How to Start a Culture-Boosting, Career-Enhancing, Lively & Intellectually Stimulating Business Book Club
A simple guide to starting a Business Book Club which answers the key questions - who is it for, what will you read, and when and where will you meet? Includes recommendations for the 10 key decisions to be made, along with guidance on how to ensure a pleasant and rewarding experience for all members. Also, advice on how to begin your reading group discussion and ten tips for book club leaders. More
A Business Book Club is – as the name suggests – a book club devoted to reading books broadly related to ‘business’, which, apart from the obvious titles could also include genres such as personal-development, popular psychology, memoirs and auto-biographies. A Business Book Club can be formed around any group that shares a common interest such as business in general, or entrepreneurship or management. It can be started – for example - by work-colleagues in-house, or by a group of local business people or by friends who share a common interest in business and entrepreneurship.
My focus in this guide is on starting a book club within an organisation but you can adapt the advice with little effort to cover any other grouping. The basic considerations are the same – who is it for, what will you read, and where and when will you meet?
Why should you bother with business books? Because if you’re serious about your career you must also be serious about your personal development. How else can you keep your knowledge up to date and your skills fresh?
Maybe you’re fortunate enough to receive occasional training in work, but that’s rarely enough. TED Talks, article summaries and some blogs and other online resources can be very helpful, but finding the valuable material among all the click-bait articles is time consuming and frustrating. (“She Wanted to Motivate Her Team, but Nobody Was Ready for What Happened NEXT”) Yes, you can get plenty online, but much of it is superficial, designed for consumption in a minute or less – and much of the best stuff tends to be given as a taster or a teaser for ‘the real thing’ …. which is usually a book!
Books continue to be the single greatest source of new ideas, insights, analysis, and knowledge available. So, if you’re serious about opening your mind to new ideas and knowledge, you need books. You can and should read on your own, but reading and discussing one book each month as a shared experience provides discipline, valuable extra perspective, and a level of enjoyment that will more than repay your investment of time.
Culture-enhancing? A lively book club, open to all, will boost your workplace culture by creating shared experiences and allowing colleagues to learn from and with each other, while also getting to know other members at a deeper level.
Career-Enhancing? You’re taking the initiative to start the Business Book Club, you’re the catalyst that will improve your club members’ knowledge and insights, and you’re getting noticed by the people who can help you to realise your full talents. If that’s not career-enhancing you probably need to go somewhere they’ll appreciate you more!
And Intellectually Stimulating? That will take care of itself. I promise.
This guide will help you to get your Business Book Club off the ground and provide you with tips that I hope will enrich, enhance and complement each member’s experiences of the books that you read and discuss together. Happy reading!