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Best Books on Learning & Development in 2021

The objective of all Learning and Development (L&D) initiatives is to align individual employee goals with that of the organization. Naturally, this function is vital to any organization and there is a great demand for L&D professionals. So, if you're looking to advance your career as an L&D professional, the books in this list are essential reading.

17 Must-Read Books on Learning & Development

If you are a Learning & Development (L&D) Professional, these hand-picked recommendations of books should definitely be part of your reading list.

Dynamic and Effective Virtual Training: 31 Strategies to Design and Facilitate Training in an Online Environment

Dynamic and Effective Virtual Training: 31 Strategies to Design and Facilitate Training in an Online Environment

- Cara J Gomez, Neil Cordrey

Virtual learning is exploding right now! The facilitative tips in this book will assist you in creating a virtual learning environment that helps change behavior and leads to the desired business outcomes for your company. This book will help you set a solid learning foundation, provide a logical easy-to-use course framework for virtual instruction and give you the confidence to become a virtual training rockstar!

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Map It: The hands-on guide to strategic training design

Map It: The hands-on guide to strategic training design

- Cathy Moore

Map It helps you turn training requests into projects that make a real difference. Using humor and lots of examples, Map It walks you through action mapping, a visual approach to needs analysis and training design. Organizations around the world use action mapping to improve performance with targeted, efficient training.

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Virtual Training Tools and Templates: An Action Guide to Live Online Learning

Virtual Training Tools and Templates: An Action Guide to Live Online Learning

- Cindy Huggett

Virtual Training Tools and Templates: An Action Guide to Live Online Learning offers proven resources for delivering top-notch virtual training programs. Make expert trainer Cindy Huggett's professional array of virtual tools your own, and discover new perspectives from a range of training trailblazers. You'll find their real-world lessons learned and get full access to their secrets of the trade.

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The Art and Science of Training

The Art and Science of Training

- Elaine Biech

In The Art and Science of Training, Elaine Biech, presents the science for learning and development, while also emphasizing that training success lies in knowing what to do when things don't go as planned. In this book, you will discover how top facilitators always put learners first, even when faced with exceptions to the rule—the unwilling learner, the uninformed supervisor, the inappropriate delivery medium, or the unmanageable performance challenge.

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Fixing Feedback

Fixing Feedback

- Georgia Murch

Everyone already knows how important feedback is, yet we still do it poorly or avoid it entirely. This book shows you how to do it right. You'll learn what exactly constitutes useful feedback, how to deliver it effectively, how to receive it gracefully and how to use it to strengthen your team and business. You'll learn critical communication skills that you can put into practice and build a "feedback culture" that results in highly engaged, highly productive employees.

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Telling Ain't Training

Telling Ain't Training

- Harold D. Stolovitch, Erica J. Keeps

Telling Ain't Training is an essential book for all learning and development professionals. It's chock-full of myth-busting research and ready-to-use tools, and delivered in a lighthearted and entertaining style. The book faithfully practices what it preaches, engaging the reader from page one and immediately involving them in the first of many try-it-yourself exercises that teach trainers how to avoid telling in favor of more interactive training.

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The Connector Manager: Why Some Leaders Build Exceptional Talent - and Others Don't

The Connector Manager: Why Some Leaders Build Exceptional Talent - and Others Don't

- Jaime Roca, Sari Wilde

Drawing on their groundbreaking data-driven research, as well as in-depth case studies and extensive interviews with managers and employees at companies like IBM, Accenture, and eBay, the authors show what behaviors define a Connector manager, and why they are able to build powerhouse teams. They also show why other types of managers fail to be equally effective, and how they can incorporate behaviors of Connector managers in order to be more effective at building teams.

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Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evalution

Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evalution

- James D. Kirkpatrick, Wendy Kayser Kirkpatrick

Don Kirkpatrick's groundbreaking Four Levels of Training Evaluation is the most widely used training evaluation model in the world. Ask any group of trainers whether they rely on the model's four levels Reaction, Learning, Behavior, and Results in their practice, and you'll get an enthusiastic affirmation. In Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation, discover a comprehensive blueprint for implementing the model in a way that truly maximizes your business's results.

