by Adam Balfour
While a lot has been written about the lessons of leadership from the show “Ted Lasso”, I have not seen anything written about the Diamond Dogs.
For anyone not familiar with the show (and I only started watching it a few weeks ago myself), the Diamond Dogs are a group of some of the main characters (Ted Lasso, Coach Beard, Leslie, and Nate). During their Diamond Dog meetings, they bring problems and challenges they are each facing to the group to talk them out and seek guidance. the Diamond Dogs are an example of psychological safety and how it can reduce isolated decision-making.
When you combine the power of multiple brains/perspectives and psychological safety, people can help each other out and overcome the risks of isolated decision making.
Isolated decision-making, pressure, and a lack of psychological safety are often a recipe for disaster, as well as leading to poor work environments, a lack of creativity, and lower and slower levels of productivity.
Consulting with someone for a second opinion does not mean a decision becomes a group decision: the decision maker still has the responsibility to make the decision, but they benefit from openly and safely talking matters out and getting different perspectives.
Psychological safety and isolated decision-making often do not get the focus they really should.
When we build and sustain psychological safety in organizations and reduce isolated decision-making (especially when it comes to matters of ethics and integrity), we can make better decisions, leverage the diverse perspectives within the organization and lead to better results for both the people involved, and the organization. Next time you face an ethical dilemma or decision, think about who are your Diamond Dogs that you can reach out to.
Dr. Timothy Clark’s book, “The four stages of psychological safety”, shows that there are different stages of psychological safety:
1. Inclusion Safety
2. Learner Safety
3. Contributor Safety
4. Challenger Safety
Perhaps the Diamond Dog members felt varying levels of psychological safety and that Nate struggled to voice his thoughts or feelings to the group because he felt his level of safety was at the inclusion or learner level, and not the challenger level. It might be a reminder that even if everyone feels psychologically safe, they could be feeling and experiencing different levels of psychological safety especially if people with greater authority are present.
The first time I saw Kristy Grant-Hart she put on a show about magic compliance dust and then brought the audience to reality by breaking the news that there is
In our years of assessing compliance and ethics (C&E) programs, my partner Jeff Kaplan and I have pinpointed several key attributes that we consider essential to an effective program, including