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Top 12 Books Every L&D Manager Needs to Read!

Top 12 Books Every L&D Manager Needs to ReadAt GE HQ we live by many rules, ‘A cape compliments any outfit’, ‘Don’t eat kryptonite ice cream’ and ‘Those who read, succeed’! We’re going to navigate you through the latter and point you in the direction of the best L&D books! Who needs ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Dull Online Learning” with this awesome line up at your fingertips. Accio engaged learners!

How We Learn: Throw out the rule book and unlock your brain’s potential’

By Benedict Carey


We’re suckers for informative fun at Growth Engineering and Carey’s book is an engaging exploration into the psychology of learning. ‘How we learn’ is brimming with recent research in knowledge retention, problem-solving and learning strategy. This book will help you lay the foundations for an organizational culture capable of unlocking the inner superhero within your learners!

‘The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces They Want, the Tools They Need, and a Culture They Can Celebrate’

By Jacob Morgan


A company with more satisfied employees is likely to be more successful. But how do you set about creating such happy employees? Luckily, Jacob Morgan is on hand to help you build the physical, cultural and technological environments needed to ensure employee satisfaction!

‘Everyone Culture’

By Robert Kegan


Do you want your employees to act like zombies that aren’t invested in themselves or your organization? OF COURSE YOU RUDDY DON’T! So say hello to the ‘Everyone Culture’ and soon you’ll unlock their potential through becoming, what Kegan calls, a deliberately developmental organization (DDO)!  The book provides you with in-depth case studies from DDO’s that Kegan has worked with to produce fantastic results. Each chapter will leave you with a wealth of ideas to implement, so what are waiting for? Get reading!

The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-Based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education’

By Karl Kapp


Fun. Hilarious. Insightful.

These are just three of the things we love about L&D heavyweight Karl Kapp! As employee engagement experts with a penchant for gamification, we can’t recommend this book enough! You will emerge with a host of new strategies to enhance the learning experience for your employees!

Reality is Broken: Why Games Makes Us Better and How They Can Change the World

By Jane McGonigal


If you recognise the name Jane McGonigal then you’re probably one of the 4 million people that viewed her incredible Ted Talk, ‘Gaming Can Make a Better World’. If you are of the opinion that gaming is reserved for a generation wasting their youth in front of the visual wireless, prepare to be proved wrong! McGonigal passionately delivers a case for game-based learning that is impossible to ignore. Harness the power locked inside this book and your learners will devour your training content faster than Sonic the Hedgehog!

‘Fairness for All: Unlocking the Power of Employee Engagement’

By Mark Price


Described as a “one of the most significant business leaders of his generation”, Mark Price can help you find the Holy Grail of L&D, employee engagement. Price draws upon his time with the John Lewis Group to deliver a business model that gets results and assembles an army of engaged learning superheroes! Sound too good to be true? Rest assured, you can always trust a man who knows how to throw an awesome picnic!

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future’

By Kevin Kelly


Kevin Kelly is a futurist, so it’s his job to predict the future, and he’s way better at it than any crystal ball! His latest book reveals the deep trends that will shape the future of learning over the next 20 years. It’s imperative that you stay ahead of the game or you risk unengaged learners stagnating on outdated platforms. The future is coming, prepare yourself with this book!

Learning Technologies in the Workplace: How to Successfully Implement Learning Technologies in Organizations

By Donald H Taylor


After months of crafting the perfect online training programme, are you now lying awake at night hoping it will be a success? Don’t leave it to chance! As chairman of the Learning Technologies Conference since 2000, Donald Taylor has seen his fair share of successful and unsuccessful learning technologies implementations. Now he’s decided to take his wealth of expertise and compile it into one super awesome book for your consumption!

‘The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change’  

By Charles Duhigg


The true goal of your training programme should be to change employee behaviour! Duhigg immerses you in the mind of your learner, providing you with the tools to shape employee behaviour with maximum efficiency! Soon you’ll become a habit psychology junkie and ‘The Power of Habit’ is the only fix you’ll ever need

‘The Advertising Effect: How to Change Behaviour’

By Adam Ferrier


Advertising is a powerful weapon and Adam Ferrier is spilling all its secrets! Whether you’re launching an LMS for the first time or dropping a new piece of training content, advertising should be your new awesome ally! In ‘The Advertising Effect’, Ferrier advocates the use of ‘Action Advertising’ as a way to influence people’s actions rather than their perceptions. The logic being that the easiest way to persuade someone is to allow them to persuade themselves. Soon learners won’t just be aware of your training content, but actually compelled to complete it!

‘The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage’

By Ryan Holiday


How can a book about stoicism help you assemble an army of learning superheroes? Just ask all the NFL teams, including Superbowl winners, that have read this book! Ryan Holiday uses Stoic philosophy to help you solve the problems a learner will encounter and remedy it before inception. Holiday draws case studies from luminaries such as Marcus Aurelius, Barack Obama and Steve Jobs to deliver a formula that will transform your organization into world-beaters!  

Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

By Dr David Halpern


We’ve already highlighted that employee behaviour change should be the TRUE goal of online training, but what are the ideal behaviours for your organization? Well, the Dr will see now and he’s prescribing you a dose of behaviour change strategy! Halpern draws mostly from his time as head of the Behavioural Insights Team under UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The end result is an easy to implement strategy that will improve both learners and organizational culture in no time!

BONUS BOOK: ‘Engagement Engine’ by Growth Engineering

You can’t fly a kite if there’s no wind. You can’t drive a car if it’s got no fuel. And you can’t run a successful Learning & Development initiative if you don’t have engaged learners. Luckily, we’ve constructed our very own Engagement Engine, which is primed to inject learners with a super serum of Gamification, Social Learning and Epic Meaning (and a couple of other components that we’re keeping hush-hush about!). With these ingredients coursing through learners’ bloodstreams, they’re sure to transform from zero to hero in a matter of moments!

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