As we close out 2021 and look forward to a well-earned break with our loved ones it’s only natural to reflect on the year that has been.

Two principles/tools I have found invaluable in my first six months at Blue Yonder have been hearts and ladders sessions (something that’s big here) and nurturing an environment of psychological safety.

Hearts and ladders sessions are an opportunity for collective introspection and reflection after a project/major milestone has been delivered:

– What went well and should we celebrate as a team? (and continue to do)
– What can we individually and collectively learn from and do better next time?

This is discussed, documented and shared. In many companies reflective discussions are infrequent and adhoc, but they are a fundamental part of Blue Yonder and our culture, and I love that.

Psychological safety, I have always believed, is the very bedrock of a high performing and happy team. This comes from my consulting days.

Psychologically safe environments are those where people feel like they can speak up, for the betterment of the team, and not be punished. They feel safe in raising things they feel strongly about, and as a result the team benefits and you all move forward together. No single person can see everything, so the eyes and ears of the team are invaluable. The team participate more, take moderate risks and feel engaged and listened to.

It’s not easy to maintain, but when you have it, you rise together, and grow stronger and closer as a result. Great sports teams typically pride themselves in being psychologically safe environments. Why? Because it builds stronger relationships, and trust by focusing on inclusion, solutions and outcomes.

What are you reflecting on going into 2022?

Mat Sloan

Head, Brand:lab