What We’re Reading: August 2018

by | Aug 10, 2018 | Books, Strategies and Tips, Leading Organizations

Our team was eager to dive into The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle, just released this year. Several team members appreciated Coyle’s anecdotal-style, a departure from the science-heavy books we’ve focused on lately. Our takeaways and experiments we plan to run are below:

1. Use the vulnerability loop to foster trust.
Coyle points to several situations where the leader of a team was honest about a weakness or sends another signal of vulnerability (for example: a pilot telling the crew he’s not quite sure what the next correct decision is). In turn, team members shared their own vulnerability, which caused the group to feel safer and significantly enhance closeness and trust. In the case of the flight team, it ultimately saved the plane from a crash!

Jeff Domagala will be exploring ways we can create this same closeness in our learning communities, LDRx and the Ross Leaders Academy, through exercises that may expose vulnerability.

2. Continue to use the Speed of Trust cards as an exercise in vulnerability.
The Sanger team devoted nearly a year to working our way through the Franklin Covey Speed of Trust action cards, prompted by Silke Janz. We’ve completed the process, but The Culture Code has inspired us to keep the cards in regular use during our bi-weekly team meetings. The cards give our team the language and structure to be more vulnerable and honest as a group.

3. Listen like a trampoline.
“Good listening is about more than nodding attentively; it’s about adding insight and creating moments of mutual discovery,” writes Coyle.

The Sanger team will avoid listening like “passive sponges” and will more often jump into active listening mode, whether in meetings, during one-on-one chats, or during lecture and facilitation.

4. Explore the use of catch phrases.
The author points out that many successful organizations use short, occasionally cheesy phrases to label their mindset or behaviors—for example, IDEO uses “Talk less, do more.” Nate Dewey was particularly intrigued by this idea and thought it might be a fun experiment to come up with a few phrases for the Sanger team to embrace.


That’s a wrap for this book! Looking ahead, the team will be reading one of Daniel Pink’s latest books, When: The Scientific Secrets Of Perfect Timing.Culture Code Book Cover
The Culture Code
by Daniel Coyle