Years ago at an icebreaker, a fellow co-worker was informing the office staff about her knitting hobby and how she was looking forward to a retreat where she and her knitting friends would spin their own yarn. She was so excited about the idea that she became more and more animated. After about ten minutes she looked around and finally noticed a bunch of blank stares. No one in the room knew a person could get so excited about yarn.
This idea may fall victim to the same blank stares but if you have the right audience, it could become very valuable.
How to Start a Business Book Club at Your Chamber
Harry Truman once said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Or at least they should be consuming large amounts of knowledge these days as it’s more accessible than ever. The problem is no one has time.
Forbes wrote about the value of reading as did the Harvard Business Review. There’s little denying those creating content should read as well in order to experience great conversations with brilliant people. (I took that from Descartes. The concept his; the actual words mine.)
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In order to create a business book club of value for your chamber you want to:
- Gauge interest. Don’t do it if there’s no interest there.
- Decide on the format. Will members pick the books? Where will you meet? A member bookstore? A member coffee shop? Don’t rule out virtually or something like Facebook Live or even a Twitter Chat.
- Decide whether you will have a topic leader or organize around a themed discussion.
- Get creative. It doesn’t have to be a discussion format. You could have a monthly, alternating leader who writes up a synopsis and then the group comes together to discuss applications of the concepts in their business. It could be a book club/mastermind mix. There aren’t any book club rules you have to adhere to.
A book club may not fit every chamber’s needs, but if you have a lot of busy professionals who are looking to learn something new, dividing up the workload of reading books, and discussing them can help your members vary their reading materials and uncover direct benefits to their businesses.
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