Fearless Pioneers

Top 24 Fearless Pioneers 2023

Celebrating business and thought leaders around the world nominated for their contribution and commitment to promoting psychological safety and eliminating fear in the workplace.

Alison Lowe OBE

Alison is the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in West Yorkshire. She also leads nationally on Race Disparities, Equality and Human Rights as a member of the APCC. Formerly, as CEO of Touchstone, a community-based mental health charity specialising in diverse communities, she championed diversity and inclusion and demonstarted her passion and commitment to fostering psychological safety. A fearless and empathic leader who leads by example and isn’t afraid to show her personal vulnerabilities.

Q&A with Alison

Amy Bernstein

Amy is the Editor of Harvard Business Review (HBR), which features numerous articles and research on the topic of psychological safety and its importance in the workplace. Under Amy’s leadership, HBR has covered a wide range of subjects related to organisational behaviour, leadership, and workplace culture. The publication has published articles that explore the concept of psychological safety, its impact on employee performance and well-being, and strategies for creating a psychologically safe work environment.

Amy Edmondson

Amy’s work has had a significant impact on the understanding and development of teamwork and learning in organizations. She currently holds the position of Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at harvard Business School. Amy’s research has explored how organizations can foster an environment of psychological safety. She has published many articles and books on these subjects, including her influential book “The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth.”

Q&A with Amy

Art Markman

Art is the Annabel Irion Worsham Centennial Professor of Psychology, HDO, and Marketing and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He has written over 150 papers on topics including reasoning, decision making, and motivation. Art brings insights from cognitive science and psychological safety to a broader audience through regular blogs and radio show/podcast Two Guys on Your Head. Art is the author of several books including “Smart Thinking”, “Smart Change”, “Brain Briefs”, and “Bring Your Brain to Work”.

Q&A with Art

Astro Teller

Astro Teller is an entrepreneur, celebrated for his leadership as the head of X, Google’s Moonshot Factory. Teller’s unwavering commitment lies in cultivating a workplace culture that champions innovation and risk-taking. By embracing failure as an invaluable part of the learning process and encouraging employees to pursue ambitious ideas, Astro’s visionary approach not only fosters an environment where unconventional ideas are welcomed but also empowers individuals to take calculated risks without fear of judgment.

Bob Chapman

Bob Chapman is a distinguished business leader and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller. Renowned for his exceptional leadership philosophy, Bob places paramount importance on treating employees like family, valuing their unique contributions, and fostering a profound sense of belonging.  Chapman’s nurturing leadership style not only enhances employee well-being but also fosters a deep sense of engagement and commitment among the workforce. His dedication to creating a supportive and inclusive workplace has set a remarkable standard for organizational success.

Brené Brown

Brene is a distinguished research professor at the University of Houston and a highly acclaimed best-selling author. Her groundbreaking work on vulnerability, courage, and shame has shed profound insights on the significance of psychological safety in the workplace. With engaging TED Talks and influential books, Brown has inspired leaders and employees to embrace vulnerability, recognizing its role in fostering authentic connections and creating environments where individuals feel safe to express their true selves.

David Zinger

David Zinger is a recognized expert in employee engagement and a highly regarded author. His work on employee well-being and connection has highlighted the essential role of psychological safety. David has encouraged leaders and organizations to prioritize creating environments where employees feel safe to voice their opinions. His relentless dedication has contributed significantly to improving workplace dynamics and employee well-being, caring and mindful approaches to experiences, work, and everyday engagement.

Q&A with David

Khalid Alkhudair

Khalid is the visionary founder of Glowork, dedicated to advancing gender diversity in the workplace. Alkhudair’s unwavering commitment to empowering women and bridging the gender gap has led to the creation of a psychologically safe environment where women can fearlessly pursue their career aspirations. He has championed the importance of equal opportunities and fostered a culture of inclusivity, where women are encouraged to thrive and contribute their talents without fear of discrimination.

Kim Scott

Kim is a renowned author, leadership coach, and distinguished former executive at both Google and Apple. Her influential book “Radical Candor” has played a crucial role in advancing psychological safety in the workplace. She has helped organizations cultivate a culture of radical candor, promoting open and constructive conversations that contribute to a psychologically safe environment. By embracing Kim’s principles, teams can establish stronger connections, drive collaboration, and empower individuals to reach their full potential.

Lindsay Uittenbogaard

Lindsay is founder of Mirror Mirror, an innovative platform that fosters team alignment in organisations. Lindsay’s pioneering efforts boosts individual and team performance. Her dedication to enhancing psychological safety has not only revolutionized workplace dynamics but also positively impacted employee well-being and organizational success. Her passion for empowering and aligning teams to reach their full potential has made her a leading advocate for psychological safety in modern workplaces.

Lubna Olayan

Lubna is former CEO and Deputy Chairman of Olayan Financing Company. Throughout her career, she has been a strong advocate for promoting psychological safety in the workplace.  By championing a culture of openness and respect, Lubna fosters an environment where employees feel empowered to voice their opinions and ideas without fear of reprisal. Her leadership style and commitment to creating a psychologically safe workplace have earned her widespread admiration.

