(2 minute read)

“With the right people, culture, and values, you can achieve great things.”

Tricia Griffith

When published in 2018, Daniel Coyle’s ‘The Culture Code’ was destined to become an international bestseller. The reason – Coyle unravelled and shared a mystery that has had sports teams, business leaders, and military officers baffled for decades – Why do some groups add up to be greater than the sum of their parts, while others add up to be least?

In other words, what are the secret ingredients to great teams?

As both author and researcher, Daniel Coyle spent 4 years visiting and researching 8 of the world’s most successful groups*. What he discovered was that the cultures within these teams were created by a specific set of skills. The 3 skills identified by Coyle tap into the power of our social brain, permitting the collective group to outperform others which lack these skills.

Skill 1 – Build Safety: Creating a feeling of connection and belonging allow groups to excel.

Skill 2 – Share Vulnerability: Habits of mutual risk drive both trust and cooperation.

Skill 3 – Establish Purpose: Shared goals and values empower teams to achieve excellence.

Within his book, Coyle shares numerous examples where being smart is overrated (his humorous example of kindergarten age children outperforming business school students, lawyers and CEO’s in building the tallest spaghetti tower is a perfect example of the fallibility of previously held beliefs).

In addition to being an informative read, author Daniel Coyle provides diverse and real-life examples of teams that manage to outperform their counterparts, and how they implement the abovementioned 3 skills to achieve such admirable results.

It seems that we are a few steps closer to cracking the code of great culture within teams.

(* The groups within Coyle’s research included: a movie studio, a gang of jewel thieves, a comedy troupe, a tech giant and an elite US Navy Seal team).


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