In a podcast, culture expert Daniel Coyle proclaimed that “reflection is the most underused power source of any group.” I agree!

He noted how the world is constructed to put things in front of us for either action or reaction, and as a result, too often reflection doesn’t happen. People don’t pause, he notes, so questions such as what the organization is about or what your personal purpose is are left unconsidered — and the culture suffers.

Coyle advocates for the power of pausing — to learn from what went wrong, to remember what went well, to align the organization’s purpose in concrete ways that help people know what is best to do, and to create relationships that foster a sense of belonging and vulnerability. One of his Playbook exercises is to define your “True South” — what you are not going to do — as a way to gain clarity on your True North and guiding principles.

As the workforce shrinks, culture becomes a distinguishing factor that determines which organizations are able to succeed. You can spend your time recruiting and training new employees — or invest that time in reflecting on what is/is not working in your organization. I hope you take a timeout to invest in the latter.

Learner Lab podcast with Daniel Coyle and Trevor Ragan (41:04) April 2022. Coyle is the author of the best-selling The Culture Code and the brand new The Culture Playbook: 60 Highly Effective Actions to Help Your Group Succeed.

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