What makes a book club special? Everyone’s read the book.
Members are literally on the same page, and for that reason the quality of the session goes up dramatically.
Compare the quality of Oprah Winfrey’s book club discussion with Eckhart Tolle to any author interview on Good Morning America where viewers haven’t read the book. Notice the sophistication of the questions, the energy, the level of interaction, the intensity, and the learning that takes place.
There is no comparison.
In most events, the pre-work (if there is any at all) supports the event.
But in a book club, the event supports the pre-work. I think there’s an opportunity to design more events (trainings, off-sites, conferences, etc.) around this idea.
Side Note: Thanks to the IBM Competitive Edge Book Club, open to all sales, marketing, and communication professionals at IBM, who voted my book Read This Before Our Next Meeting as their Q1 2012 selection. I’m in the extraordinary company of past winners like Marshall Goldsmith, Dan Pink, and Charlene Li.