Daniel Coyle – The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
Daniel Coyle – The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

Daniel Coyle – The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

This week the RSA delivered another fantastic hour of learning, this time with Daniel Coyle – The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups.

Daniel Coyle is the New York Times bestselling author. I first bumped into Coyle when I read “Lance Armstrong’s War,” some ten years ago. His latest book then appeared in a top four list from @ChrisMoyse and sat with esteem company.

 The RSA shares a 30 min keynote and then a 30 min Q&A. Here he explains what makes such groups tick, the key factors that can generate team cohesion in any walk of life and unsurprisingly.

Some actions to try-out

Send an email that says

Tell me one thing you like me to keep doing. Now tell me one thing to stop doing.

Here at Hindhead, we do attempt AARs? Post event meetings. We do “circle round.”

An after action review (AAR) is a structured review or de-brief (debriefing) process for analysing what happened, why it happened, and how it can be done better by the participants and those responsible for the project or event.

As a leader, when a colleague is learning something new, wrestling with a difficult issue… try

Hey, after you’re done, would you mind coming by my office and teaching me that? – Ed Catmull (president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios)


Your influence, your work experience, happens in the fifteen feet around.

Requests made face to face are 34 times more likely to accept than a request made via email.

One bad apple in a group of four, reduces productivity by up to 40%.

The shadow of leadership is very long.

On remote groups, creative problems need people to be together. To wrestle with the issues. Productive work can be achieved apart.

Don’t hire for fit, hire for contribution. Otherwise you’ll end up with a whole bunch of people like yourself.

Culture is performance

Ask questions that create vulnerability, to build trust.

New beginnings

Before joining a new employer, a new school, three questions you may like to consider;

  1. Tell me, what happens here, that would be unlikely to happen anywhere else?
  2. What gets rewarded around here?
  3. Talking to people who have left recently – if there is hesitation there on the part of your prospective employer, there’s your first clue.

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