Book Review: The Culture Code

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle (2018)

Have you ever been part of a group that jelled beautifully? A sports team, a work team, a classroom, a boardroom, a circle of people that seemed to function on a magical level? I have always been fascinated by that chemistry, so I was delighted to discover the title The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle on several lists of the best business books of 2018.

Coyle (bestselling author of The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else) spent four years watching and studying high-functioning cultures in such disparate environments as Pixar, Zappos, KIPP Charter Schools, Johnson & Johnson, the Upright Citizens Brigade, the Navy Seals, and the San Antonio Spurs. With countless compelling anecdotes, Coyle illuminates the three qualities that drive group efficacy in all of these settings: a sense of safety, vulnerability, and purpose.  Over and over, Coyle demonstrates that a group’s success is not born from magic; rather, it is cultivated through concrete actions and choices.

This book could be thought-provoking fodder for many readers, including coaches, teachers, parents, and leaders in any field. If nothing else, read the introduction to find out why kindergartners repeatedly outperformed business school students, lawyers, and CEOs on a group project. You’ll never look at kindergartners (or business school students) in the same way again.

Review by Laurel Cox, Reference and Young Adult Librarian

To request a copy of The Culture Code, click here. Or, request a copy of The Talent Code by clicking here.

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