Cover of Daniel Coyle's book "The Culure Code"
Book Review Personal Productivity

Book Review: The Culture Code by D. Coyle


In my quest to find good productivity books, I came across The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle. The author describes some of the most successful organisations and how these cultivate productive skills: Pixar, sport teams and even the Navy’s SEAL team being under investigation. Coyle identified three key skills that are needed for successful cooperation. In the end, this book might be more of interest to those who lead large teams, but it is interesting nevertheless.

Build Safety

To work in a save environment is the first step towards productivity. This is not unlike what Adam Grant has written in his book Give and Take. When something goes wrong, it might not be the best way to blame or “shoot the messenger”. You should hug the messenger instead. By creating safe and collision-rich spaces you can build safety for the group you are leading, which encourages participation and therefore creativity.

Share Vulnerability

One part of creating safe spaces is also to share vulnerability. By embracing mistakes or flaws, you can create trust and this is true especially for a leader. There are also several methods of sharing vulnerability: AARs, BrainTrusts and Red Teaming, all explained in the book. By utilising these methods a more trustful environment can be created and therefore also a more productive one.

Establish Purpose

Finally, purpose is also a key driver for productivity. While some companies use catchphrases others use tradition. By having a common goal to strive to, groups cultivate a purpose to work for. The seems pretty logic as we all rather do a task with purpose than one without. One first has to be clear about the priorities and then utilise them to create purpose for the long run.

Daniel Coyle is a best-selling author and has his own website here:

Cover of Daniel Coyle's book "The Culure Code"
Coyle, Daniel. 2018. The Culture Code. New York: Bantaam.


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Sebastian Hageneuer

Hi! My name is Sebastian. I am an archaeologist, a university lecturer, freelancer, guitarist, and father. You could say I am quiet busy, so I learned to manage my time and energy to build good habits and still have space for myself and my family. Sounds difficult? Read here how I do it. Every Friday.

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