The problem with reading books.

Photo by Erin Kelly

Photo by Erin Kelly

Putting aside any entertainment value, business books are read for one reason; to learn something new and then apply that new learning. In other words, your behaviour changes based on what you’ve just read.

The problem is, that doesn’t often happen.

By the end of a business book, most people have forgotten the dozens of tangible pieces of advice. They may have a sense of the overall proposition/ philosophy, but the suggested application of it is lost; even if they’ve gone mad with a highlighter. Give it a month and they struggle to recall much of anything about the book.

The reader is relying on the strength and resilience of their memory. When that person gets back to work, operating within existing systems and processes, under time pressure and stress, old habits kick back in and it’s almost as if the book was never read.

If you read an amazing business book, and you want to change your behaviour, you need to pull out the key tangible thoughts and recommendations, and build them into the processes and systems you work within. Make them impossible to forget, by not having to remember them at all.