Review: The Culture Code

The Culture Code: The secrets of Highly Sucessful Groups by Daniel Coyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Safety is key for a team to be able to fuse.  If there is not safety then people are scared, blame others and can’t trust others.  Once people are safe they can feel that they belong to the team.

There are a couple of things with building belonging from the way you term feedback:

1. You are part of this team
2. This group is special, we have high standards
3. I believe you can reach these standards

and improving communication by reducing the distance between people.

  • Over communicate that you are listening
  • Spotlight your fallibility early
  • Embrace people who give feedback, specially that which you might not want to hear
  • Preview future connections – give people an idea of where they are going
  • Over do thank yous
  • Be painstaking in the hiring process
  • Eliminate bad apples
  • Create safe, collision rich spaces
  • Make sure everyone has a voice, e.g. one-to-ones
  • Picking up trash is everyone’s responsibility, including leaders
  • Embrace fun

Embrace vulnerability to build trust.  Retrospectives, candid feedback and trust are key. This builds a common brain for the team.

Some of the questions to build trust are the 36 Questions from Arthur and Elaine Aron which push people out of their comfort zone a bit which is unnerving but this helps build trust.

  • Make sure leaders are vulnerable often
  • Over-communicate expectations
  • Deliver negatives in person
  • The first vulnerability and the first disagreement in teams is key to making them
  • strong
  • Communicate in a way that people…
  1. Feel safe
  2. Feel cooperative
  3. Constructively have their assumptions challenged
  4. Sometimes suggest alternatives for consideration
  • Resist offering solutions or making suggestions
  • Candid-feedback is key to improving
  • Embrace discomfort to build trust
  • Align terminology with actions
  • Build a wall between performance and professional development
  • Flash mentoring
  • Make the leader occasionally disappear so the team can learn to work without them

Establish a common purpose and direction so that people know in which direction they should be heading.

  • Name and rank your priorities
  • Be ten times clearer with your priorities than you think you need to be
  • Identify where the team is proficient and where creative. Proficient in repeating the same solution, creative in coming up with a new solution
  • Embrace the use of catchphrases to embed values, priorities and direction
  • Measure what really matters
  • Use artefacts which so off what you do, both well or badly
  • Focus on bar-setting behaviours – this could be ensuring that a simple action is performed to excellence, reliably.

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