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The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  17,206 ratings  ·  1,467 reviews
An essential book that unlocks the secrets of highly successful groups and provides readers with a toolkit for building a cohesive, innovative culture, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 1st 2018 by Random House Business (first published September 5th 2017)
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Michael F Labun I loved the book. I was also involved in co-authoring a book on a similar topic called The Culture Question: How to Create a Workplace Where People li…moreI loved the book. I was also involved in co-authoring a book on a similar topic called The Culture Question: How to Create a Workplace Where People like to work. I'd love to talk to people about their take-aways from The Culture Code(less)
Lisa Try the Libby App. It's developed for public libraries to make their ebooks and audio books accessible to the public. It's the same as borrowing from …moreTry the Libby App. It's developed for public libraries to make their ebooks and audio books accessible to the public. It's the same as borrowing from your local library but it's digital. (less)
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Carol (Bookaria)
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
This is a nonfiction book that explores how groups succeed achieving their goals. 

It describes the characteristics of successful groups in different fields including sports teams and corporate environments. I learned new insights on what makes people genuinely engage in organizational goals. 

I recommend the book to anybody in management positions or people that have to work in groups or teams. 
Aimee (Book It Forward)
This book is phenomenal! Who knew that reading a book about groups of people would be so interesting?? From chapter one I was immediately hooked. I learned so much and found myself engrossed in the stories about how the Navy Seals became such an incredible group, how PIXAR has churned out so many of my favorite movies and about how for one Christmas during wartime both sides called a truce and stopped fighting. This is just the tip of the iceberg too. There are a ton of stories about business le ...more
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit I'm a little surprised at the glowing reviews. It was only 300 pages but it seemed so much longer - could have easily been half the length and gotten the points across. In these 304 pages, I find it hard to believe that the author was unable to interview more than a single woman in a leadership role (oh, actually, there was a second woman mentioned for a paragraph - she was a waitress at one of Danny Meyer's restaurants in NYC). What follows is chapters and chapters of advice fro ...more
Jenn "JR"
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to get a copy of this as an ARC from NetGalley - and devoured it!

I'm fascinated by the subjects of leadership and teams these days, mostly because I have experienced great team leadership in the past but too infrequently. After enjoying "Turn This Ship Around" -- this seemed like a great follow-on.

In the first chapter, the author describes an experiment in teamwork and collaboration -- conducted between two different groups: kindergarteners and college students. The goal was
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Little practical insight beyond what's obvious. I'm surprised by high ratings here. ...more
My boss recommend this book. I keep thinking it's called the Code Culture, but no, it's not about coding groups. Instead it outlines some key attributes that make for strong teamwork. The book is filled with examples from many types of teams (sports, military, business). For those who will never read the book, the 3 big takeaways:
1. Build a safe environment. Everyone must feel a sense of belonging and safe to participate. This gets at some basic anthropological in-group vs. out-group dynamics. T
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really engaging, inspiring, and helpful book about the often subtle or misunderstood behaviors that make a team successful. There were so many great stories that Coyle has surfaced here! Some of my favorites:

An experiment was run where entrepreneurs presented ideas to a group of angel investors. Tracking just the social cues exchanged by presenter and audience predicted the rankings by the investors with nearly perfect accuracy. So the content of pitch didn’t matter as much as the set
Michael Burnam-Fink
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction
The Culture Code has a provocative premise, watered down by undue hero worship and a commitment to mediocre neoliberalism.

The basic idea is that real work, real innovative, value-added work, is done by dedicated people who are emotionally invested, who are together in this effort, who are vulnerable and unconcerned with social status games. This emotional bond is something that can be tracked in how team-members interact with one another, even in total ignorance of the content of their communica
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting stories and pretty useful advice. Some of the same successes touted by all the business books (Pixar, Google, SEALS), but some new ones too (Daniel Meyers restaurants and pilots). It's fairly obvious that we need belonging cues, but I think sometimes we forget that even in board rooms and business settings, we are still primates who would die for friends and kill enemies. ...more
Tara Brabazon
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Magnificent. Just magnificent.

