Topic: Employee Experience


Creating Belonging at Work with Guest Daniel Coyle

Episode 4 - Daniel Coyle

The Work Place is a podcast where we talk to experts about the cultures we work in, and how to make them better.

This episode, we talk with Daniel Coyle about how top teams from the most effective organizations in the world create a sense of belonging. Daniel shares common traits and tactics that allows these teams to drive team cohesion and excel at the very highest levels and Andrew gets vulnerable and shares a moment of fallibility.

Host: Andrew Scarcella
Guest: Daniel Coyle

Topics covered:

  • 5:50 - Leadership and vulnerability; Pixar to the Navy SEALS
“It comes down to connecting, creating safety, sharing information, being vulnerable together, and having direction.”
— Daniel Coyle
  • 11:30 - Demystifying great workplace cultures
“There’s actually more conflict in great cultures.”
— Daniel Coyle
  • 14:00 - Balancing tradition and innovation / Surfacing core tensions in your culture and creating a company mantra
“All good cultures have got a set of simple directives that function like algorithms. Like a mantra.”
— Daniel Coyle
  • 16:09 - Cultivating great culture outside of the workplace

Daniel Coyle: Author of several books on leadership and performance, including The Talent Code and The Little Book of Talent.

Twitter: @DanielCoyle

Tangible Takeaways:

  • The first is to see vulnerability as an opportunity for connection, instead of something to avoid. Being open to sharing hard truths and uncomfortable feelings can lead to conversations that might otherwise get swept under the rug.
  • The second is to BEWARE “SMOOTHNESS DISEASE,” an insidious infection that eats away at workplace culture. Common symptoms include every idea being “great, great, really great,” and the insistence that things are going smoothly, even when the building is CLEARLY ON FIRE. As Dan says, “If everyone’s on the same page all the time, are you really learning, are you really getting better, are you really confronting the hard things that you have to do together?”
  • The third is that if vulnerability really is as important as Dan says it is, I think I’ve been shirking my duties. Let’s try and create one of his vulnerability loops right now—I’ll share a moment of fallibility, and you share one of yours, okay? Mine is that hosting a podcast is SCARY. Do you know how many tries it takes to get this to sound natural? And don’t even get me started on what my voice sounds like recorded. What am I even doing here? Am I having a panic attack? No, no, I’m just . . . being vulnerable.
  • Your turn—send your own moment of fallibility to and I’ll read the best ones on a future episode.

The Work Place is sponsored by O.C. Tanner, the global leader in engaging workplace cultures. O.C. Tanner’s Culture Cloud️ provides a single, modular suite where all employee experience apps are in sync, giving teams the integrated tools they need when, where, and how they need them. If you want your organization to become a place where people can’t wait to come to work in the morning, go to

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