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Corporate Training & Development

Books Every Learning & Development Executive Should Read

POSTED 12/16/2015
By Lee Bob Black

Every month, there’s a new list of books executives “must” read.

Magazines such as CIO, Entrepreneur, and Inc inform leaders of what books they can’t possibly miss out on. Time magazine came out with a list of books “every leader should read,” then two months later came out with a completely new one.
There are even lists of books that every fill-in-the-job-title should read — CEOs, CIOs, marketers, recruiters. But what about learning and development executives? We couldn’t find one list of books specifically for L&D professionals, so we compiled our own.

Revolutionize Learning and Development  

Revolutionize Learning and Development by  Clark N Quinn

Author: Clark N Quinn
Full title: Revolutionize Learning and Development: Performance and Innovation Strategy for the Information Age
Abridged description: Learning and development professions must realize that old methods are no longer relevant or don’t work in today’s tech-savvy world. In this book, you’ll learn practical steps for rethinking, redesigning, and reestablishing learning delivery, including:

  • Avoiding the pitfalls of outdated learning solutions.
  • Seeing what happens when managers and practitioners change strategy, leadership, and technology

The Power of Habit

The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Author: Charles Duhigg
Full title: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Abridged description: Business re\/norter Charles Duhigg takes us to the edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Learn why some people and companies struggle to change while others seem to remake themselves overnight. Discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Michael Phelps, Howard Schultz, and Martin Luther King, Jr. See how implementing so-called keystone habits can mean the difference between failure and success.

The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning

Six Discipline of Breakthrough Learning  by Calhoun W. Wick, Andrew McK. Jefferson, Roy V.H. Pollock

Authors: Calhoun W. Wick, Andrew McK. Jefferson, Roy V.H. Pollock, Richard D. Flanagan, Kevin D. Wilde
Full title: The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training and Development Into Business Results
Abridged description: This book presents an approach to accelerate the transfer and application of corporate learning. It provides a roadmap and tools for optimizing the impact of leadership and management training, sales, quality, performance improvement, and development programs. It includes many real-life examples from successful companies on the cutting edge of results-driven educational performance.

Employee Development on a Shoestring

Employee Development On A Shoestring  by Halelly Azulay

Author: Halelly Azulay
Abridged description: This book provides managers with the tools and techniques to develop their team members cost-effectively using organic opportunities found outside the traditional classroom setting. It provides employee development methods, including:

  • Steps for goal-setting
  • Templates, worksheets, and checklists
  • Customization based on each employee’s strengths, learning style, and needs
  • Case-studies and tips for overcoming challenges

Telling Ain’t Training

Telling Ain't Training by Harold D. Stolovitch, Erica Keeps

Authors: Harold D. Stolovitch, Erica Keeps
Full title: Telling Ain’t Training: Updated, Expanded, Enhanced
Abridged description: This book includes:

  • Try-it-yourself exercises that teach trainers how to avoid telling in favor of more interactive training.
  • Myth-busting research
  • Methods for creating learner-centered training sessions
  • Ways to retrofit your existing training programs
  • Explanations of the basic principles of adult learning

Sections in this book include:

  • The Human Learner — What Research Tells Us
  • What You Must Know To Be a Better Trainer
  • Applying What You Have Learned — Making Learning Research Work
  • Training-Learning with Technology and Beyond

Designing the Smart Organization

Designing the Smart Organization by Roland Deiser

Author: Roland Deiser
Full title: Designing the Smart Organization: How Breakthrough Corporate Learning Initiatives Drive Strategic Change and Innovation
Abridged description: This book links strategy, organizational design, and learning. It includes case studies from Siemens, BASF, EADS, Novartis, and more. These studies reveal how corporations are using dynamic corporate learning approaches to drive innovation, enhance cultural values, master post-merger integration, transform business models, enhance leadership culture, and build technological expertise.

Improving Performance

Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space in the Organization Chart by Geary A. Rummler, Alan P. Brache

Authors: Geary A. Rummler, Alan P. Brache
Full title: Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space in the Organization Chart
Abridged description: With over 100,000 copies sold worldwide, this book helped launch the process improvement revolution. In this book, the authors show how they implemented their performance improvement methodology in over 250 projects with clients such as Hewlett-Packard, 3M, Shell Oil, and Citibank.
Links: View this book on Amazon, Google Books, and Wiley

The Fifth Discipline

The Fifth Discipline by Peter M. Senge

Author: Peter M. Senge
Full title: The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
Abridged description: The only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. In this book, learn how to:

  • Rid your company of the learning “disabilities” that threaten productivity and success
  • Adopt the strategies of a learning organization
  • Reignite the spark of genuine learning driven by people focused on what truly matters to them
  • Bridge teamwork into macro-creativity
  • End the struggle between work and personal time
Links: View this book on Amazon, Google Books, and Goodreads

Analyzing Performance Problems

Analyze Performance Problems: Or, You Really Oughta Wanna by Robert F. Mager, Peter Pipe

Authors: Robert F. Mager, Peter Pipe
Full title: Analyzing Performance Problems: Or, You Really Oughta Wanna
Abridged description: This book provides steps for solving performance problems. Instead of guessing at solutions that won’t work, save time, money, and frustration by finding the true cause of the problem and identifying the best way to solve it. Sections in this book include:

  • They’re Not Doing What they Should Be Doing
  • Explore Fast Fixes
  • Are the Consequences Right Side Up?
  • Are There Other Causes?
  • Which Solutions are Best?

(Editor’s note: book descriptions were abridged from publisher descriptions)

Jagged Edge Media JAcom Consultants