I'm deep into reading The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, by Daniel Coyle. In it, he makes the case that successful groups are that way because they build safety for the individuals. That safety is contingent upon a sense of belonging-of being part of a familial group. He talks about Alex Pentland's work in the Human Dynamics Lab at MIT. Pentland "belonging cues" that possess three basic qualities: 1. Energy: They invest in the exchange that is occurring 2. Individualization: They treat the person as unique and valued
3. Future orientation: They signal the relationship will continue." I've also been fascinated with the information from Susan Cain's work, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Her work is powerful, because it talks about the people in our society who are often either not noticed, or ostracized due to their need to gather energy, work, and interact in ways that are not usually valued by the society in which we live-that being one that values extraversion. Where these intersect for me gives me pause to think about microcultures. Given the complexity of the human being, could one argue that individuals are microcultures unto themselves? Is it more likely that people with introverted characteristics and tendencies, as defined by Cain, would more likely rely on a personal microculture in order to feel part of a group that does not exhibit Pentland's belonging cues? Is it valuable to consider this as we work to build our organizations to be highly successful? Is it possible that those that Cain so eloquently describes might, in fact, be more adept at exhibiting these three qualities, because of their personality traits? I think it's worth discussing as we think about building safety for all of the individuals in our organizations.