I love to read. I belong to 2 book clubs. I started the first one about 10 years ago and we meet every 6 weeks. I am happy to say that 9 of the original members are still with us! I joined the second book club through The Commonwealth Institute (TCI) as one of two facilitators for a TCI program called Business Books and Coffee.
Over the years friends have asked me how I set up the book club. It was pretty easy: get a core group of friends/colleagues and establish some ground rules and you are off in book club wonderland. I have enjoyed the book clubs and always say that thanks to those clubs I have read and discussed some fascinating books that I probably would not have read on my own.
How to set up a Business Book Club
- Select a facilitator or co-facilitators. This is key because these will be the people who will lead discussions and keep the meetings flowing. The facilitators will come up with the questions to guide discussion.
- Select the first book and invite the participants. We used a 6 week timeline so that everyone had time to purchase and read the book.
- It’s better if you have a mix of ages, businesses and experience in the group. Our group has women from corporations, from non-profits, from government agencies and women business owners
- Pre-select 4 or 5 books to propose after the first meeting
- Determine the discussion questions. We do not send out the questions in advance because we like to allow the discussion to develop based on the participants and their interests.
- The meetings are 1 and a half hours long: 830-10am. The first part is people getting settled and networking over breakfast. We discuss the book for about an hour and select the next book at the end of the session.
- We add books as we go along as a result of our discussions and the interest of the participants.
Here are some of the books that the TCI Business Books and Coffee group has read so far:
- Thrive, Arriana Huffington
- What is your favorite lesson from the book?
- Do you agree with the premise that meditation fosters creativity?
- What do you think of the concept of balance? Is it possible?
- Do you agree with the premise of treating employees like family?
- What about organizational culture?
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Action, Simon Sinek
- What did you think of the Golden Circle Concept?
- How does starting with why affect marketing and the competing theories of marketing?
- How does starting with the question why affect the work flow and creativity of an organization?
- What did you think of the concept of sales vs. loyalty?
- To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink
- Do you agree with the concept that everyone sells all the time?
- What did you think of the “E Test”? Did you take the test? Surprised at the results? Any insights gained?
- What did you think of the 6 new ways to pitch? Any one in particular that resonates?
- What about the role of technology/access to knowledge and how it affects average purchases?
- Did you gain any new insights on how to be a better salesman? Do you consider yourself a salesman?
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