The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

Where does great culture come from? How do you build and sustain it in your group, or strengthen a culture that needs fixing?

In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world’s most successful organizations — including the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six, IDEO, and the San Antonio Spurs — and reveals what makes them tick. He demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation, and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Drawing on examples that range from Internet retailer Zappos to the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade to a daring gang of jewel thieves, Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change. Coyle unearths helpful stories of failure that illustrate what not to do, troubleshoots common pitfalls, and shares advice about reforming a toxic culture. Combining leading-edge science, on-the-ground insights from world-class leaders, and practical ideas for action, The Culture Code offers a roadmap for creating an environment where innovation flourishes, problems get solved, and expectations are exceeded.

Culture is not something you are — it’s something you do. The Culture Code puts the power in your hands. No matter the size of your group or your goal, this book can teach you the principles of cultural chemistry that transform individuals into teams that can accomplish amazing things together.

Author: Daniel Coyle | Publisher: Bantam

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3/5

“Vulnerability doesn’t come after trust—it precedes it. Leaping into the unknown, when done alongside others, causes the solid ground of trust to materialize beneath our feet.”

The Culture Code was one of the Next Big Idea Club’s selections. It’s one of those nonfiction business books that could be summed up much more succinctly, but the addition of a lot of colorful and interesting examples expanded it out. I enjoyed it, but I have read a lot of leadership books and didn’t really learn anything new here.

“Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they’ll find a way to screw it up. Give a mediocre idea to a good team, and they’ll find a way to make it better. The goal needs to be to get the team right, get them moving in the right direction, and get them to see where they are making mistakes and where they are succeeding.”

Still, I’m glad I read this one. The examples Coyle provides are really interesting and engaging — especially the Upright Citizens Brigade and the San Antonio Spurs. I actually listened to the audiobook, so that was a great way to digest it. It almost felt like an extended podcast about leadership, which is great.

If you work in HR or culture, especially, I recommend this one.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s