An interesting perspective on group culture based on real-world examples.
Group culture is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together (African Proverb). Companies know the impact of having a strong culture but we just don’t know how it works. Culture is kind of mysterious. The common solution for companies is to document values that describe who they want to be and rarely who they really are.
Following the recipe of the excellent The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle spend four years visiting eight successful groups, including a special-ops military unit, a professional basketball team, a movie studio, a comedy troupe, and a gang of jewel thieves. This book decodes the key ingredients behind these successful cultures.
The book consists of three parts focusing on these three ingredients — build safety, share vulnerability, and establish purpose. Each chapter presents one or two stories. It means there are relatively few examples, but each story is presented with enough details to grasp the subtleties of each context. Each part ends with concrete suggestions to experiment in your own context.
In the end, successful cultures are still hard to define. There is no easy path toward a culture that works. The book is probably the most comprehensive study and the best resource to find ideas for actions.