Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

LGBT films on the Watford Big Screen

An open letter sent to the Major of Watford:

In past years Watford Borough Council have ran a big screen on the parade. This is a really nice initiative to bring together the community.

I am writing to ask that if the Big Screen is to return to Watford this summer that the showing of an LGBT film is considered. I realise that the majority of films shown are popular and family friendly, although an LGBT film might not be as popular there are many family friendly LGBT films ( ).

The reason I feel it would be good to include such a film is because being LGBT is not a persons choice; they might be with family or friends who don’t really understand it or be accepting of it, as such an LGBT person can feel very isolated. Studies have shown that between 30 and 40% of LGBT people have attempted suicide which is vastly higher than from the non-LGBT population ( ). As such I feel that it is important for us, as a community, to visually show our open, accepting and supportive side and small acts, such as showing an LGBT film, would be one such step in this direction.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this and if I can be of any help then please just let me know.



Save money by not using an Oyster Card, a paper ticket with a Railcard is cheaper

We have always been told that traveling with Oyster is cheaper, but the key words in their adverts are “single journey”.


If you need a Zone 1-6, 1-9 1-9+ Watford Junction, Broxbourne, Hertford East or Shenfield then traveling by Oyster is not cheaper if you make (generally) make more than a journey from the end of the line to Zone 1 and back again Off Peak.


A journey from Watford Junction to a station in Zone 1 is £6.50, so a return (£13.00) would already exceed the reduced Travelcard fare (£11.50) with the Railcard discount but would not hit the cap without it.  A journey from Zone 9 to Zone 1 is £4.10 so you would start saving after your second journey.


You can load 16-25, Senior, HM Forces or Disabled Persons Railcard onto your Oyster but not Two Together Railcard, Family & Friends Railcard or Network Railcard.  It is easy to understand why Two Together Railcard and Family & Friends Railcard can not be easily applied to Oyster automatically because this covers more than one person but I find it impossible to fathom why they don’t allow Network Railcards to be used.

What is the point in this?

This is mainly motivated by my new job where I’ll be spending more time in easter europe – a part of the world which is both similar and different to the UK.

The aim is mainly for me to make some notes.  These notes will probably be about one of three things – places I’ve visited, things I’ve learned and experienced and things which interest me.  Who knows where this will lead but sometimes 140 characters are not enough.

It is through the receiving and sharing of knowledge from learning and experiences which drives innovation and change.

Management 3.0 - Cogs of Innovation
Management 3.0 – 5 Cogs of Innovation