Creating the right organisational culture and psychological safety necessary to give voice to quiet, diffident and dissenting colleagues is a laudable ambition, but a really tough and long-term task. A great method of accelerating this process is to use technology, much like a business nervous system, to sense and report the attitudes and opinions of people. Using a business nervous system people can anonymously respond to the simple stimulation of short intuitive questions; the responses to which can be synthesised into important meaning.
Providing people with the opportunity to give voice to concerns or opinions sets in motion a process of supplying leaders with important data. However, organisational culture and psychological safety is not changed by great systems alone, they will only be enhanced when leaders demonstrate the humility and persistence to embrace uncomfortable truths through the actions that they then take.
There is a reason that management wonks talk so much about the importance of psychological safety. Environments within which people feel like they have the freedom to share their ideas, express opinions or constructively question decisions, without feeling like they’re going to be judged or labelled as a trouble maker, tend to be more creative and resilient. But it’s not an easy culture to create.