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Leading Change

Leading Change

- John P. Kotter

Needed more today than at any time in the past, this bestselling business book serves as both visionary guide and practical toolkit on how to approach the difficult yet crucial work of leading change in any type of organization. Reading this highly personal book is like spending a day with the world’s foremost expert on business leadership. You’re sure to walk away inspired—and armed with the tools you need to inspire others.

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Design for How People Learn (Voices That Matter)

Design for How People Learn (Voices That Matter)

- Julie Dirksen

Whether it's giving a presentation, creating a document or website or blog, we want to share our knowledge with other people. But if you've ever fallen asleep over a boring textbook, or fast-forwarded through a tedious e-learning exercise, you know that creating a great learning experience is harder than it seems. Design For How People Learn will teach you how to leverage the fundamental concepts of instructional design both to improve your own learning and to engage your audience.

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The Adult Learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development

The Adult Learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development

- Malcolm S. Knowles

This book aims to show how adult learning is distinct and identify the learning styles which suit them best. Thus, every L&D manager should have this book on their bookshelves, mainly to understand why adults choose to learn and why do they reasonably reject learning and tackle organization learning and development problems effectively.

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Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation

Primed to Perform: How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation

- Neel Doshi, Lindsay McGregor

Too often, great cultures feel like magic. While most leaders believe culture is critical to success, few know how to build one, or sustain it over time.This revolutionary book teaches you how to use the cutting edge of human psychology to build high performing workplace cultures. It shares the simple, highly predictive new measurement tool—the Total Motivation (ToMo) Factor—that enables you to measure the strength of your culture, and track improvements over time.

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Workplace Learning (How to Build a Culture of Continuous Employee Development)

Workplace Learning (How to Build a Culture of Continuous Employee Development)

- Nigel Paine

For a company to compete effectively in today's business environment, its employees need to be adaptive and agile so they can develop the required skills and knowledge. To achieve this, L&D professionals must create a culture of workplace learning that encourages employees to constantly develop. Workplace Learning is a practical guide to all aspects of developing a culture of continuous workplace learning, from how to introduce and implement this culture to how to develop it.

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75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees

75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees

- Paul Falcone

Products and services will change with demand, but one thing that will always be required for a company’s success is having the right people working hard for you. As a manager or a leader, are you cultivating this vital resource? if you're wondering of there's anything more that you can be doing,this book is full of tips and tricks you need to know about maintaining a successful work performance through learning and development.

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The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training and Development into Business Results

The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training and Development into Business Results

- Roy V. H. Pollock, Andy Jefferson, Calhoun W. Wick

The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning is a trusted guide for professionals determined to get the most of their companies' training and development programs. Infused with current research and recent case studies, this resource serves as a practical guide that recommends concrete actions for producing tangible results. Tools, guides, and checklists in every chapter ensure that readers walk away with meaningful strategies that can be implemented right away.

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Neuroscience for Learning and Development: How to Apply Neuroscience and Psychology for Improved Learning and Training

Neuroscience for Learning and Development: How to Apply Neuroscience and Psychology for Improved Learning and Training

- Stella Collins

Neuroscience for Learning and Development introduces the latest research and concepts, equipping L&D and training professionals with an understanding of the inner workings of the mind. Covering areas such as how to create effective learning environments, promoting motivation and how to make learning 'stickier' through the use of stories, the book offers practical tools and ideas that can be applied in a variety of contexts.

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The Learning and Development Book

The Learning and Development Book

- Tricia Emerson, Mary Stewart

Instructional design and implementation are not as easy as they look. It's an art to enable people to truly change their behavior, to move themselves and their organizations toward the right future. Each chapter in this book holds a nugget of wisdom on subjects like these. Whether you're a battle-tested educator or embarking on your first big training job, this book will give you tips, tools, big ideas, and (bonus!) a smile.

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