Want to Make a Difference at Work? Join the Club.

While digging into a good book isn’t for everyone, we have a group of avid readers at HomeAway who are making old-school cool again. The HomeAway Book Club gathers monthly to debate topics related to career growth, problems in the tech world, and resolving conflict with coworkers.

The Penn Field book club meeting to discuss Crucial Conversations.

The Penn Field book club meeting to discuss Crucial Conversations.

Leader and founder of the HomeAway Book Club, Dottie Tosan, has a passion for self-improvement and lively discussion. It started with casual book recommendations within our Slack channel and blossomed into something more. He proposed the idea at a 120 meeting – a forum designed to bring new ideas to the table – and he was given the green light. The book club is less than a year old and has already spread to three of our Austin offices, connecting employees who didn’t know each other through a shared experience, with plans to expand to our global offices in 2018.

Currently, the book club is mulling over Crucial Conversations, a New York Times Bestseller dedicated to preparing readers for high-stakes conversations and teaching techniques on how to be persuasive instead of abrasive.


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Q&A with Dottie

 

Q: What’s the book selection process like?

DT: Members are able to nominate books in line with any current or relevant topic the organization is experiencing – after the nomination, all books are voted upon (majority win scenario).

 

Q: Is the book club made up of members predominantly from one team?

DT: The book club brings together members from several cross-functional departments in the organization, we presently have three clubs.

 

Q: What are the future plans for the book club?

DT: The book club was built on a “test and learn” approach – now we have been able to figure out what is and isn’t working, so we are shifting gears to a kaizen philosophy in order to scale. We are bringing our teams from London and Gurgaon on stream in January and this will enable us to leverage cross-cultural learning. We’re also hoping to get all our global offices to attend remotely – and possibly expand to Expedia as well. Longer term, we are hoping to see employees’ careers and character develop and evolve respectively. My personal aim is to make the book club prominent enough that it attracts authors to come speak.

 

Q: What’s been your biggest takeaway from the book club so far?

DT: My biggest takeaway so far is nothing is impossible. We have built a club that brings together cross-functional employees and leverages video conferencing – this was unthought of during the formative stages of the club, but with the help of my coworkers, we made it happen.  As we scale globally, I am constantly reminded of one of my personal mantras “Never consider yourself too small to make a positive global difference.”

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Are you a HomeAway employee interested in joining the book club? You can find more information on the wiki or join the book club Slack channel.

Want to join Team HomeAway or check out other cool perks we offer? Visit our careers page!

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