Book Club – how do we encourage ourselves to read books?

  • Scope:
  • Culture and People

How our Book Club both encourages reading and the sharing of new knowledge

Here at Tooploox, we run many interesting meetings, workshops, and implement internal projects to develop our skills and knowledge. Book Club is not our first project, but it’s the first one that openly encourages our team to read books and discuss their content.

Our goal is to share knowledge and strengthen relations among our employees. So, what is a Book Club, then? How does it work and what kind of books do we read? Check out the details below.

The Book Club in a Nutshell

Have you ever promised yourself you’d read more books but never actually got round to it? That’s always the thing. It’s not easy to gain motivation, so all too often people naturally look for excuses. We want to read, but enforcing this idea is a problem.

Fortunately, we’ve found a way to beat the problem: we organized the Book Club. The idea came nearly a year ago from Sylwia Tatarczak and it is still going on today, which makes us very happy.

The rules about participating in the Book Club are quite simple. Every single person should read the book that has been preselected by the team, then share their thoughts during a regular meeting. People who generally don’t read at all are equally welcome to join, as we believe they can still participate in the discussion as well. Meetings are held every few weeks, so there’s definitely a motivational boost when you know the upcoming deadline.

So, what are the results of all this? Some highly involved participants, 4 books already read, and unlimited inspirations and ideas. The books we have on our reading-list cover the following topics:

  • business,
  • time-management,
  • ways to get one’s creative juices flowing,
  • everything, what makes our work smoother and present the value.

Books on our must-read list

How do we select these books? The way we do this is quite simple – our chosen method is selection by voting. The Book Club’s participants usually prepare a list with the most interesting books that naturally fits the project, then it’s voting time – the winning book will be the chosen one to read. Here, I’ve presented 2 examples which came out on top during such voting:

1.“Reinventing Organizations” By Frederic Laloux

We couldn’t just walk past such an interesting book – “Reinventing organizations” by Frederic Laloux – without stopping to take a look! It has inspired thousands of organizations to change their rules at work and make the whole organization better. We support the idea of a Teal Organization and we’re always open-minded about improving our way of work management, so it had plenty of good points to be discussed during our Book Club’s meetings.

Frederic Laloux describes the features of Teal Organizations, which are characterised by self-organization and self-management. They have achieved proven success, so the book can provide a new way of thinking for readers.

2. “Made To Stick” By Chip Heath And Dan Heath

This book is very popular among marketers, managers, teachers, ministers and even entrepreneurs. The authors tackle some interesting questions head-on, such as “Why do some ideas develop while others die?” and “What should we put into practise useful ideas?” Gaining answers to these questions – and more – would be helpful during many a creative process.

An example of another book we’ve read is “The Charisma Myth” by Olivia Fox Cabane, which includes some very interesting information on how to learn charisma. Olivia shows that charismatic behaviour can be learned and doesn’t agree that it’s just an inborn quality.

The creative side of the Book Club

The project’s goal is not only to encourage us to read, but also to meet, share thoughts and discuss a wide range of topics. In the beginning, the objective was to read specific parts of the book, but now we read the whole book before holding a discussion. Notes, creative ideas and questions are more than welcome – in fact, they’re expected! Talking about the book give us the possibility to share our ideas and thoughts. We can understand the book better and consider which ideas can be used in practice.

Of course, we also found the project needed some reorganization along the way as well. We’ve found it very useful to nominate a person to run the discussion and gets ready for every meeting with the book complete read, some notes about its content and also some visuals which present or highlight the most interesting topics.

Our Book Club is still at starting stage and it is already pushing us to come up with some other interesting ideas. Recently, we’ve also started Literature Club – it’s our new baby project, so we will see how it will work in the future, but the potential is certainly growing!

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