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  • Writer's pictureMartin Piskoric

How can I foster a workplace where employees feel safe, heard, and empowered?

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

Guests: Minette Norman and Karolin Helbig


Minette Norman and Karolin Helbig, co-authors of a transformative business book on psychological safety in the workplace.

In a world where many are eager to claim their slice of the spotlight with grand ambitions, a duo took a different route, leading them to unexpected success. Meet the authors of a revolutionary business book that started as an unambitious project but turned the world of business literature on its head.


The Power of Small Beginnings

While most business authors aim to write comprehensive, lengthy tomes, these authors wanted their books to be short. They believed the majority of publishers would dismiss it for its brevity. Initially, the pair envisioned it as a free download on their website, perhaps even a self-published mini guide. But as often happens in life, the path changed.


Thanks to a chance conversation with Charles Yao from the Lavender Agency, they were introduced to Page Two, their eventual publisher. Their narrative is a testament to the power of networking and letting things flow organically. In the authors' words, their journey was about Everything shifted when"having low expectations" and "just talking to people."

"We weren’t even looking for a publisher. It just happened to be through talking to people," Karolin shared.

From Humble to Ambitious: Turning the Tide

Everything shifted when they realized they were about to publish a "real" book. They felt the responsibility and the opportunity of their creation. They wanted their material, which they believed in deeply, to reach a broad audience.


As they began promoting their work, they discovered the strength in focusing on "the tiniest next step" and developing a "minimum viable product." The message here is clear: Don't let grand dreams paralyze you; start small and let growth happen organically.


Endorsements and Real-World Impact

Endorsements play a significant role in the publishing world. To their delight, their first choice, Amy Edmondson – an authority on psychological safety – not only read their draft but also provided a glowing endorsement. This boosted their confidence, leading them to seek blessings from other renowned experts.


Three weeks post-launch, the book boasts nearly 100 reviews in the US alone. More than the number, the nature of the reviews stands out. People find the book actionable and relevant to real-world situations.


Minette mentioned, "I thought I knew everything there was to know, but I learned new things that I put into practice immediately."

Brains at Work: Stress, Curiosity, and Creativity

A standout discussion from the interview was the correlation between stress and innovation. One essential brain feature crucial for creation is the balance between exploration and defence. When stressed, the brain defaults to defence, stifling creativity and innovation.


"Stress is really a killer for innovation and creativity," Karolin emphasized.

This insight isn't just theoretical. The authors applied it while creating their book. Both juggling their businesses and personal commitments, they treated their collaboration as a "special treat." Their shared passion was their driving force. Remembering the "why" behind our actions is often the most potent motivator.


Reaching Out and Staying Connected

The authors encourage readers and enthusiasts to connect with them, particularly on LinkedIn. They are eager to receive feedback, hear stories of how their material is being used, and field questions or suggestions for future projects.

For those interested in a taste of what their book offers, they have a sample chapter and some free materials on their website, thepsychologicalsafetyplaybook.com.


In Conclusion

The journey of this dynamic duo offers a refreshing perspective on success in the publishing world. It's not always about grand plans or aggressive marketing. Sometimes, it's about passion, genuine connections, and the magic that happens when we stay true to our intentions. Dive into their work and let their insights inspire your next step, no matter how tiny it may seem.

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