For many teams, feeling engaged and connected while working remotely has been a challenge. Regular Zoom calls and the occasional Friday drinks are great, but they can lack a certain something. That’s why at Go1, we’ve decided to go back to the future with a good, old fashioned book club.
Spearheaded by our wonderful UK team, the Go1 Book Club — powered by premium content partner Blinkist — has been a hit. So, we thought we’d share the love and help you get started with your very own, Blinkist-powered book club. Here’s everything you need to know.
As mentioned, the big question on many people’s lips this year has been: ‘how can you keep employees engaged in their development and connected with colleagues while working remotely?’
In our humble opinion, the answer is simple: a book club.
Times are changing (more rapidly than many of us can keep up with!) and organisations need to think differently about how to foster collaboration, increase team connectivity, and encourage personal development.
A book club is a great way for team members to connect outside of traditional, formal work contexts such as meetings and 1:1s. Book clubs allow participants to share ideas and engage in thought-provoking discussions in a more creative, informal setting.
The best part? It works! The UK Go1 Team now meets every fortnight to discuss the week's 15-minute ‘Blink’...and any other tangents that arise along the way!
Speaking of ‘Blinks’...
It may sound silly, but the biggest barrier to engaging with a book club can often be the actual reading part. Unfortunately, with packed schedules and a rapidly changing world, not everyone has time to consume a 400-page novel every fortnight. That’s where Blinkist comes in.
Blinkist offers 15-20 minute summaries of non-fiction books. Blinks can be read or listened to (the audio starts automatically), and with 145 titles currently available on the Go1 Content Hub, there’s something thought-provoking available for everyone.
Standout titles include:
You’ve got the books (or Blinks, in this case). Now, for the club. Here are 4 tips for running a successful book club.
A book club is only as good as its participants. With that mind, the first step to running a successful book club is spreading the word to generate interest. Be sure to highlight the benefits of a book club, whatever that means to your team — be it creativity, engagement, or just a chance to drink wine and talk about a book, with minimal actual reading involved! Whether you spread the word through Slack channels, a team-wide email, or simple word of mouth, make sure everyone knows they’ll want to be there or be square.
You’ve got everyone on board. Great. Now, the hard part — finding a meeting time that suits everyone. The important parts here are finding a day, length, and frequency that suits your team. Based on our UK team’s experiences, we recommend fortnightly meetings. Be warned, this step may involve a little trial and error to figure out whether 30 minutes is long enough, or Fridays work better than Wednesdays. Start by getting something in the calendar that everyone can attend. If necessary, you can tweak things from there.
When running a book club, it’s important to find a balance between structure and natural conversational flow. Still, it can be a good idea to come prepared with a few questions in your back pocket, to prompt discussion in case of any awkward silences. A few starter questions might include:
Again, you don’t want the book club to feel too restrictive, but a few ground rules can help ensure everyone feels heard and engaged. A common ground rule may be setting aside time for each team member to share their thoughts about the Blink, to ensure everyone can participate in the discussion. Ground rules can also be a little more fun, such as whether alcohol/snacks are appropriate (or encouraged) during the book club. Whatever rules your team decides on, the most important thing is ensuring everyone is on board!
Running a book club through Go1 is simple. Just follow the steps below, and you’ll be up and Blinking in no time!
And remember, the first rule of Go1 Book Club is...tell everyone!