Reposted from the Connecting to Change the World blog with permission. I heard the African proverb again at a retreat held by a team building a national network: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I say “again” because we put those words right at the front of our book as a signal about what the point of connecting and collaborating is: to go far, because that’s what it takes to change the world in big ways. But how does a book help people to go together? We can have thousands of readers, but they are individuals, reading solo. Except, it turns out, when they’re not. In 2005 Malcolm Gladwell wrote “The Cellular Church,” an article about the phenomenal growth of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church and the record-breaking sales of Warren’s book, The Purpose-Driven Life. At the time, the book had sold 23 million copies, making it one of the best selling nonfiction hardcover books in American history. That was impressive, of course, but what Gladwell described next caught my attention: “The Purpose-Driven Life is meant to be read in groups… The book is supposed to be supplemented by a layer of discussion and reflection and debate… This is precisely how The Purpose-Driven Life has been used. It spread along the network that [Warren] has spent his career putting together, not from person to person, but from group to group.” How cool–not just as a way of generating more sales, but as a way of generating impact. I even bought The Purpose-Driven Life to learn more about what a book for group use looks like. My coauthors and I are in networks of hundreds of people who care about the “network way of working” and want to learn more about it and help others learn about it. And we’ve tapped those networks as part of a voluntary marketing force. Connecting. Good idea. Maybe it’ll start with this suggestion: “Form a group and read the book out loud.” Editor's note: Ask and ye shall receive: A reader's guide to using Connecting to Change the World on the ground is now available!