5 Reasons Your Company’s Book Club is Failing

By Arnie Malham

5 reasons book clubs fail

1. Bosses dictate which books to read and when to read them.

Micromanaging is rarely the best route for inspiration. Being told what to read and when to read it results in resentful participation at best. Let your team members read what they want when they want. And then recognize and reward them every chance you get. Consider every business book, regardless of the title or topic, and evaluate it by the potential to gain wisdom and insight for your company.

2. Recognition and reward for participation are not consistent.

Without a process to consistently recognize and reward the reading, most people will read when they get “round2it,” meaning it will rarely or never happen. Making growth a priority for everyone in your organization drives your entire organization forward.

3. The boss and key leaders do not participate in the program.

Do as I say, not as I do is a recipe for disaster in a business culture. What are you reading? How are you growing? It’s your actions, not your intentions that make your culture great.

4. The boss says it’s important but doesn’t prioritize the initiative or name a champion.

Naming a champion who has clear definitions of the program’s success and is not overloaded with the urgent will give the book club a far better chance of creating results than anything else you can do. Assigning the boss or anyone on the human resources team will pretty much guarantee failure.

5. The boss tries to limit reading to a narrow band of titles and doesn’t promote a diversity of crowd sourced titles.

Dictating what any one person or small group feels is appropriate reading will constantly drag the program into being a chore rather than a pleasure and perk for the participants. Let the people read without censorship!

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