Reading for Transformation Book Circle


Our Reading for Change Book Circle offers a challenging and supportive space for thinking afresh about ‘Leadership’ and growing your Capability for Insight.

The programme takes an indirect approach to exploring ‘Leadership’ so as to work at a deeper level than what is commonly found in most ‘Leadership’ Programmes.

Instead of business best-sellers, quick-fix formulas, and ‘leaders’ biographies, you will read six specially selected, short, thought-provoking books which will introduce effective ideas for levering change in your Leadership Thinking.

Over eight months you will engage in three types of dialogue: with the authors, with yourself (through journaling), and with other participants in monthly three-hour facilitated sessions.

The small round-table format will enable you to harness the power of shared readings and stimulating conversations to enhance your Personal Professional Development.

Who would benefit?


  • Seeking to refresh How to Think about ‘Leadership’ for themselves – not be told What to Think
  • Looking for fresh ideas, mental stimulation, and inspiration from world-class thinkers
  • Seeking to participate in high quality conversations, and open to exploring and engaging in productive dialogues


  • Interested in creating Well-Constructed Minds for strategic thinking and team building
  • Seeking to promote innovative, enlightened, and empowering organisational cultures
  • Looking for an innovative approach to Leadership Development for their high potentials


By joining this programme, participants will:

  • Develop new ways of understanding their modes of operation and impact on others
  • Take time to attend to themselves and to how they think
  • Gain a new way of thinking about Leadership
  • Engage with fresh ideas and mental stimulation from world-class thinkers
  • Experience high quality conversations
  • Enhance their power of judging and forming well-grounded opinions
  • Become better capable of promoting innovative and enlightened organisational cultures

Leadership Alumni Experiences

It was something that was life changing.

John MacCarthy Landowner Technical Lead, Ervia

This is for any kind of person who is trying to grow, personally or professionally and in that way trying to become a better person or trying to understand the world a little bit better.

Tallyne Vasconcelos Junior Automation Engineer, Horizon Control Group

If you are looking for answers, you will be in trouble, but if you are looking for a method or an approach, well, that’s key.

Brian Twohig Operations Manager, Dell

I hadn’t been in a stimulating environment like that for a while. It made me more assertive and I question what people tell me more.

Mary O’Neill Secondary School Teacher

I look forward to taking many of the ideas and tools introduced and applying them to my leadership and thought capabilities.

Ian Dempsey Prescience Management & Business Development

I’ve taken away the importance of stopping to think before taking action, even when doing something that is a ‘no-brainer’.

John Ryan Director of Customer Support, CoreHR

Professor Fanning’s insights into leadership made me question how I was functioning in my everyday life and how I could improve.

Liz Dunphy Journalist

Finding the Book Club was perfect timing. I was ready to learn more but I didn’t want to go back to formal exam-based learning.

Maureen Synnott Solicitor, Dublin City Council

I knew going into it, I wouldn’t be disappointed. What better way to learn than through the experiences of others?

Michelle Jones Curran Pharmacist, Axis Healthcare Consulting
Read more


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Professor Connell Fanning


Professor Connell Fanning is a business economist with a special interest in the development and application of ideas and the role and use of theories in business reasoning. He was Professor of Economics and Head of the School of Economics for 30 years at University College Cork (UCC). Connell has wide teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and in professional, executive and continuing education programmes.

He also has strong links with the business and external community. He has undertaken consultancy projects for businesses and public agencies, including the European Commission, has contributed to local and national Print, T.V. and Radio media on economic affairs, and has made presentations to a large range of public forums, conferences and seminars. He has published extensively on various themes, including John Maynard Keynes’ macroeconomic and business theory, local entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial renewal, worker management and labour-directed firms, Porter’s clusters theory, nurturing indigenous entrepreneurship and Penrose’s theory of organic growth of the firm.

Connell holds Primary and Masters degrees in Economics from University College Cork, and Masters and Ph.D. degree in Economics from Cornell University.


T:021 4658604

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Con Hurley

Writer and Life Coach

Con Hurley is a writer and life coach. In 2009 he published his first book on Life Planning and followed with two biographies.

The first book of his autobiography is with the editor and his current project is titled ‘What’s My Legacy?’

Over the past 18 years, he has lectured and facilitated on two MBA courses and other courses on the topics of life planning, flourishing, happiness, effective decision making and journaling.


T: 021 4658606

Dr. Assumpta O’Kane

Occupational Psychologist

Assumpta is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist (COccPsychol.).

She coaches, facilitates and advises on leadership and organisational development. She works with individuals and teams to guide the acceleration of their capabilities to meet the opportunities and challenges of modern organisational life. She set up her own practice in 2009 to work with both large corporations and SME’s on their leadership and organisational development.

Her earlier career was as Head of HR & Organisational Development in Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals from 1998-2009; Price Waterhouse Coopers, London and Dublin as a HR Consultant from 1993-1998, and with BDO Binder Hamlyn, London in Graduate Recruitment and HR management 1989-1993. She holds a primary degree from NUI Galway in Pure and Applied Psychology; a Masters in Occupational Psychology from Queen’s University Belfast and a DBA Business Economics from University College Cork.


T: 021 4658606


DATES 2019/2020

30 September 2019 – Orientation
4 November 2019 – Book 1
25 November 2019 – Book 2
27 January 2020 – Book 3
24 February 2020 – Book 4
30 March 2020 – Book 5
27 April 2020 – Book 6
25 May 2020 -Envoi

TIME – 6-9pm. VENUE – 13 South Mall, Cork

COST – €495

Full participation expected.

Places are limited to ensure optimal environment for participants to engage in dialogue. Early booking is advisable.

Talk to Us

Want to know if this programme is right for you or your organisation?

We’d love to hear from you.

Phone: 021 4658604 | 05 | 06

You may be eligible for CPD or other recognition for professional standards upkeeping. Contact UCC’s CPD Office for more information.

Visit our Exclusive Library for Book Club Participants.