing on psychological safety because it seems nice or kind, but also because it leads to better business results.

When we can shift from a punitive response to mistakes to one that's kind and constructive and helpful [we'll perform better].

I'm really excited about these things I wish I had known these things about psychological safety 20 years ago. And a lot of this I've learned in the last year, and it started to click… the differences between different organizations and different cultures I've been in…


Also, here is an article I wrote for the Value Capture website:

Psychological Safety and its Essential Link to Continuous Improvement

It starts:

Perfect safety for everyone in healthcare – patients, staff, visitors, and contractors – is a fundamental right.

Leaders we have worked with know that safety is the unarguable, aligning principle that all healthcare leaders should rely on to drive and sustain continuous improvement. Research and experience make clear that perfect safety requires a high level of psychological safety.

Simply put, we cannot get to zero harm without psychological safety.


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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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