I have worked in universities for thirty years. I have seen the antipodal point to successful, collaborative and kind groups. Jealousy, ruthlessness, nastiness and cruelty have been attendent to toxic working cultures.

This book confirms how astonishingly straight forward it is to build a successful group. Honest and authentic leadership is required, that listens and serves rather than talks and orders. But most importantly, this book shows the importance of safety.
Joshua Clifford
This was a really great introduction to creating successful group dynamics. If you are new to the world of peer leadership and fostering inclusive working environments, or if you just need a refresher, this is the book for you. If you are looking for something a bit deeper I may skip to something else! Overall a quick read with some hi-lightable moments.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Coyle does a great job with this book. Everyone from normal people living their daily lives like me to management and Jeff Bezos can find something useful in this book. In fact, Mr. Bezos would probably outline many of the steps and advice in this book as to how he built Amazon to the successful empire that it is today and still growing.

As I was reading this book I could see practical ways that my employer could apply these principles better; especially in meetings and coming together for a
Laura Skladzinski
This was one of the best business / behavioral psychology books I've read in a long time! The examples were incredibly engaging, and drew from a variety of industries to make their points. As I read, I kept getting new ideas for things I could change on my own team to improve results. Highly recommend this book to anyone who leads a team! ...more
Nyamka Ganni
One of the best business and psychology books I've ever read. Yes, it's full of old ideas and talked about topics, yet it is urgent and relevant as ever, nonetheless.

Jay Hennessey
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely LOVED this book! Dan Coyle does an amazing job of showing the converging validity of behaviors of the Highest Performing organizations.

Organized broadly as psychological safety, vulnerability, and purpose (communication and alignment), it was fascinating to see how leaders and organizations made this happen, across a wide spectrum of organizations.

I was intrigued by the variety of ways that organizations and leaders create safety and trust - in general, it was by social interactions,
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, nonfiction
Why do some teams and organizations excel while others simply aren't as creative/effective/lasting? It isn't skills or intelligence, but the environment in which they work. Coyle conveys the research and shining examples of how creating a sense of true belonging, allowing for vulnerability, conveying a clear purpose, and more, creates the right space. Yes in a sense these things are old news, but Coyle gets into the specifics of what each means, with concrete actions leaders can take to recreate ...more
Cara Putman
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an incredibly readable and story packed key to creating cultures that work. As a professor at a business school, I already have a list of classes that I will recommend this book to for personal study. It is jammed with examples of what works (and on occasion what does not) to create a culture where people feel committed and safe contributing. Tips are woven in with the stories, but the author also has a summary chapter after each of the three key areas that he uses to give a litany ...more
Erik Reagan
There are some great nuggets in this book. Like with many books in the business genre, these nuggets of wisdom are buried within story after story that put the wisdom into practical terms. I can appreciate that as a learner, but the quantity of stories seemed a bit excessive to me. Thankfully they were all interesting. :)

My main gripe with the book overall is simply its length. I could have learned just as much with half the stories.

The final chapter really brought things home well. I’m glad I r
The Culture Code deciphers the secrets of highly successful groups like SEALS, Team Six, IDEO, San Antonio Spurs, Pixar, etc.
Daniel Coyle presents the argument that to achieve such successful behaviour you have to work 3 different skills that complement each other and that together result in team performance at the highest level. The book, naturally, is organized in three main chapters in which the author explores one skill at a time, presenting his theory and giving lots and lots of real examp
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Do I belong?" "Are we safe?" "Do we have a future together?"

These aren't questions posed by early humans reaching out to build a community that will eventually trust and nurture its members. Answering "yes" to these questions indicates a high-performing team. Because teamwork is essentially about building a common micro-culture with ties that bind.

