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Recommended Reads – Week 35

Learning in the Age of Immediacy : 5 Factors for how we connect, communicate and get work done by Brandon Carson

Welcome to the age of immediacy.
We’re in a new era of learning, one in which learners expect information to be available when and where they want it. How do you make sure your content can keep up? Use these five factors: automation, the cloud, mobile, big data, and the Internet of Everything.

In Learning in the Age of Immediacy: 5 Factors for How We Connect, Communicate, and Get Work Done, learning strategist Brandon Carson argues that these five edge technologies are here to stay. Through case studies and interviews with industry experts, he shows how they will continue to affect training’s design, delivery, and evaluation. And he gives practical advice to integrate them into your learning strategy, helping you answer important questions along the way: What will the workforce you support look like in the next several years? How will you work in the streaming economy the cloud has introduced? Do you have a mobile strategy for learning? (You should.) And how will you use the emerging practice of data science?

The stakes are high, and the five factors could be the difference between achieving measurable results and driving your learners to seek solutions elsewhere. Use Learning in the Age of Immediacy to create a learning plan that will serve your workforce now and in the future!

The Creative Curve
by Allen Gannet

A great idea isn’t a sudden light-bulb moment. It’s taking something familiar and making it feel new. We’ve been told a lie about the nature of creativity. We’re told stories about creative geniuses – the young Mozart who effortlessly overshadows the hardworking Salieri; Paul McCartney coming up with the tune for Yesterday in a dream one morning; JK Rowling finding inspiration for Harry Potter sitting on a train to London. What we aren’t told is the actual story behind such hits. In fact there is a science and method for mainstream success, whether writing a popular novel, starting a company or creating an effective marketing campaign, and in this book Allen Gannett – data wizard and successful entrepreneur – reveals the four laws of creativity that are proven to work. New ideas are surprising at first, and slowly become familiar as we get used to them. Allan Gannett reveals there’s a sweet spot between what feels familiar and safe to us, and what is innovative and new: the point of optimal tension between safety and surprise, similarity and difference. The people we think of as creative geniuses are people who understand this sweet spot instinctively; they know what people find familiar and reassuring, and they find ways to reinvent it fresh. Packed with stories and insights ranging from the team behind Dear Evan Hansen to the founder of Reddit, from the Chief Content Officer of Netflix to Michelin starred chefs, The Creative Curve will help you spend less time on ideas destined to fail and more time on ideas that really break out. This book is for everyone, whether you’re a business leader, a creative artist or a budding entrepreneur – and will teach you the secret to conceiving great ideas that can achieve major success.

The Agile Leader  : How to create an agile business in the digital age
by Simon Hayward

The Agile Leader exposes how leaders can safely guide their teams to organizational stability and prosperity through agile leadership and building an agile culture. With the rise of political unrest, protectionism and economic uncertainties, business leaders have to assess, react and implement strategies rapidly and with enough responsiveness to re-calibrate their efforts should circumstance change. When presented with key moments of choice, agility allows them to move quickly and responsively, and offer coping strategies for this unprecedented rate of change. By adopting agile ways of working that focus on facilitating mental agility, ruthlessly prioritizing, devolving decision-making, and investing in customer research, leaders will allow organizational learning and drive innovation, thus enabling their teams to flourish in this new uncertain world.

With globally diverse and exciting case studies from top businesses including the British Fashion Council, Standard Chartered and Three, Dr Simon Hayward distills years of leadership research and consultancy work into an actionable agile leadership programme, which will deliver effective results for your business. The Agile Leader is an invaluable book for leaders looking to adapt and continuously evolve to match a complex business world.

Force of Nature
by Jane Harper

Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?

When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.

But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?

Talent Talker: 60 Conversations to Unlock Talent and Potential
By Yolanda Lacoma and Martin Sutherland

Great people developers take an interest in others, they recognize that they didn’t get to where they are on their own, and they want to “pay forward” the time that others have invested in them. Helping others unlock their talent and potential is an enormously rewarding activity, and it doesn’t take very much time, just the right attitude. If you look back on your own career and recognize a talent talker in your past, you owe it to them to become one yourself. If you don’t see a talent talker in your past, you need to look harder, because no one can make it on their own.

Getting managers to have development conversations is one of the most important drivers of unlocking talent and potential in your organisation. This book, and the application, makes it easy for any manager to sit down and have a development conversation.
Those conversations can be about improving performance, managing a career, developing leadership skills or formulating and executing new business strategies. Talking connects people, people who feel connected are more engaged, engaged people deliver exceptional results.

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