Michelle McQuaid

Michelle is an organisational psychologist, researcher, and best-selling author known for her expertise in positive psychology and employee well-being. Her work emphasises the significance of psychological safety in driving employee engagement and productivity. Michelle has been an advocate for strengths-based approaches, encouraging organisations to recognize and leverage individual strengths to create supportive work environments where employees feel valued and empowered.

Mimi Nicklin

Mimi is the author of ‘Softening The Edge,’ the Founder of the world’s first organisational empathy platform, www.EmpathyEverywhere.co, and  podcast host of ‘Mimi-YouYou’ show.  She is a well-known organisational coach, and a keynote speaker, contributor and advocate for the global movement to balance humanism and capitalism in our workplaces and societies. As an inclusive millennial leader, she also passionately talks about empathy as the road to equality, psychological safety and inclusion.

Q&A with Mimi

Mona Ataya

Mona is co-founder of Mumzworld, the preeminent e-commerce platform for mother and baby products in the Middle East. As a visionary leader, Ataya places great emphasis on establishing a psychologically safe work environment, encouraging her team to take risks and freely share their ideas. By fostering an inclusive culture that values authenticity, she empowers employees to unleash their full potential. Ataya’s has set an inspiring example for fostering creativity and employee well-being in the entrepreneurial landscape

Nita Clarke OBE

Nita is known for her co-authorship of “Engage for Success,” a pivotal report on employee engagement. She has dedicated her career to advancing workplace dynamics. Nita’s significant contribution lies in her advocacy for psychological safety and employee engagement in the workplace. By emphasising the importance of creating an environment of trust and inclusion, she has helped organizations improve teamwork, enhance well-being, and boost productivity, making her a leading voice in promoting psychological safety in the workplace.

Paul O’Neill

Paul was the former CEO of Alcoa, renowned for his transformative leadership and dedication to patient safety. By promoting psychological safety through a culture of open communication and trust, he empowered employees to voice concerns and ideas without fear of reprisal. This emphasis on psychological safety led to improved employee engagement, enhanced problem-solving, and a significant reduction in workplace accidents. His visionary approach revolutionized workplace dynamics and set new standards for corporate leadership.

Peter Cheese

Peter is a renowned leader in the field of human resources and talent management, best known for his tenure as the Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Throughout his illustrious career, he has made a significant contribution to fostering psychological safety in the workplace.  Under his leadership, the CIPD played a vital role in driving positive changes in workplace dynamics, leading to increased engagement, enhanced performance, and improved employee satisfaction

Reshma Saujani

Reshma is founder of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organisation that aims to close the gender gap in technology and engineering fields. While her primary focus is on empowering young girls and women, Reshma’s work indirectly promotes psychological safety in workplaces.  Through her advocacy for diversity and inclusivity, Saujani contributes to creating environments where individuals from diverse backgrounds embrace risk-taking, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and pursue their passions without fear of judgement.

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl, the former Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, is a prominent advocate for cultivating positive and inclusive work cultures. Her influential book “Lean In” and numerous initiatives have helped foster open dialogue and create environments where individuals from diverse backgrounds can freely express themselves, Sandberg has played a pivotal role in enhancing psychological safety to increaed collaboration, innovation, and a stronger sense of belonging, contributing significantly to more equitable and inclusive workplaces worldwide.

Tim Clark

Timothy R. Clark is an author and consultant who has focused on fostering intrapreneurship within organisations. His work encourages employees to take on entrepreneurial roles and contribute innovative ideas without the fear of failure. By creating an environment that values and supports intrapreneurial endeavours, Clark’s approach nurtures psychological safety, allowing employees to experiment and grow professionally. He is a practicing organizational anthropologist and author of “The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety”

Wayne Clarke

Wayne is the founder of the World Class Manager platform, which has trained over 35,000 managers across 30 countries.  He is passionate about the positive impact of line management on psychological safety and team performance. Wayne is a visiting lecturer at Bayes Business School and ran the advisory arm of Best Companies, producer of The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For list where he developed a passion for line management and psychological safety as key enablers to employee engagement.

Q&A with Wayne

William Khan

William is a distinguished organizational psychologist and renowned researcher, recognized for his groundbreaking work on psychological meaningfulness in the workplace.  Khan popularised psychological safety in his 1990 paper “Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work” where he defined psychological safety as the “sense of being able to show and employ self without fear of negative consequences to self-image, status, or career”

Zhang Ruimin

Zhang is a Chinese business executive and the Chairman and CEO of Haier Group, a multinational consumer electronics and home appliances company. Zhang’s leadership has been characterised by a commitment to fostering a culture of openness and innovation within Haier. His emphasis on empowering employees and welcoming diverse perspectives promotes psychological safety, encouraging employees to voice their ideas and contribute to the company’s success.

24 July (24/7) is International Safe Places To Work Day

We will be honouring the Top 24 Fearless Pioneers – the leading influencers in psychological safety. Business leaders and thought leaders who strive to eliminate fear in the workplace – Fearless Pioneers.