November 2023
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TD Magazine

November 2023 TD Authors: What's on Your Bookshelf?

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Contributors to the November 2023 issue of TD magazine offer their book recommendations.

Anastasia Dedyukhina
Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones
by James Clear
This is a deservingly bestselling book that explains how small daily habits make a huge difference. So many people I know have said they don't have time to do things (such as learning new skills), but by applying Clear's methodology, I helped them get wonderful results. It's incredibly well written and easy to comprehend.


Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity
By Gloria Mark
While it's not positioned as a business book, I think anyone who is doing business should read it. It looks at the issues of productivity and communication in the digital age, and the central topic is that our attention is completely overwhelmed and as such, we need to find new ways of working, being productive, socializing without compromising on our attention, and trying to do 100 percent of things simultaneously. It offers excellent research-based insights into the science of attention and is written in an easy and clear way.

Andrew Jacobs
Dangerous Ideas: When Provocative Thinking Becomes Your Most Valuable Asset
by Alf Rehn
Incredibly provocative, this book challenged my thinking about creativity and innovation in more ways than any other book I've read on the subject.

Diana Peterson-More
Insubordinate: 12 New Archetypes for Women Who Lead
by Jocelyn Davis
Witch. Temptress. Snow Queen. Davis argues that we should embrace and reclaim the labels that denigrate women and deny their leadership potential at a great loss to organizations in need of a diversity of leadership styles. This book takes women leaders on a journey to discover their personal archetype. The author offers inspiration and strategies for expanding readers' much-needed leadership range, tapping into their unique powers, and learning to shine as their best and bravest selves.

Promotions Are So Yesterday: Redefine Career Development. Help Employees Thrive.
By Julie Winkle Giulioni
This must-read book offers solutions for today's most perplexing career development puzzle: career development. Author Winkle Giulioni presents the “Multidimensional Career Framework,” which redefines career development beyond traditional promotions and positions. Drawing upon field research, the book empowers leaders to leverage contribution, competence, connection, confidence, challenge, contentment, and choice to deliver the development employees want, along with the retention and results organizations need.

Robyn Defelice

Systems Thinking Made Simple: New Hope for Solving Wicked Problems
By Derek Cabrera and Laura Cabrera
L&D is a wicked problem of capability and capacity-based issues across many organizations I support. So often, L&D solves their problems using a broken system, which typically takes more time and energy and yields little for all in the mix. Whereas when our systems are built using systems thinking, it tends to unify the L&D team, providing the ability to create responsive, innovative thinkers solving problems at the speed of ideas! In using the simple rules of DSRP (Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives), a client and I knocked out a problem that had been challenging them for months. We were able to not only dissect the issue quickly, but we were also able to see the most important aspects of what we needed to address and resolve. Within 45 minutes, we had mocked up a sample solution, and the rest is history. The solution went into effect days later and has had minimal refinement since. This method allows the L&D team to create complex adaptive systems that help them to stay agile to the needs of their organization as opposed to reactive.

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are
By Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
I have actually been through this book a few times, picking at it. You don’t have to love data or want to be a researcher to pick this book up and think about what it is telling us about internet-based information and the implications of it. Right from the start of the book, it provides a broader perspective on what most of us think is data, but it simplifies these positions, and the text is not above any of our heads. Everything is relatable to the reader in more than one way. I’ve used this book to help me broaden my perspective on how data is presented on the internet, given accessibility, and how that data is presented can be ethical, unethical, fair, calculated, and even criminal. This perspective also informs my practice of when I do collect data from clients or perform work where I must present data. It helps me to think through if I am crafting a subjective narrative or an impactful story embracing the truth. I would say the greatest takeaway is to not underestimate the impact of the social sciences as they are intrinsic to what we do as learning and development professionals, and we are always looking for our way to activate the individual into being motivated for their own gain. This book has sparked many realizations about the expectations we hold of others because of what the internet says versus our own critical and analytical thinking. This book can help you to get a handle on how to navigate all of this and develop your own acumen toward questioning the truth of data, even at work.

Rance Greene

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees)
By Patrick Lencioni
I enjoy Patrick Lencioni’s books, in part because he tells long-form stories that teach simple and effective principles. This book focuses on a group that receives less attention and development than it deserves: middle management. An engrossing read. Powerful, practical takeaways.


Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
By Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Loaded with research stories, this book offers a simple tool to evaluate the effectiveness of your messaging, such as concreteness, credibility, and, yes, stories. I’ve recreated some of the research experiments, such as tapping and listening, to help business leaders grasp the importance of developing a message that resonates. L&D leaders can examine how they are communicating with senior leaders, using the Made to Stick principles.

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences
By Nancy Duarte
Like all Duarte books, this one feels good to hold and flip through. It’s my favorite because it focuses on tuning in to your audience. Presenters and facilitators would do well to absorb the principles that are beautifully illustrated. As Duarte states, “It’s your job to have them feel that the time they spent with you brought value to their lives.”

Ken Phillips

What Makes Training Really Work
By Ina Weinbauer-Heidel
This book uses training transfer research results to clearly and logically explain what it takes to ensure the contents of a training program are applied back on the job. While written primarily for instructional designers, the book is also relevant for L&D professionals interested in measuring and evaluating learning. Specifically, the training transfer research results also serve as factors to assess when measuring the application of the training back on the job.

Learning Science for Instructional Designers: From Cognition to Application
By Clark N. Quinn
This book breaks down the “how people learn” process into a systematic, logical, easy-to-understand, integrated approach. The book is of great value to instructional designers to ensure learning retention and application. It also has applicability for L&D professionals focused on measuring and evaluating learning. Specifically, the learning science concepts discussed also can serve as a means to assess the effectiveness of a learning program design.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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