Why We Decided to Start a Book Club

At Ncontracts, the two core values of Learning and Teamwork are something we return to on a daily basis. It’s a lens that the leadership team looks at all of the decisions for the Product department through.

In 2019, we took a look internally at the current programs we had in place, both formal and informal, what initiatives support those core values. The first one that everyone unanimously gravitated towards was “Book Club”. 

 

What It Used to Look Like

Sitting at the intersection of learning and sharing understanding as a team, there have been informal Book Club activities. Typically, someone reads a book that speaks to the outcomes Ncontracts is looking to drive as a SaaS company, they tell everyone about it, books get read and passed around, and eventually there’s a roundtable about everyone’s takeaways.

 

What it Looks Like Now

After getting serious about Book Club, we’ve had a few sessions open to the entire department and a few asynchronously held amongst the individual teams. The design team has been meeting on a quarterly cadence. The development team has been meeting 3 times a year. The department-wide meetings have been happening twice a year.

Whenever we have read a book, we’ve try to take notes about quotes, tease out specific items that we think will be applicable to Ncontracts, and drive a group-based discussion around why something could (or couldn’t) be useful or interesting to try.

 

Future of Book Club

Driving team education has been huge for personal and departmental growth. For such a low pricepoint, we’re able to share a large slice of knowledge and use a common vocabulary when talking about methodologies, development styles, or processes. We’re actively trialling book club platforms as well as incentives to get individuals reading even more frequently and sharing what they read with the team.

The future looks bright for the Book Club!