Learning Impact Award 2022: The Shortlist Is Here!

Our new special award category recognizes original contributions in the L&D and HR space. All nominated titles are must-reads for L&D leaders.

We live in a moment of profound societal, technological and organizational change, and the breakneck pace of work and life continues to grow ever faster.

Our understanding of each other and what it means to be an employee and employer face increasing scrutiny and evolution. At the same time, we understand more than ever about our minds’ extraordinary ability to learn new things across our lifespans. 

In this context, workplace learning has never been more important, dynamic or challenging.

Healthy workplaces must invest in building strong learning cultures where employee growth, well-being and inclusion are placed front and center. Leaders are learning to effectively coach their employees to reach their full potential and meet the rapidly evolving demands of 21st-century work life.

From closing the skills gap and navigating the upheaval wrought by digital transformation to improving communication and reducing conflict, to nurturing curiosity, teamwork and work-life balance, the books that grace our inaugural Learning Impact Award shortlist will leave you better prepared to learn and lead.

Download our Ebook with detailed information on all titles nominated in the Learning Impact category for free here.


“Hardwired to Learn”
by Teri Hart

Through an adept synthesis of research – particularly in learning theory and neuroscience – 25-year learning expert and future-of-work strategist Teri Hart weaves history, economics, technology, psychology, medicine and sociology into a fascinating exploration of the role of mind and body in learning. 

Image of: Hardwired to Learn
Book Summary

Hardwired to Learn

Harness your ability to learn at any age to grow your career and reach your highest potential.

Teri Hart Teri Hart
Read Summary

Her expertly blended insights will convince you of the human mind’s remarkable ability to learn nearly anything at any age. Read our exclusive interview with Teri to find out more…

This is a great book that reminds us that learning is a lifelong endeavor, not just something you do when you are young or new in your career. This key takeaway really resonated with me, and I hope it inspires people of all ages to commit to learning: ‘Brain science reveals your capacity to learn is limitless and ageless.’

Paul Sahota, Juror

“L&D’s Playbook for the Digital Age”
by Brandon Carson

Sweeping technological change has the potential to spark an employment crisis, explains learning expert Brandon Carson. Can your business develop its workforce to keep up? To answer “yes,” you must generate new approaches to corporate learning – and reimagine the nature of work itself. 

Image of: L&D’s Playbook for the Digital Age
Book Summary

L&D’s Playbook for the Digital Age

Future-proof your workforce for the digital age.

Brandon Carson ATD Publications
Read Summary

Organizations must radically redefine how they view work and engage with talent to thrive.

This title is thoroughly researched, comprehensive, accessible and highly applicable – whether for someone just entering the L&D field or for a seasoned L&D professional.

Jana Eicher, Juror

“A Minute to Think”
by Juliet Funt

Fortune 500 consultant Juliet Funt offers a fresh perspective on productivity. Funt makes the case that superior results – and better mental health – come from taking time to reflect and recuperate. She draws on psychology research and cites the experiences of professionals and teams in various industries.

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Book Summary

A Minute to Think

Learn how doing less – but thinking, reflecting, questioning and resting more – can boost performance.

Juliet Funt HarperBusiness
Read Summary

Funt also offers sensible, actionable tools for incorporating “white space” in your day. Anyone who becomes easily overwhelmed – and is open to the notion that being busy and being productive aren’t necessarily the same thing – can benefit from her insights.

This is a valuable topic, and Juliet makes important points! I particularly like the reminder that activity and productivity are not the same and that successful business leaders use strategic pauses. The author provides helpful notes with the ‘attitudinal culprits’ and actionable tips for email improvement. I’m sure it’s useful when applied to family life, too!

Simon Brown, Juror

“Neurodiversity at Work”
by Amanda Kirby & Theo Smith

Firms that recruit, accommodate and include neurodiverse workers reap the advantages of divergent thinking, often experiencing boosts in creativity and innovation. Here, neurodiversity advocate Theo Smith and entrepreneur Amanda Kirby describe this less understood aspect of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), one that affects people who think and work differently from mainstream employees. Individuals with ADHD, autism, dyslexia and other conditions face tremendous barriers to employment and success at work.

Image of: Neurodiversity at Work
Book Summary

Neurodiversity at Work

Build a neurodiverse workforce to benefit your firm’s performance – and society.

Amanda Kirby and Theo Smith Kogan Page Publishers
Read Summary

The authors’ astute recommendations and compassionate understanding will enhance any discussion of workplace DEI.

Neurodiversity at Work will impact businesses and, more importantly, the lives of a population whose talents have previously been overlooked. This book prompts conversations that need to occur more, leads to opportunities that were not explored before, and provides support to neurodiverse candidates and employees.

Danielle Goodrum, Juror

“The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto”
by Stefaan van Hooydonk

Curiosity is good for business. Learning expert Stefaan van Hooydonk offers a concise and lucid guide to building productive curiosity for professionals in teams and organizations. The business case for curiosity is well-known – but the author cites additional recent research, plus illustrative cases and anecdotes he draws from his experience as chief learning officer for Flipkart, Cognizant and other organizations.

Image of: The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto
Book Summary

The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto

Curiosity boosts performance and innovation for people, teams and organizations. Here’s how to build it.

Stefaan van Hooydonk Stefaan van Hooydonk
Read Summary

Van Hooydonk provides a clear, helpful overview and valuable recommendations. To get some additional insights, read our exclusive interview with the author.

