We’re smack in the midst of summer (here in the US, anyway) – a time when many folks take off from work and find relaxing spots. For some it’s the beach, for others it’s the mountains, still others it’s a screened in porch, listening to the rain. Wherever this summer may take you, if you’re looking for a few books to pack away, you actually won’t find them in this week’s podcast.
That’s because I may offer some thoughts on five new L&D books, only one of them is actually in print at the time of today’s podcast (the others will be released each month, beginning in September, that’s how new this list of book recommendations is!).
Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Train Like You Listen, a podcast about all things learning and development in bite-sized chunks. I’m Brian Washburn, I’m your host. And I’m the Co-founder of Endurance Learning, and I’m the author of a book called What’s Your Formula? Combine Learning Elements for Impactful Training. Why am I making such a shameless plug at the beginning of this podcast for my book? Well, today’s podcast is gonna be a short podcast about all sorts of learning and development books that you can read while you’re on the beach this summer. That’s not quite true, but I’ll tell you about my little white lie there in just a second.
Before I get to all that, I need to share with you about our sponsor a little bit. This podcast is brought to you by Soapbox, which is an online tool that you can use for like 5 or 10 minutes, and you can take care of 50 or 60% of the work when it comes to developing a live, instructor-led training. So basically, you log on to the computer, you tell the computer how long your presentation is, how many people will attend, whether it’s in-person or virtual, what your learning objectives are, and then this software tool, Soapbox, will instantly generate a training plan for you with clusters of training activities that will get you to what you said you wanted to accomplish with your learning objectives. So, if you’re using Soapbox, you won’t have to worry about any of these books that I’m gonna talk about because it’s already built on a lot of the ideas and concepts that are in these books. You can try Soapbox for free for yourself when you go to www.soapboxify.com.
Okay. Enough about that. Let’s talk about some books that you can read. Maybe while you’re on the beach this summer or maybe this fall because not all these books are actually out yet. We’ll talk about those in just a second. But first of all, here are five good reasons why you should be reading.
5 Reasons You Should Be Reading L&D Books
First of all, none of us knows everything about everything – simple enough. A second reason is that a $30 book, which most of these are, there’s one big exception here, is less expensive than a $1,500 conference registration where a lot of these authors can also be found speaking. A third reason why you might want to pick up a book this summer, this fall, something about learning, something about training is that there are new practices, there are new theories, there’s new research that’s being done, which can open our eyes and help us do things even better than we were doing things like two years ago.
A fourth reason is if you read something really good or interesting, you can pass it to a colleague when you’re done so that they can get on the same page as you and your new line of thinking. Or perhaps you can even organize a book club and bring your team together to discuss some of the concepts that are in the book in more depth. The cool thing about that, and I learned this recently when I did a book club for my own organization, was that when other people read the same book and you can discuss it, they may share insights that you didn’t even necessarily catch when you were reading it. So in that sense, two or three or four or five heads are definitely better than one.
A fifth reason you might want to read a book, and this is actually something that came to me as I was actually trying to write a proposal for the book that I eventually wrote and I was really struggling. And I was talking to my editor about this and she asked what my problem was – why can’t I even put together a proposal? And I said, “There are so many books that were already out there that were written by so many smarter people.”
And she thought for a moment and pointed out that there is a market for books that are research heavy and they go deep into a specific topic. There’s also a market for surface-level books that provide an overview on a broad range of topics. And that was really helpful for me as an aspiring author. It’s also helpful for me as an aspiring reader. I don’t necessarily always want to read a book that is heavy, that is really thick and dense and like something that I should be reading when I was an undergrad. If I want to read a book like that, that revolves around research and science and statistics, I can. I can find those books. And if I wanna just be introduced to high-level concepts that are based on best practices or based on somebody’s experience or things like that, I can then take a deeper dive later into some of these topics if I want. Those books are out there too.
L&D Books Coming Out Soon
Okay. So what books are out there for us this summer? Well, there was a recent tweet from the ATD Press Twitter account that indicated that there are four new books that are on the cusp of being released, and you can pre-order these now. This is my little bait and switch moment because the four books that I’m about to talk about, they’re not actually available for summer beach readng. The fifth book is, but I do wanna talk about these four books first because they do sound pretty cool.
