Company Reading Circle
Groups of employees meet regularly, taking turns to present learning material they've discovered

Management/Project Lead, White Collar, and Trainees


There's a wealth of business advice out there, from the bookshop shelves heaving with guides and memoirs, to the countless blogs written by industry luminaries, to all those TED talks on YouTube. But who has time to read or watch more than a fraction of them, however keen we may be to learn? And who knows which ones are worth looking at and which aren't? Our target groups either do what they can (but fear they're missing out on some good stuff) or they think the task is impossible and give up.


It may be impossible for one person to cover all the business-related material out there, and to keep up with all the latest developments... but what if the task were divided up between a number of employees? Each person could do their own research and reading and report back to the others on the most interesting insights and advice they've come across.


Companies would set up Reading Circles - groups of employees who get together regularly and take it in turns to share and recommend the most valuable and interesting advice and observations they've found. The insights could come from business books, articles in industry publications, blogs, online videos, TV shows - anywhere! Participants would also benefit from practising their presenting skills - and if they have a flair for it, their talent could be spotted. Simple, low-cost and effective!

How would you stage or advertise your hack?

The Reading Circle scheme would be introduced through an all-staff email explaining the idea or (if the company isn't too big) at a staff meeting. Employees would then be invited and encouraged to join a group; it may be necessary to set up a number of Reading Circles to prevent them from being too big. How often the Circle meets up is a flexible issue - though it probably shouldn't be every week, as that would seem too much of an imposition on everyone. Perhaps once a month would be about right. A loose schedule of speakers would be drawn up in each Circle, with members taking it in turns to present the interesting material they've found. (Though if someone has come across a particularly valuable or topical item, they could ask to jump the queue and share it immediately.) Companies could also consider giving employees a free day to pull together their thoughts when their turn to present is coming up.