Contributors to the December 2019 issue of TD magazine offer their book recommendations.
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Mathew Walker
This is a great read regarding the science of sleep and how our brains are impacted.
It’s the Manager by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter
This is Gallup’s latest research into teams and organization effectiveness.
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress by Steven Pinker
It’s Bill Gates’ favorite book of all time—and one of mine.
A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger
The key to the future is not to have all the answers; it is to ask the right questions that lead to insights, new opportunities, and growth. Try out the “question-storming” method, and you will be amazed how teams expand their horizon and what that can lead to.
It Starts With One: Changing Individuals Changes Organizations by J. Stewart Black
I have read numerous books on change, with good advice that I keep forgetting when I need it. Stewart nails it by addressing three key barriers: see, move, and finish—three things I can remember. Now I get more things right than ever before.
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein
Probably the must-read book of 2019 for talent developers or anyone interested in creativity and problem solving. Epstein sheds light upon the increasing trends toward specialization of skills and the downsides that can result from such an approach.
Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
I like anything that comes from the author of The Black Swan. This book details how a simple truth about risk—“skin in the game”—can translate into broader portions of life and ultimately translate better into fairness and justice.
Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
The author provides wonderful advice about developing a culture of feedback and accountability from top to bottom. Dalio’s advice can be applied to both business and one’s personal life.
What Makes Training Really Work: 12 Levers of Transfer Effectiveness by Ina Weinbauer-Heidel and Masha Ibeschitz-Manderbach
Learning transfer research can be very dry, incomprehensible, and difficult to apply. In this book, the authors overcome all these problems and present important learning transfer research in an easy-to-understand and actionable way. A special bonus is that a surprising amount of good German research is accessible here in English.
The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training and Development into Business Results by Roy V. H. Pollock, Andy Jefferson, and Calhoun W. Wick
The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning is truly a breakthrough book to design effective learning. This is the book that put learning transfer on the map. It achieves a rare balance between providing a comprehensive framework to design thorough solutions, and at the same time offering many practical tools, templates, and examples.
Telling Training’s Story: Evaluation Made Simple, Credible, and Effective by Robert O. Brinkerhoff
This explains step-by-step how to evaluate learning programs using the Success Case Method. In typical Rob Brinkerhoff style, it’s full of anecdotes to keep your attention, analogies to convey abstract concepts, and practical advice on exactly how to evaluate effectively. Refreshingly, it also offers concrete advice on how to explain and communicate evaluation results to stakeholders without drowning them in jargon or shooting yourself in the foot.
The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan
This book explores the power that leaders have in using language to create enthusiasm about a brighter future in their organizations. The three laws described in this book will transform your ability to influence your team and take them to the next level of performance and fulfillment.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
This book has had a profound effect on me and several people I know, primarily because it is not just a collection of tools and skills, but it starts with a deeper discovery of oneself and one’s mission. I love the idea of achieving private victory and going from dependence to independence before taking on public victory that takes you from independence to interdependence. This timeless classic is still relevant today.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
The powerful message that this book so eloquently delivers is that all suffering comes from regrets and resentment we carry from the past and the fears and worries we have about the future, and there is no pain and suffering in the present moment. The author makes a compelling case and offers methods for becoming present and living in the now. This book is useful for everyone who would like to experience more peace and fulfillment and improve their performance.