It’s hard to believe (in a good way), that it’s been almost two months since I started working at Actionable. These past two months have been a whirlwind of reading, writing, and editing—my three favorite things in the world. I’ve also spent a fair bit of time chatting with other (incredibly smart and interesting) readers and writers who are part of the Actionable community. It has been an exciting, and humbling, few months.
I recently started writing my own summaries of the business books that have crossed my desk. As the manager of the Actionable Book Club, it’s important for me to practice what I preach, to engage with the format, and to make my reading actionable. I’ve had the pleasure of summarizing OASIS Conversations by Ann Von Eron, and Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett. Though these two titles are radically different, the process of reading, identifying key themes, writing the summary, and implementing the big take-aways, were remarkably similar.
What I love about the format for the summaries is that it forces you to move beyond reading and into applying the lessons learned. Alyssa Burkus recently wrote about the overwhelming volume of content that we are all faced with on a daily basis—the non-stop emails, instant messages, social media feeds, etc. that are characteristic of the 21st century workplace. To keep ourselves from drowning in an ocean of half-skimmed articles and missed emails, it’s essential to implement strategies for applying what we read—for engaging more deeply, and holding ourselves accountable to our desires to become better at what we do. Writing summaries is a fantastic way to implement real change in our daily lives.
We are quickly approaching the publication of 1000 summaries—a Herculean feat that would be impossible without the hard work of Founder and President Chris Taylor, the original book club manager Andy Budgell who is enjoying a well-earned sabbatical (sending you well-wishes, high-fives, and hopes for safe, exciting travels Andy!), and the hundreds of readers and writers who have contributed summaries over the past eight years. Stay tuned for some exciting celebrations!
We will also be launching a new ABC recruitment campaign shortly, so if you’ve ever thought about making your reading more Actionable, keep your eyes open for details of how to join us in the new year.
As I continue to read and write summaries, as well as work with the members of the Actionable Book Club on their own summaries and professional development, I am humbled by the intelligence and expertise of the Actionable community.
At the heart of the Actionable universe is the iterative process of conversation, action, insight. Talk about it. Do something. Learn. Make it Actionable.
How are you making your reading more Actionable?