So the first one that’s up is Interact and Engage: The Second Edition, and it’s by friend of the program, Kassy LaBorie, and her husband, Tom Stone. In the first edition of this book, Kassy and Tom offered more than 50 activities that could engage people in virtual presentations. In this new, updated version, they’re actually offering 75 different activities. So in a world where virtual presentations are here to stay, this is probably a must have for your bookshelf, and it’s going to be released on September 27th.
If you’re looking for facilitation techniques for classroom training, this next book is also a must have for your bookshelf. It’s called Facilitation in Action. It’s written by four experienced facilitators – Carrie Addington, Jared Douglas, Nikki O’Keeffe, and Darryl Wyles, and this book is set to be released October 18th.
Next, I’m gonna turn my attention to one of the first guests ever on the Train Like You Listen podcast, JD Dillon. JD has been preaching the virtues of being strategic in thinking about learning and development within the greater organizational ecosystem for years and years. It’s what he spoke on his podcast about, and now he has a book that’s entitled The Modern Learning Ecosystem. He’s putting all of those thoughts that he’s developed after decades working for some very well known employers, like Disney and Kaplan and Exonify, into one place. JD’s book is gonna be out there November 29th.
The fourth forthcoming book, which will be released December 13th, is The Facilitator’s Guide to Immersive, Blended, and Hybrid Learning. Fitting the theme of authors who are also friends of the Train Like You Listen podcast, former guest and current virtual training expert, Cindy Huggett, goes beyond just virtual training and talks in her book about a variety of ways to meet your learners literally, where they are – whether that is in the virtual space or a blended approach or a hybrid approach.
New L&D Book Available Now
All right. Now we get to the fifth and final book recommendation for this podcast, and it’s one that you can actually pick up right now. This is not a $30 beach read, this is a little bit pricier. It’s no surprise that this book comes to us courtesy of yet another friend of this podcast, Elaine Biech, who edited it. She worked with so many authors to pull all of this together, but you can now get your hands on ATD’s Handbook for Training and Talent Development.
“Brian, what is it? And why does it carry a hefty $135 price tag?” I’m sure is the question that you’re asking. Well, first of all, if you’re an ATD member, it’s only $115. But when you take a look at this book, it is not just a simple book. This is the definitive handbook for everything training and development related. In this book, you’re going to find one chapter on just about any topic you’ve ever wanted to learn more about, and each chapter is written by a different thought leader in the field. Is it tacky to talk about thought leaders if I’m one of the authors? You decide. But you will find chapters written by huge names, beside myself, such as Nancy Duarte, Becky Pike-Pluth, Bob Pike, Elliot Masie, Jim and Wendy Kirkpatrick, Lou Russell, Ken Blanchard, Karl Kapp, and there’s about 50 other authors who put some time and effort into writing a chapter for this book. (Editor’s Note: ATD’s Handbook for Training and Talent Development is available right now on Kindle for only $39.99…and ATD is offering a free sample chapter of the first 82 pages on the ATD website here: https://www.td.org/book/atds-handbook-for-training-and-talent-development)
Summary: L&D Reading
In sum, this summer you have the opportunity to pick up a book and hone your craft. If you happen to pick up the enormous volume known as ATD’s Handbook for Training and Talent Development, well, by the time you’re finished, there will be four other books that are ready for release. Even if you don’t select one of these recommended texts, there are so many other books out there from virtual presentation skills to games and gamification to microlearning to PowerPoint design to basic facilitation skills and everything in between that can really help you up your game.
Okay, thank you for listening to this podcast about book recommendations. If you need some help on your own training programs and a book’s not gonna cut it, whether your programs are instructor-led or eLearning, drop me a line and let’s talk. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know someone who might find today’s book recommendations to be interesting, go ahead and pass a link on to this podcast. If you want to make sure that you are notified of a new podcast when it’s hot off the press, go ahead and subscribe at Apple or Spotify or wherever you’re listening to podcasts. And even better is if you could give it a like or a review of the podcast – that’s how other people find out about this podcast. It’ll just take you a minute, but it’ll mean a lot to me and everyone else who discovers this podcast. Until next time, happy training everyone.
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