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The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

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When you ask people inside highly successful groups to describe their relationship with one another, they all tend to choose the same word. This word is not friends or team or tribe or any other equally plausible term. The word they use is family. What’s more, they tend to describe the feeling of those relationship in the same way.” Pg. 6-7 The Navy SEALs examples are very engaging — I encourage you to read the book so you can read and understand them. I especially like the description of how the SEALs were established — and the type of training they undergo to reinforce team behavior. They learn how to move together, trust each other and figure things out as they go because they trust each other and they understand how things have to be done. He also goes into the rules around a complicated improv exercise with a successful comedy troupe where “Every rule directs you either to tamp down selfish instincts that might make you the center of attention, or to serve your fellow actors (support, save, trust, listen).” It’s got to be safe to talk,’ Cooper says. ‘Rank switched off, humility switched on. You’re looking for that moment where people can say, ‘I screwed that up.’ In fact, I’d say those might be the most important four words any leader can say: I screwed that up.’” Pg. 140-141 In his previous book, The Talent Code, author Daniel Coyle broke down the matter for the real world. Now, having examined the components of great performance on an individual level, he turns to groups and teams. The Culture Codeis a thorough analysis of how humans work together and how they might keep each other from doing so. As an entrepreneur and founder of a new investment bank led by women, The Culture Playbook has been an invaluable asset for me, providing tools and techniques as I work to unleash my team’s full power and potential in an ever-evolving workplace. Dan Coyle has given us all a game plan for success.”

Groups succeed because their members primarily communicate a powerful idea: we are safe and connected. What is one thing that I don’t currently do frequently enough that you think I should do more often?Instead, when it’s your turn, share one of your flaws. Lesson 2: Share your own shortcomings to show people it’s okay to make mistakes. Safety is not mere emotional weather but rather the foundation on which strong culture is built.” Pg. 6 Daniel Coyle is the author of the book The Culture Code. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code, The Little Book of Talent, The Secret Race, and other books. Winner of the 2012 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Prize, he is a contributing editor for Outside Magazine, and also works a special advisor to the Cleveland Indians. In this summary Marci called these moments concordances. ‘Concordances happen when one person can react in an authentic way to the emotion being projected in the room,’ Marci says. ‘It’s about understanding in an empathic way, then doing something in terms of gesture, comment, or expression that creates a connection.’” Pg. 155

People tend to think of vulnerability in a touchy-feely way, but that’s not what’s happening,…It’s about sending a really clear signal that you have weaknesses, that you could use help. And if that behavior becomes a model for others, then you can set the insecurities aside and get to work, start to trust each other and help each other. If you never have that vulnerable moment, on the other hand, then people will try to cover up their weaknesses, and every little microtask becomes a place where insecurities manifest themselves.” Dr. Jeff Polzer, pg. 104If I could get a sense of the way your culture works by meeting just one person, who would that person be?” pg. 148-149 Hug ’em and hold’em” is the way Popovich often puts it to his assistant coaches. “We gotta hug’em and hold’em.” Pg. 53-54 In building safety, there are some real physical patterns of interaction that help create a bond in a group, these include: Individual skills are not what matters; what matters is the interaction. Groups succeed not because they are smarter but because they work together in a smarter way. Successful group culture use effectively 3 skills: Building Safety (generating bonds of belonging and identity), Sharing Vulnerability (driving trusting cooperation), and Establishing Purpose (using narratives to create shared goals and values). Let’s explore them! BOOK SUMMARY 1. BUILD SAFETY A mere hint of belonging is not enough, though. It needs to be continually refreshed and reinforced.

One of the most useful tools was the After-Action Review (A.A.R.). Aar’s happen immediately after each mission and consist of a short meeting in which the team gathers to discuss and replay key decisions. AAR’s are not led by commanders but by enlisted men.” Pg. 140 Where does great culture come from? How do you build and sustain it in your group, or strengthen a culture that needs fixing?The last component Coyle ascribes to well-functioning groups is purpose. Put simply, purpose is a set of reasons for doing what you do. If we think of successful cultures as engines of human cooperation, then the Nyquistss are the spark plugs.” Pg. 149 Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do as leaders to make sure our organizations succeed where others have failed in cultivating a positive culture. This is the topic of the book The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups. Many studies since have demonstrated the importance of physical proximity — the informal interactions among colleagues are critical to building relationships that foster trust. In the past several years, it seems like this has resulted in a lot of companies tearing up their office environments to turn them into “open plan” work spaces without figuring out what works best for their teams. Not all teams are alike, and one size does not fit all when it comes to building strong teams. As with any workout, the key is to understand that the pain is not a problem but the path to building a stronger group. 3. ESTABLISH PURPOSE

AARs can be raw, painful, and filled with pulses of emotion and uncertainty. But they also build a shared mental model that can be applied to future missions. 5 Ideas for Action 1. Make Sure the Leader Is Vulnerable First and Often The goal is in the future, but your group lives in the now. Which means your purpose should be like a bridge between the two. Thus, if you can come up with a simple narrative as to how your purpose will help you go from today to tomorrow and reach your goal, you’ll be able to activate those around you.The inverse was also true: Increasing people’s sense of power—that is, tweaking a situation to make them feel more invulnerable—dramatically diminished their willingness to cooperate.” Pg. 106 Coyle also dives into the neuroscience that has been on my radar for much of 2018 — and emphasizes that the amygdala is not just about perceiving threats but also plays “a vital role in building social connections.” Those “belonging cues” are all transformed in your brain to help “set the stage for meaningful engagement.” He delivers two things over and over: He’ll tell you the truth, with no bullshit, and then he’ll love you to death.” Pg. 52

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