Book of the Quarter: The Culture Code

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, by Daniel Coyle, Copyright © 2018 by Daniel Coyle; Bantam Books, New York

Learn more about this book and buy it on Amazon: The Culture Code. If you buy from this link, I will get a commission. The book will cost the same.

Here are the “mustard seeds” I highlighted:

Let’s start with a question, which might be the oldest question of all: Why do certain groups add up to be greater than the sum of their parts, while others add up to be less? (page xv, Kindle Edition).

Culture is a set of living relationships working toward a shared goal. It’s not something you are. It’s something you do (page xix, Kindle Edition).

Belonging cues are behaviors that create safe connection in groups.

Their function is to answer the ancient, ever-present questions glowing in our brains: Are we safe here? What’s our future with these people? Are there dangers lurking?

Belonging cues possess three basic qualities:

1. Energy: They invest in the exchange that is occurring

2. Individualization: They treat the person as unique and valued

3. Future orientation: They signal the relationship will continue These cues add up to a message that can be described with a single phrase: You are safe here (page 10, 11, Kindle Edition).

Cohesion happens not when members of a group are smarter but when they are lit up by clear, steady signals of safe connection (page 26, Kindle Edition).

One misconception about highly successful cultures is that they are happy, lighthearted places. This is mostly not the case. They are energized and engaged, but at their core their members are oriented less around achieving happiness than around solving hard problems together. This task involves many moments of high-candor feedback, uncomfortable truth-telling, when they confront the gap between where the group is, and where it ought to be (page 55, Kindle Edition).

Researchers discovered that one particular form of feedback boosted student effort and performance so immensely that they deemed it “magical feedback.” Students who received it chose to revise their papers far more often than students who did not, and their performance improved significantly. The feedback was not complicated. In fact, it consisted of one simple phrase.

I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them (page 55, 56, Kindle Edition).

Embrace Fun: This obvious one is still worth mentioning, because laughter is not just laughter; it’s the most fundamental sign of safety and connection (page 88, Kindle Edition).

“So here’s how we’ll know if you had a good day,” Reinhardt continued. “If you ask for help ten times, then we’ll know it was good. If you try to do it all alone…” His voice trailed off, the implication clear—It will be a catastrophe (page 100, Kindle Edition).

The mechanism of cooperation can be summed up as follows: Exchanges of vulnerability, which we naturally tend to avoid, are the pathway through which trusting cooperation is built (page 112, Kindle Edition).

“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” (page 140, Kindle Edition).

Building habits of group vulnerability is like building a muscle. It takes time, repetition, and the willingness to feel pain in order to achieve gains. And as with building muscle, the first key is to approach the process with a plan (page 158, Kindle Edition).

“I’ve found that whenever you ask a question, the first response you get is usually not the answer—it’s just the first response” Roshi Givechi (page 163, Kindle Edition).

One of the most difficult things about creating habits of vulnerability is that it requires a group to endure two discomforts: emotional pain and a sense of inefficiency (page 166, Kindle Edition).

This is why so many of Meyer’s catchphrases focus on how to respond to mistakes.

You can’t prevent mistakes, but you can solve problems graciously.
If it ain’t broke, fix it.
Mistakes are like waves; servers are really surfers.
The road to success is paved with mistakes well handled (The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, by Daniel Coyle, Copyright © 2018 by Daniel Coyle; Bantam Books, New York, page 212, Kindle Edition). #ad https://amzn.to/382fVXh

Learn more about this book and buy it on Amazon: The Culture Code. If you buy from this link, I will get a commission. The book will cost the same.

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Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

2 Responses to “Book of the Quarter: The Culture Code

  • Another great resource book for church leaders and anyone in the church who bears greater responsibility. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jerrie W. Barber
      6 months ago

      Travis,

      You are welcome.

      I am enjoying reading your book.

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