How Our Book Club Evolved and Why You Should Get Involved

The AccessHR Reading Room is a book club that is ideal for people who are energized by facilitated conversation, learn best by reading and are keen for continuous improvement. Starting in January 2022, the group will read four books related to HR, business, leadership, and personal development over the course of six months. Our Reading Room Guide, Janice MacPherson is a certified executive coach with extensive experience in HR, and a passionate reader - she knows how to ask important why's and get valuable conversations started. Learn more here

Back when I started to consider the concept of an HR book club, none of us could imagine a pandemic of the type we’ve been living through. I pictured a group of readers getting together to discuss books about HR, leadership, and career development. There are so many great books out there, and I always want to talk about what I’ve been reading. What better way, I thought, than to start an HR book club.



Of course, back in 2019, I was imagining a group getting together in person. I pictured a room with comfy chairs, snacks – maybe even a fireplace. I had the fleeting thought that it could be done virtually, but that quickly went away. After all, who would choose virtual when they could have in-person?



Fast forward to 2021. Many of us have adjusted to living large parts of our lives through a screen. Zoom has become a tool as common as email – everyone knows how to use it. Although we miss the in-person interactions, there are lots of advantages to doing things virtually.



One strong advantage is geography. We no longer have to limit our interactions to people who live in the same area. We can gather groups of people in different cities and provinces – our only barrier is time zones.



When I had the opportunity to develop this book club with AccessHR, I didn’t even think about doing it in-person. In the parlance of the first book we’re reading for the Reading Room, I’ve had to “think again” about my views on hosting a virtual book club. I’ve had to rethink so many things since March 2020. 



Adam Grant wrote a long and fascinating article for the Harvard Business Review about convincing people to change their minds. I’m sure we all know people who are “unpersuadable” – maybe we are those people.



For me, changing my mind about virtual activities was brought about by necessity. If I hadn’t embraced the virtual world, I would have missed yoga classes, networking opportunities, and coaching my clients. In fact, most of my work would have been impossible. The pandemic created a burning platform that forced me to think differently.



I’m looking forward to discussing “Think Again” by Adam Grant with the Reading Room in January. The idea of questioning what we know in order to gain wisdom and understanding is inspiring.



The Reading Room members are also going to pick the other three books we’ll discuss in the first half of 2022. I have some ideas in mind, but I’m excited to hear what’s interesting to the group, and have the chance to dip into books I might not have encountered otherwise.



If you’d like to join us, there’s still time. Registration closes on Friday, December 17. You can read all the details here