Strong links exist among organizational performance, individual learning and an individual’s willingness to learn. Stefaan van Hooydonk explores and raises the profile of curiosity. And he does so in a practical way, showing why it is important at both corporate and individual level, and then providing guidelines to shift to a culture that supports curiosity.

Donald H. Taylor, Juror


“10 Leadership Virtues for Disruptive Times” by Tom Ziglar

Motivational speaker and executive coach Tom Ziglar outlines ten simple yet powerful virtues to coach your team through uncertainty and change. In succinct and entertaining fashion, he explains the importance of each ideal and how to apply it to your own life and leadership style. 

Image of: 10 Leadership Virtues for Disruptive Times
Book Summary

10 Leadership Virtues for Disruptive Times

Disruption is here to stay. Master these 10 virtues to develop yourself, your people and your business in uncertain times.

Tom Ziglar Thomas Nelson
Read Summary

Ziglar peppers his explanations with ancient spiritual wisdom, modern success stories and entertaining anecdotes from his own life. Anyone who wants to thrive and coach in unpredictable times will find hundreds of useful insights.

Sounds interesting? Read our exclusive interview with the author.

“From Conflict to Courage” by Marlene Chism

Marlene Chism’s decades of experience as a factory worker and, more recently, as a corporate culture coach give her a unique and valuable perspective on managing conflict and difficult conversations.

Image of: From Conflict to Courage
Book Summary

From Conflict to Courage

A unique guide to help leaders manage conflict and navigate difficult conversations.

Marlene Chism Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Read Summary

Like many before her, she advises leaders to face conflict and not avoid it – but she goes on to offer specific advice to help you prepare yourself internally for difficult conversations, so you don’t react to emotional triggers and can listen intently even when you disagree. For leaders especially, this guide to self-regulation, coaching and emotional integrity might make even the hardest conversations easier to navigate.

“Lunchtime Learning for Leaders” by Lucy Ryan

This self-help guide to a successful transition from individual contributor to leader offers proven practices any new manager can adopt.

Image of: Lunchtime Learning for Leaders
Book Summary

Lunchtime Learning for Leaders

A detailed, compassionate guide for new and emerging leaders.

Lucy Ryan Kogan Page Publishers
Read Summary

Drawing on years of experience as a leadership coach and positive psychologist, Lucy Ryan teaches how to let go of habits that no longer serve you, create accountable teams and generate a sense of belonging. She offers a manual for leading through care, optimism, empathy and self-awareness. Ryan’s well-referenced advice offers applicable guidance for all newly appointed managers and supervisors.

“Talking Taboo” by Alexander Alonso

Equity expert Alexander Alonso shares insights from his investigations into workplace conflict and polarization around “taboo” topics.

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Book Summary

Talking Taboo

Learn a framework for reducing polarization in the workplace – and building empathy instead.

Alexander Alonso Society For Human Resource Management
Read Summary

He references data from recent Society for Human Resource Management surveys revealing the pervasiveness of difficult, emotional and even hostile conflict at work. But Alonso urges leaders to resist shutting down discussions about controversial topics such as race, religion, abortion and gun control. Instead, firms should equip their employees with skills to engage in respectful debate. Alonso offers a framework for doing so, supported by dozens of case vignettes.

Teased? Read our exclusive interview about workplace niggles with the author.

“Work Better Together” by Jen Fisher and Anh Phillips

Human connection is essential to workplace success. Genuine, trust-based work relationships increase job satisfaction and enable employees to perform at their highest level.

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Book Summary

Work Better Together

A supportive work environment helps you feel good about yourself, your job and your output.

Jen Fisher and Anh Phillips McGraw-Hill Education
Read Summary

Deloitte chief well-being officer Jen Fisher and researcher Anh Phillips lay out a strong business case for fostering workplace relationships, prioritizing self-care, becoming intentional about technology usage and consciously building well-being into your work processes.


The new getAbstract International Book Award: Learning Impact jury consists of L&D experts from leading learning organizations and companies:

  • Simon Brown is the chief learning officer at Novartis and author of The Curious Advantage.
  • Jana Eicher is the EdContent Lead at the getAbstract LAB, where she’s responsible for the end-to-end design, development and innovation of learning experiences.
  • Danielle Goodrum is VP Client Services at getAbstract. She shares frequently asked questions from the corporate world and the best answers from getAbstract’s library in her “Customer Insights” column.
  • Paul Sahota is a seasoned learning professional who is currently the manager of L&D at Perseus, an operating group of Constellation Software Inc. Paul has extensive experience designing and developing training, managing learning programs and partners, supporting enterprise-wide projects and consulting with colleagues around developmental needs.
  • Donald H. Taylor has chaired the London Learning Technologies Conference since 2000, and from 2010 to 2021 was the chair of the Learning and Performance Institute. He is the author of Learning Technologies in the Workplace.

Their job is to select and honor recent publications that

  • address key L&D challenges,
  • provide insights into future-proofing organizations and
  • developing thriving organizational learning cultures.

The winners will be announced on Oct 20 at the getAbstract International Book Award Ceremony on the occasion of the Frankfurt Book Fair.


In 2022, the getAbstract International Book Award presents five prizes in three categories to outstanding business books: In the main category Business Impact, our expert jury awards one English- and one German-language publication with prize money of USD/EUR 10,000 each. Our readers also cast their votes: As part of the Readers’ Choice Awards, you had the opportunity to vote for your favorite book. We present our new Learning Impact Award (see above) in the international category only.

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