I haven't come across a business book that puts a lump in my throat. But this one did because it is full of stories that exude warmth, belonging, and
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of business books use examples that are not varied enough or only highlight one industry. The author does a terrific job choosing illustrative examples of great teams from an incredibly broad array of industries. The public sector is left out, unfortunately, but otherwise it's great. The concepts of safety, vulnerability, and purpose really resonated with me.

Overall, it's a very enjoyable read - never dry - and sticks to its core framework. Easy to understand. I would definitely recommend
Jeanie Phillips
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you lead a team? Work with others? Belong to the human race? Then this book is for you. Coyle expertly spells out three skills that make groups more successful: building safety, sharing vulnerability, and establishing purpose. His suggestions and ideas seem common-sensical, yet so often we do the opposite and limit our collective potential. His examples and stories bring home the power of focusing on belonging, sharing weaknesses and failures, and clarifying intentions. I loved this book and ...more
Ieva Gr
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: communication
Was it easy to read: Very much so. Swallowed it without almost noticing it - like a bag of chips.

What I liked about it: The fact that it puts focus on safety, vulnerability and belonging. I always thought these things are important for any human relationship and it was nice to see how much they matter when forming high performing teams. Also, I am currently working in quite a splendid team and it was nice to find explanations why the team is like that and how we got there.
Finally, in the book “M
Arani Satgunaseelan
When I was at uni, I did a subject called Organisational Behaviour and hated it. Ironic really because I devoured this. Great examples of turning small teams into great teams that grow with your business
Keerit Kohli
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ok i lied this is not a bullet point-able book! well researched and anecdotes were intertwined in an interesting way that also reinforced his findings. stories about popovich and tony hsieh were so good in particular and rly hammered home the kind of creative thinking and manipulation required to make new connections and innovation
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a pleasant reminder that real connections are rooted in acts of vulnerability.

By sharing open and repetitive bursts of communication on where you are NOW and where you want to be in the FUTURE you can align the energy of groups and teams to create truly profound things.
Coyle shares real life examples of basketball teams, school groups and colleagues.

I can identify with many of his examples and believe that it’s a book that should be presented in every modern collaborative environ
Martin Brochhaus
Fantastic book! And it came at the perfect moment in my life. Last weekend I was at a company retreat at Bali with the upper management of my company.

Here is what we did: First we created an environment of belonging. Our CEO made it clear that she deeply cares about us and that she needs us for the next big step. Then we created a sense of purpose and discussed "the endgame". Our crazy big mission that is going to be so insane that we will have to grow in all kinds of ways to have even a tiny ch
Amy V
Culture seems like a "buzzy" catchphrase lately, but culture touches every element in the workplace. Really, this book is about the skills used by the most successful groups, and provides relatable advice about how to incorporate those skills to your situation. I liked that the author narrowed the information down to three primary skills: Build Safety (people feel they are psychologically safe in the situation), Share Vulnerability (the group shares risk), and Establish Purpose (group seeks to r ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: selfhelp
I'm inclined to give this 3.5 stars.

One thing is I didn't realize that this author has written another book ("The Talent Code"), if I had known I would have checked that out first.

I suppose I should start with the criticisms first. It was entertaining enough, but for large sections I got the sense that it had many of the same platitudes as in any other "management book". It just felt a bit too fluffy and padded to a certain extent, without a lot of rigor.

I mean you could just go interview a bunc
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leaders need to create a positive environment where people feel comfortable if they are wrong or fail. Not that failure is good. This starts at the top by the leader admitting vulnerability and owning mistakes. It also finds that one bad apple really can spoil the bunch unless they are handled with TLC. I have been in organizations that are the negative example and the positive so I fel the author is right on these thing. Like Navy SEALs say there are no bad teams just bad leaders.
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Daniel Coyle is the author of the upcoming book The Culture Code (January 2018). He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code, The Little Book of Talent, The Secret Race (with Tyler Hamilton), and other books. Winner (with Hamilton) 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 Cle ...more

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