Experience Readers

Experience Readers is a virtual book club for people who work in customer and employee experience. We have a live book discussion once a month (by webinar) and ongoing conversations between sessions in a private LinkedIn group. The books we read cover a range of topics like culture change, leadership, customer-centricity, design, and emotion - whatever members want to learn about. The goal is for each Experience Reader to get three things from the group: 1) new ideas for how to get results in your organization, 2) a broader perspective on people and business, and 3) relationships with like-minded professionals.



October 11, 2019

12:00 pm

Length: 357 pages

Length: 357 pages


Book #6: “Misbehaving” by Richard Thaler

Economics is the study of how people make decisions, but for years economists didn’t study real people. They focused on a mythical, 100% rational creature called “homo economus.” Richard Thaler spent decades advocating for a more realistic approach known as “behavioral economics.” Misbehaving chronicles his fight to infuse psychology into economics so we can predict how actual humans , irrational as we may be, think and act during economic interactions. In writing this history, Thaler also created a clear, concise overview of the behavioral science findings every CX and EX professional should know. In this session, we’ll explore questions like:

  • What are those key principles and why are they so important in experience management?

  • How does the traditional economic view show up in the way companies make decisions now?

  • What can we learn from Thaler’s experience to strengthen the case for including emotion in CX measurement and design?

November 8, 2019

12:00 pm ET


As 2019 draws to a close, we’ll gather one last time to reflect on the first year of our book club: favorite moments, lessons learned, and themes that were universal across multiple books. Then we’ll ask for your input on what to read in 2020. Some members missed past sessions, so we’ll start with a recap of the 6 books we will have read in 2019:

If you haven’t read or finished one of them, now’s the time! (Members can can access a recording of past discussions on the (private) LinkedIn group.)

Have a book you think the group should read?

Email vbc@experienceenterprises.com. Please include the book’s title, author, and how you think it relates to the realm of experience management. Thanks in advance for contributing to the conversation!





Length: 288 pages (audio book not available)

Length: 288 pages (audio book not available)


Book #1: “Can You Hear Me? How To Connect With People In A Virtual World” by Nick Morgan

Most business interactions are virtual these days, via phone, computer, or mobile device. We think these channels are less expensive, but are they really? In this book, renowned communications expert Nick Morgan makes a compelling case for why they’re not. There’s a price for arms-length interaction that’s paid in currencies like misunderstanding, miscommunication, and mistrust.

In this session we’ll explore the implications of Nick’s research for customer and employee experience leaders and the programs we run. We’ll explore questions like:

  • Which of our pressing culture problems stem from the limits of virtual communication?

  • What can we do differently to design and deliver more effective virtual experiences?

  • How can we factor the hidden cost of virtual experience into future business cases?

The session will start with a quick summary of the book for those who need a refresher. Next, we’ll share the most interesting points and the things people are still skeptical about. We’ll discuss the implications this research has on the way people have been approaching experience management and what they might want to do differently. If you’ve used the principles from the book in your company we’ll ask you to share what you did, why, and how it worked out. We’ll also tackle any questions the book sparked in your mind. (Submit questions ahead of time on the Experience Readers LinkedIn thread or wait for the live meeting).

Length: 266 pages, ~7.5 hours by audio book

Length: 266 pages, ~7.5 hours by audio book


Book #2: “Dying For A Paycheck” by Jeffrey Pfeffer

Everyone has stress, but for some people their jobs are slowly, silently killing them. In this book, Dr. Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford University puts hard data to the financial, health, and social cost of toxic management. Our discussion will focus on five of the 10 dangerous management practices in the book, the ones most likely to fall under an employee experience program. They are:

  • Unrealistic hours and job demands

  • Trouble balancing work and family

  • Having low control over your job

  • Lacking social support at work

  • Working in a (seemingly) unfair environment

Like all our sessions, we’ll start with a summary of the book, then ask you to share. What were the most interesting, maybe alarming, statistics in the book? What ah-ha moments did you have reading it? We’ll talk about how to use this research to make a stronger business case for employee experience and how the work people are already doing can help in each of these areas.


Book #3: “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown

Customer experience leaders say the biggest barrier to change in their organization is the pull of competing priorities. This book is about how to solve that problem through what the author calls “the disciplined pursuit of less.” It’s an approach to prioritization that separates the “critical few” projects or tasks from the “trivial many.” The bar for what’s truly critical, McKeown argues, should be much higher than it is today.

The book is primarily about personal development, how we can work smarter with less stress. But our discussion will also cover how the ideas of Essentialistm apply in a corporate setting, with questions like:

  • What would an Essentialist budgeting process look like?

  • How do you deal with people trying to preserve their pet projects?

  • Can you keep such a narrow focus and still respond to market changes?

Length: 256 pages    (~7.5 hours by audio book)

Length: 256 pages

(~7.5 hours by audio book)


Book #4: We Are Market Basket” by Daniel Korschun & Grant Welker

How many CEOs can say their employees would go on strike for six weeks, forgoing much-needed paychecks, to KEEP them at the company's helm? Arthur T. Demoulas can. 

In this session, we'll discuss his story as told in the book "We Are Market Basket". It chronicles the 2014 rise, fall, and redemption of Demoulas's company, Market Basket - a popular New England supermarket chain. The long-time CEO, known as "Artie T", was ousted by his cousins after a long, protracted battle for company ownership. All 25,000 of the chain's workers and managers walked off the job in protest. They organized rallies in support of their beloved boss, and customers eagerly joined the fight. Hundreds, many on tight budgets already, boycotted Market Basket even though it meant spending more on groceries in the short term. The strike's economic impact got so big politicians were forced to take sides, and eventually the Market Basket board of directors were forced to restore Artie T as CEO.

  • What is it about the way Arthur T. Demoulas ran Market Basket that provoked such strong loyalty? 

  • How does a company like Market Basket that is spread across three states maintain a culture that makes everyone - from cashier to customer - feel like family? 

  • Can other companies become an industry leader by prioritizing stakeholders over shareholders the way Market Basket does?


Length: 320 pages (~6.5 hours listening time as audio book)


Book #5: The Power of Moments” by Chip and Dan Heath

To win customers in today’s high-stakes environment, you need to deliver an experience that wows. In “The Power of Moments”, the Heath brothers explain the four things that make something a defining moment in our lives: elevation, insight, pride, and connection. They also offer tips on how to intentionally design memorable moments into your organization’s customers and employee experience.

In this session, we’ll talk through the concepts behind defining moments and answer questions like:

  • What’s the reason we remember the best or worst moment of an experience, as well as the last moment, and forget the rest?

  • Do you agree with the statement “we feel most comfortable when things are certain, but we feel most alive when they’re not?”

  • Why are our most cherished memories clustered into a brief period during our youth? What implications does this have for organizations looking to build life-long relationships with customers?

Disclosure: We participate in the Amazon Affiliate program which means we may receive a small referral fee if you use our links to purchase a book.