If there is one book you read about culture this year, make it Dan Coyle’s The Culture Code (Random House, 2018). The stories in this book are powerful, memorable and can’t help but make you think about the way things are done in your organization. Coyle uses real-life examples to address the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) changes in leadership style that have come to characterize business life today. Typically someone reads a book on culture believing that a better culture will drive more revenue and better profit. And ultimately, isn’t that the goal of every business? But there’s something different about this book. The suggestions and stories are so unique and inspiring and left me focused on the REAL happiness of my employees. A great culture isn’t one where everyone is happy al the time, but it does mean that if someone is unhappy, they take responsibility for making it better…and everyone else in the business supports them in it too.
My key take-aways from this book are:
1. Say thank you more
2. When introducing our company and what we do to new recruits, start with them, not us
3. Encourage vulnerability – especially when it comes to reviewing how we do things. Have the hard conversations.
There are so many more! As leaders gain more experience I do think there’s a tendency to believe ‘you’ve heard it all before’. This book highlights just how dangerous that sort of thinking can be.
PS. The cover of this book comes from the UK edition – the US edition may look dramatically different