Training Practice by Penny Hackett is one of those old books that still has a lot to offer in our current learning and development landscape. You might think because it has ‘training’ in the title, the book is not relevant, but that is simply not true. While there is some information you should not attention to anymore in the book, it has a lot of practices which I believe learning and development practitioners should go back to. For instance, it reminds us of what training is, the difference between training and learning and what makes training work. Continue reading
Another book in the Harvard Business Press Pocket Mentor series, this one focuses on helping managers to delegate work more effectively. The aim of this book is to show managers how to:
- Identify tasks to delegate
- Assign tasks and monitor their progress
- Handle any problems with delegated tasks
Written by Thomas L Brown, this book has just 77 pages and is split into two main sections. One with the main content titled, Delegating Work: the basics, and a second section with extra tips and tools on the subject.
The first section is further divided into five topics, each of which I have reviewed briefly below.
What is delegating?
Here you will read some useful information on what delegating is. The purpose of delegating, benefits of delegating and concerns managers have about delegating are discussed. You will also learn about the difference between empowerment and delegating. Here are two nuggets for you: Continue reading
This is another book in the Harvard Pocket Mentor series, titled Fostering Creativity and written by Dorothy Leonard, a professor at Harvard Business school. Among other lessons this book aims to help us understand how to:
- Identify opportunities for innovative solutions
- Develop an environment conducive to creativity
- Move a team from brainstorming to project execution
This book has just 78 pages and the content, which is really useful, is split into two main sections, the reading content titled Fostering Creativity: The Basics and a section with extra tools titled , Tips and Tools. I review both sections very briefly below.
Fostering Creativity: The Basics
This section has five topical areas.
What is creativity?
This is a good start for a book on creativity as the author takes the time to define what creativity is. Here’s the definition used:
A process of developing and expressing novel ideas that are likely to be useful.
This is contrasted with innovation defined as:
The embodiment, combination, and / or synthesis of knowledge in original, relevant, valued new products, processes, or services.
Personally I found this definition on innovation to be unclear. But then author does clarify that innovation is the end process of creativity. Continue reading
This book was written by Melissa Raffoni, who is the founder of Professional Skills Alliance. As is the case with the pocket mentor series , there are no chapters and the content is split across a number of topical sections, each of which I have briefly reviewed below. This book has just 92 pages of content which include the main topics and a separate section with tips and tools that I have also reviewed below.
Following are the topics and a brief review of each one.
Section 1 – How to leverage your time: asses and plan
This section contain three sub-topics.
How to look at the big picture
Two questions are answered here which are:
- What’s the value of leveraging your time?
- Why do we do what we do?
Also the importance of looking strategically at the big picture is discussed. Time leveraging is described as spending time wisely on activities that move you closer to your goals and is differentiated from managing time which are the day to day processes used to leverage time. The first step in leveraging time is to define one’s priorities and added to that is to be clear about why you do what you do. Answering questions such as, are you using your time to accomplish what you want? Are you simply running in place?, can help with this. Continue reading
Harvard Business Review’s (HBR) Pocket Mentor series provides pocket sized books on various topics for management and leadership. Overall there are aout 40 books in the series covering topics such as, coaching people, creating a business plan, delegating work and leading people
Over the next couple of weeks I will be reviewing ten of these books so get ready. The first one I’m reviewing in this post is titled, Managing Teams. This book written by Anne Donnellon is a mini 91 paged book with quick tools and tips around managing teams. As it is with the pocket mentor series, the book doesn’t have chapters, but rather topics which provide quick content that is easy to grasp and I believe apply. Tere is no in depth or mind bending stuff here, just simple information that you can start using. Continue reading