Right Kind of Wrong – The Science of Failing Well     

Missio Nexus’ leadership thoughtfully summarize books, giving you the Leader’s Edge to help inform, stimulate and provoke profitable discussion.

Leader’s Edge: Leadership

Right Kind of Wrong – The Science of Failing Well*

By: Amy Edmondson

Simon & Schuster, Atria Books, 2023 

368 Pages 

Find it on Amazon*

*As an Amazon Associate Missio Nexus earns from qualifying purchases.


Amy Edmondson received her PhD in organizational behavior, MA in psychology, and BA in engineering and design from Harvard University. She is Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, where she studies people and organizations. She pioneered the concept of psychological safety in work environments and was recognized in 2021 as number one on the Thinkers50 global ranking of management thinkers. 

Her work has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Washington Post and published in Harvard Business Review and California Management Review. Her most recent prior book, The Fearless Organization, has been translated into fifteen languages and her TED Talk on teaming has been viewed more than 3 million times. 

The book describes how failure was once viewed as the opposite of success and that now, two “failure cultures” exist: one that says to avoid failure at all costs, the other that says fail fast, fail often. Edmondson argues that both approaches lack crucial distinctions that help us separate good failure from bad.  
In Right Kind of Wrong, she provides the framework to think, discuss, and practice failure wisely. Outlining the three types of failure—basic, complex, and intelligent, she showcases how to minimize unproductive failure while maximizing what we gain from flubs of all types. She illustrates how we and our organizations can embrace human fallibility, learn when failure is our friend, and prevent most of it when it is not. These are presented as keys to pursuing smart risks and preventing avoidable harm. 

The book contains many illustrations from history, business, hospital administration/medicine, aviation, and elsewhere. She offers practices, skills, and mindsets to help one replace shame and blame with curiosity, vulnerability, and personal growth.  

Please login to view this members-only content

Leader’s Edge
No portion of Leader’s Edge may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, nor copied for public use without the permission of Missio Nexus. Send a request to: Info@MissioNexus.org

Related Articles

Welcoming the Stranger

Presenter: Matthew Soerens, US Director of Church Mobilization, World Relief Description: Refugee and immigration issues have dominated headlines globally recently. While many American Christians view these…


Upcoming Events