Transforming How You Think

Reading for Transformation Experiences Book Circle

Reading for Transformation Experiences offers the supportive and challenging ‘space’ required for becoming a better thinker and for constructing the ‘well-made self’ we need to be for an increasingly complex and uncertain world.

Many people today are living with feelings of confusion, frustration, and anxiety about the world in which they operate – they are finding themselves in over their heads.

Relating well to events and making sense of our lives is becoming pervasively difficult and pose daily problems which, not properly addressed by us, can have serious consequences for our well-being.

Many people are also finding life in organisations increasingly problematic as the world becomes more complex and uncertain and are looking for ways to make sense of what is happening for them.

Transformative Thinking is the answer, and this demand requires us to grow our minds to face the more complex and uncertain world in which we live and work.

TKC Book Circle uses specifically selected and sequenced thought-provoking books providing ‘transformational experiences’ to demonstrate our method for sustainably enlarging our minds and progressing whole person development.

Our pioneering approach to transformation of how we think is based on the evidence of frontier research about development in adulthood and is designed to provide the conditions of transformational experiences through which we can grow our minds as part of how we grow ourselves.

What Is TKC Book Circle?

Reading for Transformation Experiences shows how, by using the power of reading, group dialogues, and introspection with critical reflection to explore how we think and how we judge, we can continue our whole person development throughout all our adulthood.

This contrasts with the ‘informational downloading’ approach of the quick-fix, ‘airport style’, ‘motivational profiles’, and other formulaic type reading which cannot deliver lasting benefits.

Participants report as one of the benefits of our approach that exposure to transformational reading experiences has opened up new lines of reading, beyond their habitual and professional fare, and prepared them to add and enjoy this welcome dimension to how they are living and working.

Alumni of various sessions have continued with their own developmental reading groups and The Keynes Centre is available to provide facilities and other support for these initiatives.

Who would benefit?

We all become stuck at some stage of our development and need a way to become unstuck. A common misunderstanding is that Adult Mind Development stops at 18 or 24, this is not the case. Development can be continued throughout adulthood if we choose.

You may be feeling some unease about where you are currently operating from and how you are thinking.

You are sensing the need for something different or something more for moving on.

You are asking yourself questions such as:

  • Are my old ways of seeing things getting in my way?
  • Do I feel that my opinions are stale and outdated?
  • Do I inquire any more or am I ‘full of answers’?
  • Am I in need of a fresh approach in place of how I currently think?
  • Do I want an environment where I can reignite my imagination?

Who Are Participants?

People have been attracted to this unique venture for a wide variety of reasons, including for personal professional development in private, social, and public activities.

They have joined this innovative programme from all walks and stages of adult life and with diverse interests from the personal to the professional and for work and leisure.

Participants have come from the business, public, and social-voluntary sectors of society with the desire for thinking afresh about the issues they encounter daily.

They have come from a wide range of professions, including engineers, scientists, military commanders, teachers, nurses, doctors, veterinarians, farmers, self-employed, CEOs and other senior executives, and people aspiring to advancement in various types of organisations.

Participants to date have ranged geographically from Dublin, Wicklow, Offaly, Kildare, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Kerry, Limerick, and Cork.

How Does TKC Book Circle Work?

Transformational experiences are unique opportunities to search for such insights about ourselves and cannot be taught or learned in the sense of ‘informational downloading’ usually involved in ‘development programmes’.

Our Method utilizes four types of dialogue with the authors, with yourself through reflection, with your reading partner, and with other participants in monthly, three-hour, group sessions over eight months.

The small round-table format providing opportunity for participation and enables participants to harness the energy of shared reading and good conversation to stimulate renewal of mind.

A key aspect of our philosophy is to equip participants for life beyond TKC Book Circle – to show how minds can continue to grow themselves over adulthood – to be independent-minded.

The attractiveness and success of this unique evening TKC Book Circle, now in its 6th session, is conveyed by a selection of testimonials below.

What Outcomes Can Be Expected?

One of the gifts of our world is the plurality of people. A core value of TKC Book Circle is respecting and encouraging the diversity of viewpoints needed for a better world. Working with diverse opinions is also seen as a higher stage of development. Outcomes therefore are as varied as the participants, because they are what participants make of it for themselves, and include:

  • Enhancing current ways of understanding where I currently operate from and my impact on others
  • Finding new wellsprings for thinking through issues more deeply
  • Attending with awareness to how to think and relate to others
  • Engaging with fresh ideas and mental stimulation
  • Participating and contributing in good conversations
  • Enhancing power of judgement to form sustainable, well-grounded opinions
  • Promoting innovative and enlightened organisational cultures
  • Shaping a new way of thinking about leadership for oneself, organisations, and society

Testimonials attest to the variety and individuality of outcomes.

Alumni Experience Testimonials

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

Is TKC Book Circle CPD Eligible?

Reading for Transformation Experiences is accredited by UCC for professional training purposes and so is acceptable to a wide range of professional institutions for their Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Directed to ‘transformative thinking’, rather than ‘information downloading’, Reading for Transformation Experiences introduces a new type of training to bring real change by providing the foundation to sustain whole-person development.

Participants can use TKC Book Circle for training how to think better about the question of ‘leadership’ in general and ‘leadership’ in their organisations in particular as well as to refresh developing themselves and renew their thinking for their leadership in their organisations

By working at a deeper level of personal development than what can done in ‘leadership’ development programmes, workshops, and events, these developmental experiences offer a targeted approach to the development of ‘Leadership Capability’ which accelerates movement towards ‘The Leadership Mind’.


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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

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 2020/2021

TBD – Orientation
TBD – Book 1
TBD – Book 2
TBD – Book 3
TBD – Book 4
TBD – Book 5
TBD – Book 6
TBD -Envoi

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

COST – €495

Full participation expected.

Places are limited to ensure optimal environment for participants. 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