Citation for Book: Coyle, D. The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups. Bantam; 2018.
Recommended by: Kate Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
Star Rating (1-5): 4
Review: In The Culture Code, Dan Coyle seeks to outline three skills demonstrated by strong cultures: Building Safety, Sharing Vulnerability, and Establishing Purpose. You’ll likely recognize these themes from other leadership books you’ve read, repackaged here with fun and engaging stories about comedy troupes, Zappos.com customer service and the restaurant scene in New York City.
As a relatively new faculty member, I was intrigued by some of the questions Coyle recommended asking of groups and wanted to take the questions back to the groups I am a part of as a faculty member. “Are we connected? Do we share a future?” I also appreciated his idea of “collision-rich spaces”, physical places where we can run into others and share ideas and build relationships. Does your workplace have collision-rich spaces?
One exercise Coyle discusses is to have your group rank their priorities. “Most successful groups end up with a small handful of priorities (five or fewer), and many, not coincidentally, end up placing their in-group relationships- how they treat one another- at the top of the list. … If they get their own relationships right, everything else will follow.” This struck me as revolutionary… Do I see other faculty around me as part of my team? Do I see my success as wrapped up in their success? Additionally, where would “students” or “patients” fall on our list of priorities? Lots to think about…
While there were several good stories and lessons in the book, overall, Coyle failed to answer some of the questions I was asking when I picked up the book: What is culture? How do we build it? How do we change it? I’ll have to keep reading to learn more about those things.