Speaking the same language with your colleagues is one of the best things that can happen in a workplace and something that everyone would enjoy. But, having managers with different backgrounds and different skills all in the same pot might make this difficult. As a result, having all the management team on the same page is next to impossible for some companies.
To nip the matter in the bud, SupportYourApp management participates in a book club 📚 — all the managers read the same book and discuss it at the end of the month. With the start of a new month, a new book gets picked and our self-development goes on. This is one of the best ways not only to keep the management team on the same page (sometimes quite literally), but also to help them grow to become the best at their job.
Setting up a book club right. How did we do it?
1. We saw a common interest
What do all the managers need? A set of knowledge on how to become better at their job, how to listen and help, how to provide professional and personal assistance to their departments without overstepping boundaries. How to be the best.
This is exactly where SupportYourApp launched its topic set from.
2. We understood the reasons for setting it up
Surely, the official goal for creating a book club really was to make our managers into the best team possible. But along the way we saw that there are many other reasons for us to read together. For example, creating and expanding everyone’s vocabulary, so that we quite literally speaks the same language.
In general, there are several reasons for any workplace to start thinking about engaging the management team in a book club:
- It is an excellent team building activity, especially if some members of your team are working remotely (we can vouch for that any time);
- It promotes creativity and sparks interest in discovering something new;
- It gives the team a much-needed downtime from work;
- It is going to provide an even bigger feeling of partnership.
3. We did not force anyone to participate
Reading takes up a lot of time. And it is necessary to understand that not all the members of the management team are going to have the time to finish a new book every month. So we let everyone read at their own pace and at their own schedule.
4. We are engaging in a discussion
What is the point of reading without discussing what was read? Discussing the book with the colleagues and sharing what parts of the book seemed the most interesting and the most important is a crucial part of any book club. We mean, that is, essentially, what they exist for.
Reading and SupportYourApp are BFFs
It has not been long since we launched the book club — only for a few months now, but it has already become a very welcome and awaited tradition. Surely, it is interesting to be in the now, but we are waiting to see where it all can go in the future and what lessons we are going to carry out of the books we are reading.
The first book chosen for reading was ‘No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits: The Ultimate, No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Guide to Really Getting Rich‘ by the great Dan Kennedy. And we can say with confidence — this book was of the greatest influence for our management team.
From there on it was clear — SupportYourApp found its common corporate interest.
Even over this short period of time, our book club has become a welcome and very successful tradition. What is our secret?
- 📢 Discussions
Interesting, sometimes heated but always friendly and developing: these are the four words that are used to describe book discussions at SupportYourApp. Sometimes the experience can also be quite eye-opening — you never know what others have noticed that you haven’t.
We see the book club as a perfect tool for the management team building.
- 🤓 Sharing
SupportYourApp management is far from stingy. If they like what they read, they will share the book with their own teams and will encourage discussions there as well. As a result, the entire company is reading the same books and is speaking the same language. Everyone understands the goals and the means to reach them. With this, there are no misunderstandings within the teams.
- 📖 Implementing
We might read the books, sure. But do we implement what we have read into life? Well, sure! And it is so much easier to do when everyone understands the strategy and the direction. How is that possible? Well, everyone speaks the same language, remember?
- 📈 Setting clear goals for the future
Our goals were and still are clear — we focus on building our base of knowledge in the fields that have a significant impact on our ability to successfully manage different teams that deal with different projects.
What could we advise?
- Do not be afraid to talk
When reading, do not be afraid to point out the things that you like or dislike. Do not be afraid to speak out about them. Do not hesitate to speak your mind.
- Set up informal meetings
Sometimes all the time in the world is not enough to talk about the things you have learned. That is why it is crucial to set up informal meetings and give the group enough time to discuss every detail.
- Do not be afraid to take risks
Sure, books are a matter of taste. But taking risks and suggesting the book that you liked to others so is rare nowadays, that it is certain — people are going to listen and take notice of your recommendations.
Come back to what you have learned. Maybe re-read something if you feel like the knowledge you gained is starting to wash away from you. Come back to discussions in private talks with your coworkers. Do not forget what you have read and learned. Let it always be a part of your professional journey. That is what SupportYourApp managers are doing.
In general, the book club at SupportYourApp is a big success. It is developing and is only now starting to make its way into our corporate culture, but we are certain — it is here to stay.