"One team member said that this was the most genuine form of community building and culture creation that they have experienced."

Dr. Susan Sweeney

President, GGB Bearing Technology

A consistent theme that has emerged is that colleagues view each other differently after engaging in Books@Work. They now stop and talk to each other whereas they may have simply nodded a polite "hello" and walked by in the past. There is a deeper understanding (and appreciation) of each other after exchanging personal insights and sharing stories. One team member said that this was the most genuine form of community building and culture creation that they have experienced.

How might I deploy Books@Work in my company?

Within Natural or Special Teams
To foster deeper understanding at a human level and make debate second nature: become “tough on the problems, but gentle on the people.”
In Cross-Hierarchical groups
To develop trust and respect across hierarchies.
In Cross-Functional groups
To create meaningful connections across an organization.
As part of a Diversity and Inclusion initiative
To leverage parallel narratives to discuss difficult topics like race, gender and unconscious bias.
As part of a Workplace Wellness initiative
To foster community and social interaction as part of a broader wellness and wellbeing effort.
As part of a larger cultural Transformation
To create a culture of openness, respect and critical dialogue – from the top team to the front line.

Not sure where to start? Try a single session teaser with a leadership team to explore the power of the program and find the most effective pilot context.

How does my company benefit?

Our growing body of evidence from Books@Work programs points to significant impact at the individual level, the team level and on organizational culture.

Will my employees be interested? Ask them! Too often, we see management underestimate the curiosity and interest of their employees.

We are happy to present Books@Work or to provide materials for you to share to gauge whether there is sufficient interest to pilot a program.

A Few Stories

The Director of Operations for a distribution center was impressed by how Books@Work participants began to step up after participating in the program. For one participant, “when we had an open shipment control position, he was actually prepared enough to move into that. He had a much better understanding of how to interact with supervisors.” The group as a whole demonstrated an uptick in initiative and leadership, which helped the facility when they had to go two months without a supervisor.


Participants in a manufacturing facility marvelled over how deeply they connected through Books@Work. “We’re all in different departments and sometimes we feel that we can work against each other,” one participant reflected. “We listened to one another and tried to understand everybody’s perspective.” For another participant, the program was an opportunity to get past prior conflict: “The conversations we had, just listening, helped me to see, ‘Okay, so that’s why she thinks the way she thinks.’” 


What Does it Cost?

Approximately $5,000 per program* includes:


An honorarium for each professor.


Program planning, coordination and logistics, quality control, measurement and reporting.


Actual book costs. Books are intended to be retained by the participants.


As applicable, the cost of reimbursing professors for their expenses from school to the workplace.

*Final program cost reflects actual number of sessions and participants, specific books chosen and professor travel.