Book Circles


Make them relevant: make them fun

Stepping Up has been written in a way that can help you drive change in your organisation or community. It is for people in business or society who are keen to advance conversations about our cultures and how we can adapt them to improve our effectiveness and performance – commercially and socially – in Australia and across Asia.

Book circles are a great way to help people quickly discover what's relevant to them in a book under discussion. Book circles can also be fun when they have a clear purpose, defined roles and achievable outcomes.

Circle Purpose

The purpose of your book circles might include:

  • examine the thesis and themes (Chapters 1-2)
  • learn from the author's journey discovering diversity (Chapter 3)
  • debate the research findings and conclusions presented (Chapters 4-7)
  • review the relevance and application of the change frameworks put forward (Chapters 8-11) and identify which suggestions and solutions fit your own issues
  • establish a plan for adopting and implementing the changes you think are appropriate and decide who will lead (Chapter 12)   

Having the opportunity to review a book with a peer group speeds up the learning. In a group, broader perspectives are brought to bear on the key findings and arguments presented and the recommendations put forward.

Stepping Up is packed full of a broad range of topics so you can use your book circles to rank the order of importance that each has for you. Plan your meetings well to ensure you keep focused, record discussions and tag responsibilities for individual members to follow up.

Circle Roles

  • Strategy Director – identifies which of the organisation's strategies are most influenced by each chapter and how
  • Discussion Director – sets the questions to be answered in each session (in advance) and check that answers are provided
  • Selection Director – finds and reads the most interesting passages to be considered by members
  • Concept Director – identifies key concepts that have relevance to your own situation and proposes how to apply them
  • Connector Director – looks for connection between the message of each chapter and your own issues and challenges
  • Summary Director – writes up 2-3 paragraphs detailing key discussion points and decisions taken at each meeting.

Roles can be rotated every few weeks so that every member gets a variety of roles throughout the process.

Circle Outcomes

The outcomes will depend on the time you apply to the reading and discussion. Here are some expectations that you could set for your book circles to ensure a focused effort :

  • Identify which of the issues (outlined in Chapters 4 – 7) are limiting diversity in and growth of your organisation or community
  • Draw up your own Culture Iceberg and Culture Circuit, identify the areas requiring attention and plan your way forward using these frameworks as a guide
  • Identify which culture 'blind spots' exist in your organisation and how you will address them
  • Nominate 3 ways in which you can help to lead culture change in society that would reinforce and support the culture changes you seek in your organisation
  • Specify what 'stepping up' will look like in your organisation and incentivise the behaviours
  • Prepare a blog for the Stepping Up website to share your Book Circle experiences to help others generate good outcomes

Gook luck with your book circles.


Remember, $1 for every book sold goes to