January 2016’s Top Reads

In partnership with getAbstract, Training brings you January’s top three business books recommended to our readers.




More than 15,000 business books are published every year—an overwhelming choice for busy professionals. Therefore, in partnership with getAbstract, Training brings you January’s top three business books recommended to our readers.

“Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs. The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It” by Peter Cappelli (Wharton Digital Press, 2012, 128 pages, ISBN: 9781613630143; $14.66)

The media may editorialize about a workforce “skills gap,” but education is not the problem. The hiring process is to blame, says Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli. Contrary to popular wisdom, he says, candidates do have the academic skills they need, but employers’ training and hiring processes need vast improvement. For instance, application screening software creates hurdles few applicants can overcome and eliminates many applicants with relevant skills. Expectations that candidates will arrive with the knowledge they need for a specific job means that only candidates with experience in exactly that job get hired. Cappelli parses the myths surrounding the skills gap and addresses misconceptions about today’s workforce. He urges companies to use training to create the best possible employees and to weigh training costs against the financial penalties of job vacancies, which are more expensive than most managers realize. Cappelli concludes his brief but powerful manual with a list of training options and examples of companies that have implemented them successfully. getAbstract recommends his treatise to any managers who hire and all HR directors and officers.

Rating (out of 10): 8

Applicability: 9

Innovation: 8

Style: 8

“The Politics of Promotion. How High-Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead” by Bonnie Marcus (Wiley, 2015, 256 pages, ISBN: 9781118997420; $21.80)

The women’s movement started decades ago, but female business leaders remain rare. You can credibly blame a lingering bias against women in the workplace, but women also seem to have been reluctant to work their companies’ cultures to their personal advantage. Now, you can take your destiny into your own hands by developing and employing “political savvy” within your organization. Professional coach Bonnie Marcus explains why women haven’t received the promotions, pay, and positions they want and what they can do about it. She includes some helpful tools, including “Political Skills Assessment” worksheets and handy chapter summaries. She becomes repetitive at times—mostly for emphasis and reassurance—and she over-salts her text with exclamation points! getAbstract recommends her smart how-to guide to women who want to forge meaningful careers, whether they’re just starting out or fighting to stay on top.

Rating (out of 10): 7

Importance: 8

Innovation: 7

Style: 7

“Informal Learning in Organizations. How to Create a Continuous Learning Culture” by Robin Hoyle (Kogan Page, 2015, 238 pages, ISBN: 9780749474591; $29.95)

Seasoned Learning and Development (L&D) professional Robin Hoyle explains why organizations need to manage informal learning and how they can do it well. Planning and management apply to purposeful undertakings—for example, classroom instruction—but informal learning is ad hoc and unrestrained. The solution lies working with the inherent contradiction between unscripted improvisational learning and the degree of structure a company needs to organize its employees and to track what they know and what they’re learning. getAbstract recommends Hoyle’s guidance and his program to L&D professionals.

Rating (out of 10): 8

Applicability: 9

Innovation: 7

Style: 7

For five-page summaries of these and more than 15,000 other titles, visit http://www.getabstract.com/affiliate/trainingmagazine


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