Continuous Professional Development (CPD) can take many forms, e.g. courses, coaching (group or 1:1) and mentoring – to name a few. When I’ve assessed submissions for L&D awards, the majority of entries stick to courses; yet there are many more learning opportunities. For example, reading is an often-overlooked option – well, as an author I would say that – and a Book Club offers multiple learning opportunities.
How does it work?
As with any book club, there’s a process; usually this involves agreeing on the title to read or voting from a shortlist. Club members then read the book within the agreed time, write a summary and review. The book club members then meet and share their views, discuss what they’ve found useful/ relevant / inspirational, etc.
Since we’re looking at CPD here, the potential books to be read will need to be relevant for business. But that doesn’t mean they all need to be of the ‘How I made a million’ kind. Psychology, social trends, wellbeing and culture are just as relevant.
Some company book clubs get their books paid for by their employer; others leave their bookworms to buy their own books.
- Reading a book can be done almost anywhere: at home, whilst travelling, in a café.
- Reading can spark new ideas and resurface old ones.
- Many books are now available in audible format; ideal for people with reading difficulties.
- Reading fosters development of essential skills, such as critical thinking, evaluating and summarising.
- When the readers regroup, the discussion and debate develops readers’ capability, notably articulating their point of view.
- The book club can meet virtually and/or face to face.
- Group dynamics can provide the impetus to keep reading.
- There will be some administration to be done: setting up the voting for the next book, organising the book club’s meetings, etc. Suggestion: members take it in turn.
- Some members may be tempted to take short cuts, read others’ reviews in the public domain. Suggestion: have a set format for the discussion, including questions to spark discussion and debate.
LoveReading has some practical suggestions if you want to set up your own Book Club.
You can of course invite the author of a book to jump-start your Book Club – get in touch to find out more.
You may find this post useful: ‘L&D Budget Burglars’
Just so you know…if you share this post in its entirety, it’s very much appreciated.
If you copy it and pass it off as your own, it’s not appreciated.