Executive Book Club
“Yet surely it would be better, or rather necessary to refute, in defence of truth, even views to which one is attached.”
In the seventeenth century Rene Descartes wrote that, “The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries”. The Executive Book Club has been created to allow forward-thinking business executives to enjoy profound conversations with the finest business, scientific and creative minds of both past and present, curated and facilitated by Simon Robinson, a British business thinker and consultant. It will provide an exclusive and unprecedented opportunity to explore some of the most potent books relating to business, leadership, innovation and creativity, developing advanced thinking, critical analysis and creativity from an international perspective.
The Executive Book Club will meet six times a year, with each meeting focusing on one book from a list curated by Simon Robinson. All books will be in English, and will include both best-selling classics as well as less-well known books which provide important insights and which have the ability to develop and transform the mode of thinking.
All books and conversation will be in English. The discussions will provide an opportunity to develop confidence in using advanced business vocabulary and concepts and developing cross-cultural conversational skills in a safe environment.
Prior to each meeting, participants will be given the book title to be read over the following two months. Each book will be accompanied by a synopsis written by Simon Robinson. This will provide reading notes in terms of the background of the book and author, which ideas should be paid attention to, and also which sections must be read if time constraints do not permit a full reading.
During each meeting the club will discuss one specific book. The book will be introduced by Simon, who will provide background on the author and the context in which the book was written. Simon will read key passages for discussion, providing his own reading and interpretation. The exploration of the book will be in the form of constructive dialogue, where members discuss their own reactions and insights from the book, allowing the book to be critiqued as a profound level. Simon will also be providing suggested further readings around the topic, as well as providing practical examples of how the thinking from the book has been applied in leadership and innovation contexts.
One of the most frequent criticisms of many popular business books is that while they would make an interesting article in a business journal, the authors do not have enough material for an entire book, hence the criticism of repetition, padding and superficiality. Another criticism of business books which propose new theories is one of retrofitting theory to prior success stories. These are books which often are unable to prove the true cause of success, and which did not include control groups in the development of their theories. These business books will not form a part of the book club.
The books selected by Simon Robinson have been carefully chosen for their depth of insights, impact on global business thinking, and for being genuinely ground-breaking in their fields. The library will also occasionally include titles which are little-known or not-often read, but which offer new and alternative perspectives to business-as-usual.