Four Columns values professional development, and what screams professional development more than a book club? When the discussion of starting a book club began, our main goal was to avoid the stereotypical “boring” book club. Company book clubs are often thought to be disengaging and a waste of time. The first step to avoid an uneventful book club was to pick a book that people would actually want to read. I know; it sounds simple, but it’s easier said than done.
At Four Columns, we focus on a theme that’s applicable to professional growth and client work each quarter. The highlighted theme for Quarter 1 was Innovation and Thinking Outside the Box. We really pushed to start the year off with fresh ideas and creative conversations. To go along with the theme, our team chose to read Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant. In Originals, Grant tells stories about both people and ideas that have pushed the envelope. He advocates for going against the grain and becoming original through the process.
Our first book club meeting was a huge success; our staff was very engaged and inspired by the discussion. One tip that stood out to us was Grant’s idea of “strategic procrastination.” In Originals, Grant wrote about an experiment where students that procrastinate were able to deliver proposals that were 28% more creative. At first, our team was thrown by the idea that procrastination could be beneficial. As we explored the topic, we realized that the increased creativity resulted not from the procrastination itself but from the active thinking the procrastination necessitated. We were able to think of successful client campaigns that resulted from our team taking the time to think and research thoughtfully before immediately landing on an end goal. Grant explained to readers that by taking a break after working on an idea you can allow room for better options to surface versus becoming fixated on one angle.
Four Columns’ book club resulted in engaging conversation and notable takeaways because our company was the focus from the start. We chose a theme relevant to Four Columns then selected a book that would best compliment it. By doing that, our team had a more personal experience and fostered innovative ideas. We’re excited to apply the ideas that we learn in Originals to our campaigns and continue to think outside the box for our clients!