Book and Learning Circles

Employee and Organization Development hosts book and learning circles throughout the year which are open to all Cal Poly employees. Book and learning circles are great opportunities to engage with colleagues in thoughtful discussion around common themes of interest.

Book Circles involve discussing a book over three sessions. Participants receive a complimentary copy of the selected book with the expectation that they will engage in all discussion sessions. Learning Circles involve watching a video or reading an article, and participating in a discussion during a single session. Please join us for one, or more, of these enriching conversations!

The Great Migration and the power of a single decision [Learning Circle]

By Isabel Wilkerson

Sometimes, a single decision can change the course of history. Join journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson as she tells the story of the Great Migration, the outpouring of six million African Americans from the Jim Crow South to cities in the North and West between World War I and the 1970s. This was the first time in American history that the lowest caste people signaled they had options and were willing to take them -- and the first time they had a chance to choose for themselves what they would do with their innate talents. Join us as we watch this engaging telling of the story following by a meaningful exchange of reactions and perspectives.

  • Facilitator: Lanaya Gaberel, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Date: 10:00am – 11:00am on July 8
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

Communicating Values [Learning Circle]

By Mory Fontanez

Common values are the foundation of successful relationships and successful businesses. A company’s values should be the driver of every action, not just a sign on the wall. Learning how to effectively communicate your values can lead to stronger, better-performing teams that are more tightly aligned with company goals. In this course, instructor Mory Fontanez describes how to identify and communicate individual, team, and organizational values. Using real-world examples and scenarios, Mory explains how to identify personal and professional values for yourself and your team and establish company-wide values, which you can use to connect with your customers.

  • Facilitator: Andrea King, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Date: 11:30am – 1:00pm on July 20
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

The Happy Secret to Better Work [Learning Circle]

By Shawn Achor

We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards? In this fast-moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive.

  • Facilitator: Li Guan, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Date: 12:00pm – 1:00pm on July 22
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

Ego is the Enemy [Book Circle]

By Ryan Holiday

Many of us insist the main impediment to a full, successful life is the outside world. In fact, the most common enemy lies within: our ego. Early in our careers, it impedes learning and the cultivation of talent. With success, it can blind us to our faults and sow future problems. In failure, it magnifies each blow and makes recovery more difficult. At every stage, ego holds us back.

Ego Is the Enemy draws on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to his-tory. In an era that glorifies social media, reality TV, and other forms of shameless self-promotion, the battle against ego must be fought on many fronts. Armed with the lessons in this book, as Holiday writes, “you will be less invested in the story you tell about your own specialness, and as a result, you will be liberated to accomplish the world-changing work you’ve set out to achieve.”

How to Access the Book: Upon registration close, a complimentary Amazon Kindle copy of this eBook will be emailed to participants.

  • Facilitator: Andrea King, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Date: 12:00 pm – 1:00pm on July 27, August 3, August 10, and August 17
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents [Book Circle]

By Isabel Wilkerson

In the book Caste, author Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Join us as we read and discuss this eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.

How to Access the Book: Upon registration close, a complimentary Amazon Kindle copy of this eBook will be emailed to participants.

  • Facilitator: Lanaya Gaberel, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Date: 1:00pm – 2:00pm on August 3, August 10, August 17, and August 24
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life [Book Circle]

By Shawn Achor

New York Times bestselling author Shawn Achor reveals how rewiring our brain for happiness helps us achieve more in our careers and our relationships and as students, leaders, and parents.

Drawing on his original research—including one of the largest studies of happiness ever conducted—and work in boardrooms and classrooms across forty-two countries, Achor shows us how to rewire our brains for positivity and optimism to reap the happiness advantage in our lives, our careers, and even our health.

How to Access the Book: Upon registration close, a complimentary Amazon Kindle copy of this eBook will be emailed to participants.

  • Facilitator: Li Guan, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Date: 12:00pm – 1:00pm on August 12, August 19, and August 26
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) also hosts book circles each quarter and you can learn more about their offerings by selecting “Book Circles” on their Programs and Services webpage at: https://ctlt.calpoly.edu/programs-services.