Psychological safety breeds growth and learning, with Bill Pelster

Throughout his tenure in the air force during the Cold War, Bill Pelster was deeply immersed in a failure averse environment. Upon leaving this space and moving into HR, Bill developed a newfound appreciation for how crucial failure is to growth.

Bill was a key architect of Deloitte University which revolutionized corporate training. Deloitte University normalized the power of experimental learning and failing in a safe environment.

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Psychological safety breeds growth and learning, with Bill Pelster

Bill's conversation with SHIFT was peppered with insights from extensive experience.

Failure is essential, and will only happen if forced.

Deloitte University is a no-grades, safe space where employees are encouraged to experiment, even if they fail doing so. This innovative approach allows naturally curious people to find information more easily, in turn increasing the speed at which people learn and grow.

Skills are increasingly important, so let’s work on them.

Bill emphasizes the importance of teaching soft skills, acknowledging these are the most crucial, albeit challenging to develop. He believes the classroom is the ideal environment to engage people to develop these critical skills, as it fosters learning and collaboration in a way work does not. 

The best leaders recognize when to be followers.

There is a time and place for everything. Leaders must be followers, and followers must be given the opportunity to lead and learn. Deloitte University’s continued dedication  to training and developing employees for career-long success is a testament to Bill.

People naturally work in teams unless invisible boundaries exist.

Organizations have the opportunity to create a safe space. When challenges arise in teams, Bill points to invisible norms and boundaries that are not conducive to team success as the root cause.

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