Amy Edmondson

Leadership expert
Amy Edmondson, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, studies people and teams seeking to make a positive difference through the work they do.

Why you should listen

Amy Edmondson's work sheds light on the related questions of why teamwork is so critically important in today’s organizations and why it is so challenging.

Long ago, approaching graduation from college, Edmondson took a leap of faith to write an advice-seeking letter to a personal hero. To her surprise, Buckminster Fuller wrote back -- and that set events in motion that would shape her life and work. Fuller's letter arrived, barely a week later, with far more than advice. The iconoclastic inventor, architect and futurist offered her a job. Spending the next three years as Fuller's "chief engineer" working on new geodesic projects, Edmondson developed an intense and enduring interest in big thinking, innovation, and the built environment. Fuller was a visionary, whose ideas about the built environment outpaced reality by decades. His remarkable legacy, however, did not answer the question of how visionaries can make practical progress in the world. Today, one answer to that question is found in teaming – in recognizing its power and its challenges. 

Edmondson has been named one of the top management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50 since 2011. Her other awards include the 2004 Accenture Award for significant contribution to improving the practice of management, the Academy of Management’s 2006 Cummings Award for mid-career achievement and the 2017 Thinkers50 Talent Award. Edmondson received her PhD in organizational behavior, AM in psychology and AB in engineering and design, all from Harvard University. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband, George Daley, and their two sons.

(Photo: Brian Smale Photography)

Amy Edmondson’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Amy Edmondson


How to build the future: Talks from TED#Brightline

October 18, 2017

Let’s face it: it’s hard to get stuff done. How can we, together, realize our most ambitious dreams? To celebrate the efforts of smart people who are changing the world while doing business as usual, TED has partnered with the Brightline Initiative, a non-commercial coalition of leading organizations dedicated to helping leaders turn ideas into […]

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