Book Clubbing

by

books-441866_640
Seven years ago, one of my best girlfriends started a book club … A “serious” book club with “rules”. Unlike the book clubs I had attended in the past, this book club required reading the book prior to the meeting (specifically, at least 75% complete, only 1 skip per year) and then dedicated time to discuss the book when we met. I’ve never been an avid fiction reader, but my girlfriend talked me into giving it a try.

We started with two dozen interested women and ended up with about eight who committed to the first year. We took on books like The Nine, Anna Karenina, Practical Ethics, Slaughterhouse Five and Midnight’s Children. Reading the books was a BIG commitment (sometimes requiring late nights of cramming), but worth it because I enjoyed the conversation and company so much.

Since then, reading the books has become a lot harder, even as we’ve added some “easier” books. Like many of the women in my book club, I’ve gotten married and had kids while working a full time job. I’ve come very close to dropping out when life seemed too overwhelming and I couldn’t figure out how to get the book read or make time to attend the discussion. But these women have become some of my best friends, and the discussion every month is so engaging that I think about it for weeks following. Once I made it through the first few months of the second kid (and they gave a little leeway on the rules with maternity leave), I knew I was in for good. I love that my opinion of books expands and changes, usually appreciating it even more, after the engaging discussion.

I saw this article in the New York Times recently about book clubs and why people love them. It really resonated. It is a great way to find common ground for a discussion and provide new insight. Now I find myself asking new acquaintances, especially women, “Are you in a book club?”

READ MORE

Shifting Perspectives: 3 Learnings From a 3-Day Training

Shifting Perspectives: 3 Learnings From a 3-Day Training

About a week ago, I completed the second live (virtual) training in the process of becoming a Certified Professional Coach through iPEC. Once again, my mind was blown! It reinforced for me that virtual workshops can, and do, work, and, in a lot of ways, I prefer them...

read more
Finding My Work-Life Balance

Finding My Work-Life Balance

In my previous post, I told the story of how I got back into consulting after becoming a mom. All of the diverse experiences I had during that journey have helped me to find my work-life balance by… Defining Boundaries “Go home,” my first boss said 12 years back —...

read more
How I Got Back to Work After Being a Full-Time Mom

How I Got Back to Work After Being a Full-Time Mom

I Landed My Dream Job Throwback to 2014, I had completed my MBA, landed my dream job as a consultant, and was hoping that my new consulting career would exponentially ramp up my career growth for the next 5 years. This would position me to take on critical decision...

read more
Self-Awareness is Key to Belonging

Self-Awareness is Key to Belonging

In August of this year, as part of our annual company meeting, our team at Thought Ensemble participated in the foundational session of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training led by Dr. Nika White, IOM, CDE (she/her/hers). One of the most meaningful moments...

read more
Finding Your Organization’s Magic Pixie Dust

Finding Your Organization’s Magic Pixie Dust

It is often said that organizational culture is like a fog — it is all around us; it impacts our ability to see, to move quickly, and to deliver; but we cannot quite put our finger on it. Indeed, some organizations see their culture as a byproduct of operations,...

read more
We’ve Refreshed Our Brand!

We’ve Refreshed Our Brand!

Why have we refreshed our brand, you ask? Well, as we have grown and matured as an organization, we felt that our previous brand elements no longer represented us as well as they could. You see, we founded Thought Ensemble back in 2008 to help companies better compete...

read more
Thought Ensemble’s Purpose — Inspired in 2020

Thought Ensemble’s Purpose — Inspired in 2020

I recently wrote about how company purpose is being tested and inspired by all the events of 2020. This topic is very real for us at Thought Ensemble. We’ve been thinking a lot about what really matters as we’ve navigated the...

read more
How 2020 Is Testing and Inspiring Corporate Purpose

How 2020 Is Testing and Inspiring Corporate Purpose

In August 2019, the Business Roundtable rewrote their statement of corporate purpose. I followed this with significant interest being that I have never forgotten the debates about corporate purpose in business school almost two decades ago. We were taught that the...

read more
Why Purpose-Driven Organizations May Struggle With Change

Why Purpose-Driven Organizations May Struggle With Change

I love working with companies who really want to make a difference, beyond just making money for their shareholders. I mean, making money is fun and all, but it is even more rewarding to join in on a just cause. Plus, as this HBR article explains, companies who have...

read more