Have you been looking for a way to get your business out of a creative rut? Do you wish your team was more cohesive; that they spoke the same language, and shared the same reservoir of knowledge?
Why not start a business book club?
Set aside an hour every month or two to read and discuss a book relevant to your industry, business, or society in general. Choose and provide the first book to anyone interested, then meet over lunch or drinks to discuss what you read.
After the first book discussion is complete, appoint a new employee to choose the next book and direct the next discussion. Repeat.
Among its many benefits, reading has been found to improve your memory, vocabulary, and overall level of knowledge. Fostering continued learning through reading will keep your team sharp and increase their critical thinking and creativity, as well as give them new references to frame discussions.
By holding book club meetings over meals or other social functions, you allow your team to get to know each other in an informal setting and share ideas they may have been too intimidated to voice in a more professional setting. This informality also allows for conversation and the sharing of ideas between upper management and new employees or interns that would likely not occur in the normal day-to-day.
By choosing a new employee to pick the book and lead the discussion each time, you give individual team members a chance to contribute and show their value.
Solidify Business Principles
By studying the works of others, your team should be able to identify with which principles your business aligns and where you differ. What practices of your day to day operations are illuminated in the book that you read? Which examples shed new light on your inner workings? These discussions will ensure that employees understand your mission and communicate it accurately and effectively, both internally and externally.
Identify Opportunities for Growth
Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. By reading what worked and did not work for others, you can shine a light on the opportunities your business has for change or growth that otherwise may not have been seen. This also provides a safe and open forum for discussing these opportunities with people from various departments who will invariably have differing opinions on where the overall issues lie and how to address them.
Brainstorm New Ideas
Best of all, book club discussions promote critical thinking about your current business practices and may bring surprising insights into what improvements can be made and how to implement changes.
So, what are you waiting for? Choose a book and start a club today! And if you have a good suggestion for future reads, I hope you’ll share it in the comments below.
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