#WorkTrends Recap: Leaders Are Readers

What are you reading right now?

Laurie Ruettimann just wants you to read something other than your Facebook feed. She joined us on the #WorkTrends podcast to talk about how she’s getting leaders to read more with her new project, HR Book Club. She’s curating the best books for leaders and bringing people together to talk about what they’ve learned.

You can listen to the episode below, or keep reading for a recap.

Make Time to Read

It’s ironic, isn’t it? We’re constantly bombarded with new content, but no one has enough time to read. Ruettimann says it’s all about making different choices.

“Our brains are really tired from too much time on our phones,” she says. “When people say, ‘I don’t have time to read,’ they’re just making a different choice with their time.”

When she realized she was spending too much time online and not enough time really learning, she made a big decision. “I’m addicted to my phone, like everybody else in this world. I suffer from a high degree of tech addiction. And I thought to myself, ‘I need to make better choices in 2018.’ I mean, really. I was started to feel the drain of always being on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.”

So she canceled her cable and committed to putting her phone away in the evening to read more. And if she has time to kill — say, when she’s in line at Starbucks or the grocery store — she chooses to read on her Kindle app instead of scrolling on social media. “I’m budgeting my time differently,” she says. “It’s a mindful choice.”

Start Small

If you’re not used to reading every day, Ruettimann suggests starting slowly. “In order to be a reader you have to develop this skill,” she says. “You can’t just jump into ‘War and Peace.’ You’ve got to start small. Find a book that’s 100 pages, or 150 pages. Read 10 pages a night. That’s how we’re encouraging our book club to read at least 12 books a year.”

What to Read

HR Book Club chooses two books to read as a community each month. In March, the two books are works written by women, in honor of Women’s History Month.

The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career” is written by the co-founders of the career advice site The Muse, Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew. “You can’t change the world if you’re in a crappy job,” Ruettimann says. “People who are suffering with their employee experience need a guide to get them to the next level in their career, and this is an exceptional and timely book.”

The second book, “Everything Happens for a Reason: and Other Lies I’ve Loved,” by Kate Bowler, isn’t a traditional business book. But the author, a divinity professor at Duke, has stage 4 cancer and writes about facing death. “This is a pretty heavy topic, but HR professionals are always in the epicenter of bad news, and I thought it would be interesting to learn about what it feels like to be an employee with a qualifying life event,” Ruettimann says. “It’s a little nontraditional, but I think it counts as an HR book.”

Use What You Learn

But even if you don’t read this month’s book club picks, the point is to read something. “I’m just looking to encourage more thought leadership, and I truly believe that the people closest to a problem are the ones equipped to solve it,” she says. “If we can get HR professionals seeing different points of view and learning about vocation and passion and meaning a little bit differently, when a problem arises at work that they’ve never seen before, hopefully they can hearken back to a story that they’ve read or a book that they’ve consumed and be informed.”

She points to one of her January book club picks, “Braving the Wilderness” by Brené Brown. “She says it’s hard to hate people up close. I would like to bring people closer together. I don’t care who you voted for a year and a half ago. I care that you’re a decent human being with values. For me, the HR Book Club is a way to connect with people and forget about the politics of the day, forget about policy, and start to think about, ‘How do we make the world a better place going forward?’ Because I really believe HR professionals sit at the intersection of work, power, politics and money. And if we’re not aware of it, if we’re not understanding what’s happening within our domain, we’re going to blow it.”

Lessons From a Free-Range Learning Community #TChat Recap

“What motivates dozens, thousands, even millions of people to come together on the Internet and commit their time to a project for free?”

That’s a good question! It was posed by a brilliant professor (Clay Shirky) in a fascinating “TED Radio Hour” program on NPR called, “Why We Collaborate.”

I suppose occasionally all of us who participate in TalentCulture #TChat events ask ourselves that same question. But this week, we didn’t need experts to tell us why.

Crowdsourcing: It Takes a Village

If you ask our founder, Meghan Biro, she would say that the #TChat hashtag is a living metaphor for the social workplace — a virtual gathering place for purposeful knowledge sharing and co-creation. And this week, our purpose was two-fold:

1) To gather input for a new “Resources” section on this site;
2) To capture feedback that will help us map topics for future #TChat Events.

