July 2018’s Top Reads

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



More than 11,000 business books are published every year—an overwhelming choice for busy professionals. Therefore, in partnership with getAbstract, Training brings you July’s top three business books recommended to our readers.

“Build It. The Rebel Playbook for World-Class Employee Engagement” by Glenn Elliott and Debra Corey (Wiley, 2018, 272 pages, ISBN: 9781119390053; $24)

Nearly 75 percent of employees don’t like their jobs. They don’t work hard at them or care about their customers. The result is no surprise: Companies with disengaged employees don’t do as well as firms with employees who are engaged. But what can you do if your staff members tune out? HR experts Debra Corey and Glenn Elliott offer a “rebel playbook” that shakes up the status quo. They include numerous “plays”—mini-case histories showing how companies with great engagement connect with employees. Corey and Elliott outline a 10-step “Engagement Bridge Model” as a strategy for turning things around. They urge you to address workspaces, employee well-being, remuneration, communication, meaning, leadership, management, “job design,” learning, and recognition. And they tell you how. getAbstract recommends their methods to anyone who exercises organizational authority.

Rating (out of 10): 7

Applicability: 8

Innovation: 7

Style: 7

“Confident Digital Content. Master the Fundamentals of Online Video, Design, Writing and Social Media to Supercharge Your Career” by Adam Waters (Kogan Page Publishers, 2018, 200 pages, ISBN: 9780749480943; $19.95)

Digital media expert Adam Waters explains how to create first-rate digital content. He provides expert, practical background information on the basic principles of digital content production, including the final product text, photos, video, audio files, and more. His primer covers the fundamentals you need to know. getAbstract recommends Waters’ manual to aspiring digital media producers, digital video producers who want to teach this skill to others, digital community managers seeking to create teams whose members are comfortable with digital, and digital professionals who need to convince their bosses to invest more in digital.

Rating (out of 10): 7

Applicability: 8

Innovation: 6

Style: 7

“Shapeholders. Business Success in the Age of Activism” by Mark R. Kennedy (Columbia University Press, 2017, 304 pages, ISBN: 9780231180566; $29.95)

The power that “shapeholders”—activist groups, politicians, thought leaders, regulators, media, influencers, and opinion leaders—have to affect your business is rising, yet many executives remain blind to the consequences of their influence. They focus instead on producing profits for the benefit of shareholders and stakeholders. Former U.S. congressman Mark R. Kennedy, now president of the University of North Dakota, explains that this leaves organizations vulnerable to attack. He demonstrates that shapeholders gauge their success by how they can change corporate behavior to conform to their agendas. They advocate on behalf of society’s growing expectation that companies should make the world a better place. Kennedy provides a seven-step strategy to address the full spectrum of shapeholder expectations and demands. Although his book is somewhat verbose, getAbstract recommends Kennedy’s scholarly, well-organized text as advice from a deeply informed veteran of shapeholder battlefields.

Rating (out of 10): 8

Applicability: 9

Innovation: 9

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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