ICE Book Review – The Culture Playbook

By Rob Cooney (@EMEducation)

The Culture Playbook
By Daniel Coyle

After he published The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle followed it up with a highly useful manual for putting into practice many of the exercises he discovered over the course of interviewing and observing exceptional teachers and coaches. Now, in a follow up to The Culture Code (previously reviewed) he’s done it again with The Culture Playbook.

This playbook is a manual complete with exercises and 60 different tips that a team can use to guide exploration of existing culture and implementation of culture change. The book opens with a brief reflection designed to assess existing psychological safety before moving into sections focusing on building safety, sharing vulnerability, and establishing purpose.

Each section opens with an additional series of reflective questions and multiple actions to trial as a team. These actions are derived from a diverse group of leaders, companies, and organizations such as the NBA, Seal Team 6, and Zappos. Some favorites include the two-pizza project rule (build safety) designed to limit group size and keep a manageable number of interactions, send the 3-line email (sharing vulnerability) to ask for feedback, and create a culture book (establishing purpose) to make the culture more visible to everyone.

The Culture Playbook is a quick read and a great follow up to The Culture Code. For those interested in strengthening their existing culture or making culture change, this manual offers a stepwise exploration that you can undertake with your team. I look forward to reviewing it with my own small group of faculty developers.

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