How does Books@Work work?
In a Books@Work program, up to 20 participants read short stories or books and meet for regular discussions facilitated by a college professor.
Books@Work serves employees at every level of the organization across functions, within natural teams and across hierarchies. We work around the world, in multiple languages.
Groups typically meet over a series of sessions. Groups can meet for 60 or 90 minutes:
Groups may choose full books or short stories. We work with you to design a program that meets your needs.
Can We Do Virtual Sessions?
Sometimes physical distance or disparate geographies makes face-to-face challenging or impossible. By leveraging a few best practices, virtual meetings can still afford your colleagues the opportunity to forge meaningful connection and nurture collaboration skills.
We partner with you to design a virtual experience that works best for your team and we provide training to participants so they feel comfortable navigating virtual discussions.
We recommend limiting virtual sessions to 15 participants to maximize the discussion.
What will we read?
At Books@Work, we don’t read business books. We offer narrative fiction and non-fiction because we believe in the power of stories to invite and encourage the sharing of our own experiences.
And shared experience fosters meaningful connection.
Books@Work has no predefined curriculum. We choose texts (examples on our interactive bookshelf) based on surveys, participant choice and our experience with texts that work. As a result, no two programs are exactly alike!
How can I use Books@Work in my organization?
Within natural or special teams
To foster deeper understanding at a human level and make debate second nature.
In cross-hierarchical groups
To develop trust and respect, and psychological safety across hierarchies.
In cross-functional groups
To create meaningful connections across an organization.
As part of a diversity & inclusion initiative
To create a space 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 well-being 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.
In a “Big Read” offering
To engage many employees at once, as an engaging interactive activity or with a specific theme in mind.
To bridge physical distance in any of the contexts above.
How Two Organizations Use Books@Work
What Do Participants Say?
"You will learn how others around you think and process information."
Senior Service Supervisor, Fairbanks Morse Engine
A Few Stories
When one group in an urban hospital read Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, they were confronted with an unfamiliar historical context. “I’ll always remember the professor telling us ‘the victors write the history.’ That’s why we’d never heard these stories before.” The phrase stayed with her long after the seminar ended and changed her thinking about current events. She’s more inclined to watch the news now – and to seek out different sources on the same story.
Books@Work programs reinvigorate participants’ love of learning and pursuit of educational goals. After participating in an ongoing program with an executive team, one administrative assistant returned to college. “She felt like she could pursue more. Now she edits my public writing,” the company president told us. He was impressed by her initiative – as well as by the fact that she felt comfortable sharing her learning with him, even in red pen!
How is Books@Work Priced?
We tailor our programs to your needs. We work to keep the program affordable so that you can engage your colleagues at every level of your organization. Please contact us for pricing and programming options.