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  • Writer's picturePunit Gajera

Relationship with books : Why book club required at organization?

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

If it's not obvious, a mountain of research proves that reading makes you a better person in just about every way you can think of, from expanding your horizons to boosting mental health. No wonder some of the best known names in business from Warren Buffett to Bill Gates are book lovers. Mark Zuckerberg even challenged himself to read a new book every two weeks this year.

Why it's a good idea for your team to discuss books on company time.

But while you probably don't need much convincing that reading is a great activity for individuals, it may never have occurred to you that it's also a great group activity for employees - one many successful businesses encourage on company time.

Many organizations are finding new ways to establish a modern-day book club during normal business hours, I recently came across some article that startups and tech companies are notorious for offering book club to encourage a reading culture as employee perks rather than video games, lounges and recreation.

For business professionals, reading book in office time are an opportunity to develop emotional intelligence, foster relationships and improve as communicators. “The act of reading in a office can help you read more deeply and better understand diverse perspectives,” Engaging with diverse content — fiction, history, biography, social science can pull you out of your day-to-day routine and help you make connections between ideas from other fields that might be relevant to your work or life.

Even if you never would have picked the selection, a book club challenges you to think differently. Studying another workplace’s culture broadens your perspective. Discussing a narrative tests your views and opinions, and how you express them. Observing a colleague’s reaction to a text is valuable insight for future encounters. But reading in colleague group, can hold you accountable to actually finishing a book.

A book club can be an affordable, informal way to grow as a leader. Here are some reasons to consider starting one in work culture:

Employee development

Helping your employees grow in their jobs is key to attracting and retaining top talent, but some small businesses may lack the budget and the staff to send employees to conferences or training. A book club might just be the answer for cash-strapped entrepreneurs looking to foster employee development.

Creating a book club during office hours is a fast, free way for team members to draw upon the experiences of thought leaders. Not convinced it's worthwhile? Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest men, estimates that he spends nearly 80 percent of his work day reading.

Solve problems more inventively

A book is packed with research and points of view outside of your daily grind. An organization’s top brass can become “company centric,” or refer back simplistically to their own organization’s experience when solving a problem. There’s no organization that owns all the knowledge and ideas. An expansive mind with breadth of knowledge is priceless. At some companies, reading about other companies’ strategies has been instrumental in developing their own. For example, One Startup who deals in Creative filed asked his staff read the best-seller “Creativity, Inc.,” written by Pixar’s co-founder. Now, When that startup have some discussion they say, “Pixar approached the problem this way,” all other know what they are talking about because they have read the same book.

Become a better conversationalist

A strong vocabulary can radically improve your public speaking and negotiation skills. Being able to use language well is powerful in terms of being able to communicate your ideas, to sell your ideas, to influence people, to inspire people. In addition, if you work in a technical field such as engineering or design, developing exceptional literacy can help you grow as a leader. People who have a technical skill and a language skill end up having the most opportunity. It’s kind of a rare combination

A book club will motivate you to become a better listener, too.

Broaden your network

In order for your team to work well together they need to really know each other as human beings, not just cogs in the company machine. A book club allows them to interact away from their normal functions and get a 360 degree view of their colleagues. “Whether you head to a coffee shop or discuss your findings over break time, this allows team members from various roles and pay grades to share knowledge that may not have otherwise been exposed.

Depending on your organization’s style, a book club can an opportunity for employees at different levels or in different departments to mix. It’s good for entry-level employees to stand up and have a voice, and a book club is a good place to do it. In a book club, employees can invest in one another's growth. You are responsible for your own development. Getting in that frame of mind and getting to know people with that same notion you can get on that together.

It;s all about Relationship with books in organization, Engage the people in your company by bringing them together with books and knowledge sharing. Not only are they going to love each other's company but they're also going to love the company of books with them. Your people will engage in storytelling and idea sharing from books that will bond them together as one.

Would you consider starting a book club at your business?

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