In other words, in the spirit of Dorie Clark’s recent “Reinventing You” 360 brand review advice, it was an ideal time for a reality check from our trusted community members. So, rather than inviting a special guest to share expertise, we tapped into our crowdsourcing roots, asking for your thoughts. And, of course, you blew our minds with thousands of comments and recommendations! (See highlights in the Storify slideshow below.)

But Wait, There’s More

Now we have a rich “starter” collection of reference ideas and guidance for #TChat planning. And unexpectedly, we’ve learned something else — how much our participants value the community relationships they’ve developed, over time. I think Steve Levy and Dave Ryan said it best:

If the medium is the message, then at #TChat, the connections are the content! Thanks to each of you for generously participating, so that together, we are better, indeed.

#TChat Week in Review: Sources of Insight

SAT 7/20

TimM_WhatInspiresYou #TChat

Watch Tim’s sneak peek Hangout now

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, introduced this week’s topic by sharing a slice of his own life in a great G+ Hangout video. See “Where Do You Find Ideas and Insight — and Why?

WED 7/24

#TChat Twitter: A diverse crowd of participants hopped on the Twitter stream, as social learning expert, Dr. Nancy Rubin led us through questions designed to capture “best of…” ideas, from books and blogs, to helpful tools and thought leaders who are active on social media. For a taste of the action, watch the slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: “Where Do You Find Ideas And Insight — And Why?”

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about your experience as a community member or your favorite “go to” resources? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat events, we’ll continue our crowdsourcing discussion with special guest Nick Kellet of Listly fame. Check for details in a preview post this weekend.

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The gears are always turning at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Where Do You Find Ideas and Insight? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for the #TChat Recap from this week? See this post: Lessons From a Free-Rand Learning Community.)

Our Best Source of Wisdom: You!

One of the most powerful benefits of professional communities like TalentCulture is the ability to tap into individual minds in real time, for the benefit of all. That’s a primary reason why I’m drawn to community management. It’s exhilarating and very rewarding to be part of a collaborative learning process. And this week at our #TChat Twitter forum, we’re taking that concept in a special direction.

Instead of asking guest experts to discuss their insights with us on #TChat Radio and Twitter, we’re asking YOU to share YOUR wisdom. Specifically, we want to know what sources of professional information and ideas are most beneficial to you…and why. (See our 6 key questions below.)

The guest moderator this week is our very own LinkedIn Group Manager, Dr. Nancy Rubin, Director of Online Learning/Social Media Technologies at Columbia University School of Continuing Education.

Let me kick-off the conversation with an example from my life. Earlier this year, I read a book that deeply resonated with me, as someone who’s life revolves around connections. The book is “Your Network Is Your Net Worth,” by Porter Gale. To understand more about why I recommend it, read a post from my blog, or watch my #TChat “sneak peek” video below…

Your Opinions Matter!

Every answer you share with us will help kick-start a new “Resources” section for And, of course, your feedback about #TChat topics will help us shape the community throughout the coming year.

So don’t be shy — we welcome your ideas this week, and every week!

#TChat Twitter: What Informs And Inspires You — And Why?

A Very Special Conversation: Wed, July 24 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

Join us on the #TChat stream, as we gather your ideas and recommendations, based on these 6 questions:

Q1:  What 1-2 “must read” books would you recommend to a business peer? Why?
Q2:  What 1-2 blogs are most indispensable to you, professionally? Why?
Q3:  What 1-2 socially active thought leaders are most influential in your life? Why?
Q4:  What are your 1-2 “go-to” tools for managing social connections or information? Why?
Q5:  What prior #TChat topics have helped you most? Why?
BONUS:  What topics would you like #TChat to explore in the future?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your recommendations — before, during and after the Wednesday event.

We’ll see you on the stream!

(Also This Week: Catch TalentCulture CEO, Meghan Biro at a special “Recruiting Insights” webinar with Achievers on Thursday July 25. Learn more…)