Blend Your Learning in 2022

A recommended reading list from some of the HF team

Written by Danielle Baldwin

Client Relationship Manager

4 Minute read

27 January 2020

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Recommended reading

As most of you know, I have a real passion when it comes to blending learning experiences, and most importantly understanding the needs of the learner. We know anybody has the ability to listen to on-demand podcasts, watch videos, or read online articles. However, I really believe that the journey of personal development has to be achieved through the combination of a variety of modalities, channels, and platforms (some formal some informal). After speaking with my colleagues within HF, I came to notice that everybody has the same opinion: there’s no “one thing fits all”. Many of us still enjoy the benefits of picking up a great book and working through it at our own pace (slow reader alert here). Blending with just in time on-demand digital content can make a real difference and help reinforce, theory and more complex concepts (as a learner I’ve lived this). Indeed it is this combination that has helped me develop and grow within my role.

Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to share with everyone why I love reading...

Reading a book is more than just learning about a specific topic, but more about understanding the thought processes the author goes through when faced with problems, barriers or dilemmas. It helps me to be able to apply their mindsets and approaches to my everyday life. That's why I love reading, why do you?

Big shout out to everyone who shared their favourite books with me, here's a list of the HF must-read recommendations for 2020 so far!

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us - Dan Pink

recommended by Nick Mongan (Virtual & Digital Learning Consultant at HF)

"This book still feels as relevant today as it did a decade ago, if you’re looking for a book on the fundamentals of motivation and seeking to understand what motivates people, I’d start here."

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness - Richard H Thaler

Nudge provides readers with insight into how the makeup of an environment can impact an individual's decision-making process and in turn influence one's choices. By providing examples such as, the quantity that we eat depends on the size of our plate and the foods we pick in the cafeteria depend on whether they are placed at eye level. It also shows how the same tendency affects decisions with more significant consequences.

Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behaviour - Kerry Patterson

recommended by Ian Klein (Vice President, Solution Architect)

“The best book I’ve ever read. It teaches people how to have a difficult conversation and confront it in a way that leads to building stronger relationships.”

Mindset: Changing The Way You Think to Fulfil Your Potential - Carol Dweck

recommended by Jake Phillips (Client Relationship Manager)

"Carol came up with the concept of a fixed and growth mindset through her extensive research, particularly with children to establish that there are two types of people. I like this book as it encourages people to value learning higher than their current abilities. It has also influenced many other people like Matthew Syed and the messages they have in their books."

Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice - Clayton Christensen

recommended by Matthew Prisco (Digital Transformational Lead)

How do companies know how to grow? How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy? Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer. A generation ago, Christensen revolutionised business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now, he goes further, offering powerful new insights.

Linchpin: Are you Indispensable?

recommended by Sam Hendy (Marketing Specialist)

"One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read one book a month, surprisingly I’m already on my second, which happens to be Linchpin. I’ve only been reading it for a few days (not that long I know) but so far it does exactly what it says on the tin. How to become a linchpin. Seth's insight both into marketing and mindset is really inspiring, but his approaches to becoming a linchpin are very interesting, and I hope to be able to apply some of his thinking into my life, especially around drawing your own map, instead of simply complying with the system."

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace - Gordon MacKenzie

recommended by Lynsey Whitmarsh (Director of Innovation)

Creativity is crucial to business success. But too often, even the most innovative organisation quickly becomes a "giant hairball" ie a tangled, impenetrable mass of rules, traditions, and systems, all based on what worked in the past. That exercises an inexorable pull into mediocrity.

The Brain: The Story of You - David Eagleman

recommended by Marc Hutchings (Director of Sales UK)

"I first came across this four or five years ago when it dawned on me I was having conversations on issues like neuroscience without a real understanding of what I was talking about. I’m still not sure I completely get it but this book opened a number of fascinating avenues for me around what is reality, how does our brain interprets our surroundings and how do we learn about the world around us. The book deals with some cognitive psychology stuff but it’s never overly complicated. Eagleman is all over TED talks and they made a TV show too!"

Talk to Me: Amazon, Google, Apply and the Race for Voice-Controlled AI - James Vlahos

another great recommendation by Marc Hutchings

"This book was recommended to me after I had finished a drunken rant at Christmas about what I deemed the “sinister” acceptance of Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Assistant, etc. into our homes, on our wrists, in our cars and elsewhere. I only bought it this week but it’s already making me change my thinking about voice computing, bots, AI, machine learning, etc."

I hope you've found this article and book recommendations interesting.


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