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Home / Resources / 7 summer reads to inspire L&D people

7 summer reads to inspire L&D people


At last, the summer holidays are here! When you’re doing your packing, don’t forget to take a few good books with you. And, while you can’t beat page-turner for poolside or beach, make sure you also leave a little bit of room for some inspiring books that could give you a new perspective on the world of learning and development.

Down time is a great opportunity to absorb changes and new ideas. Here are 7 picks that might just expand your mind.

1.The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice

Read for: Insights into how to achieve organisational creativity.

This book is aimed at professional people who are struggling to come up with fresh ideas in their working life. It offers tips on how to develop stimulating relationships that will help to un-tap creativity, and on how to manage your focus and energies to eliminate creativity drains.

Author: Todd Henry.

Review: “The Accidental Creative is an inspiring and practical guide for staying fresh and doing brilliant work. If you regularly need great ideas, this book will help you find them.” – TonySchwartz

Formats: Hardcover, paperback, kindle, audiobook.

Website: The Accidental Creative

Purchase: Amazon

2.Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Read for: Tips on people development. Are leaders not getting the best out of introverts?

Quiet’ reveals how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues quieter people.

Author: Susan Cain

Review: “Perhaps rather than sitting back and asking people to speak up, managers and company leaders might lean forward and listen.” – Megan Walsh, The Times.

Formats: Library binding, paperback, kindle, audiobook, audio CD

Website: The Quiet Revolution

Purchase: Amazon

3.The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Read for: Understanding how significant change can occur by the ‘drip drip drip effect’.

The Tipping Point’ looks at how minor input can spread and lead to major change when the message ‘sticks’. The author argues that the ‘drip, drip drip’ can become a waterfall so that ideas can take off: “Things can happen all at once, and little changes can make a huge difference.” 

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Review: The Tipping Point gives an insight into how things go global, an interesting and thought provoking read.” – Amazon review.

Formats: Library binding, paperback, audiobook, audio CD

Website: TheTipping Point

Purchase: Amazon

4.Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games

Read for: Learning how play can be used in serious contexts, such as learning.

Play Anything argues that play is the key to creativity and joy “in our impatient age” and should be taken more seriously.

Author: Ian Bogost

Review: Play Anything is nothing short of brilliant. It proves that philosophy can be fun, that fun can be profound, and that play is in fact the bridge that connects what is most meaningful and what is most pleasurable in our daily lives. — Jane McGonigal, author.

Formats: Hardcover, kindle, audiobook.

Website: PlayAnything

Purchase: Amazon

5.Technology vs. Humanity: The coming clash between man and machine

Read for: Preparing for the future of work.

Leonhard’s acclaimed work sets out how technology is revolutionising the way we live, work and think. He describes it as “a last-minute wake up call to take part in the most important conversation humanity may ever have.” 

Author: Gerd Leonhard

Review: “This book is a must read if you want to understand the challenges of the exponential development of technology. “ – Amazon review

Formats: Paperback, kindle

Website: Technology vs Humanity

Purchase: Amazon

6.Write and Organize for Deeper Learning

Read for: Great tips on how to help people learn.

The book has 28 evidence-based and actionable tactics on how to make instruction easier to learn, remember and apply. Particularly useful for those who write learning content. 

Author: Patti Shank

Review: “Following these tactics will help your readers spend more mental effort on actual learning rather than wasting mental effort figuring out your meaning.” – Christy Tucker, learning design consultant.

Formats: Paperback, kindle

Website: Writeand Organize for Deeper Learning

Purchase: Amazon

7.Learning in the Modern Workplace 2017

Read for: Practical advice and suggestions on new approaches to workplace learning.

This guide suggests that simply updating traditional training practices might not be enough and that new methods are needed to enable and support both manager-led and employee-led learning: “For L&D Departments it means doing things differently and doing different things.”

Author: Jane Hart

Review: “L&D professional? Buy this book. Seriously.” – Donald Taylor, Chairs LPI, LSG and Learning Technologies.

Formats: Paperback, pdf

Website: Learningin the Modern Workplace 2017

Purchase: Lulu

Have you been inspired by any L&D books recently? Share with us @Sponge_UK on Twitter.