5 Great Books to Build a Learning Organization

5 Great Books to Build a Learning Organization

5 Great Books to Build a Learning Organization

Whether you are a business leader, HR professional, or a classroom teacher, helping others learn is an increasingly important skill in most organizations today. Consider your company’s onboarding process or the integration of new systems and technologies. These processes are more effective and efficient when there is strong leadership, and in these instances strong leaders must also be good teachers.


As a former teacher currently working as an education strategist and curriculum writer, I believe the key to successful learning experiences lies in understanding one fundamental truth - feelings and emotions matter when it comes to learning. This principle applies to learning in any environment whether it be in a classroom or the office.


But, you don't need a psychology degree to be a great mentor and teacher or to leverage the power of emotions. Many popular psychology and self-help books are great resources on this topic. The following books are my favorites. They deepened my understanding of emotions and their impact on learning and motivation. They also showed me how to enhance learning for myself and others. The best part is that they are great reads! Just in time for summer. Enjoy!


The Happiness Advantage

By Shawn Achor                                                                                             

This book explains why it is difficult to learn when we are stressed or angry.  It describes how happiness acts as a positive force that makes us better problem solvers and helps us “fall forward” so we can learn from mistakes and overcome adversity.


Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, 2nd Ed. 

By Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny                                                     

Learning how emotions hijack the brain and take over is key to strengthening communication. This book teaches techniques to curb emotional responses so you can communicate effectively and ensure others are open and receptive to your message.



By Susan Cain

This book is a great resource for learning how individuals are affected by social interactions and what to do to ensure introverts thrive and succeed. Introverts who manage, teach, and lead teams or leaders looking to tap the potential of introverts will find this title relevant.



By Malcolm Gladwell

This book challenges assumptions about natural talent and genius by demystifying the success of “outliers” (those who rise above the norm) and shedding light on the factors- environmental and systemic- that set some individuals up for success and leave others behind to fail.


Getting Things Done

By David Allen                                                                                    

Understanding how your brain works- what distracts and what focuses your attention- enables you to create comfortable, organized environments that keep you and your team on task to maximize learning. Helpful strategies ranging from how to run effective meetings to using simple to-do lists to manage projects make this title a valuable read.

At CNY, we put the latest research about education and how people learn into our work to design education programs that create lasting impact for all.  If you are interested in hearing more about our process and results, contact us to learn more.