Latest reviews for The Learning Imperative

Read the latest reviews for our new book from leaders in different fields.

Developing learning organisations is not easy. For this reason, ‘The Learning Imperative’ is an essential read for any leader. The authors unpacking of how to improve learning and bring about a shared clarity in a team is delivered through insightful and practical strategies, and is complemented by thought-provoking questions to reflect on from beginning to end.

The book also recognises there are many challenges ahead, and that raising performance in any organisation will not happen overnight. But it categorically will not happen if you don’t start! Start now, using ‘The Learning Imperative’as your indispensable guide.

-Stuart Allen, Head Teacher, Mile Cross Primary School


An informative and entertaining read, ‘The Learning Imperative’ is a timeless classic that should be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in progressive management. Mark and Andy display a subtleness in their writing with their thoughtful, realistic approach reminding us all of the importance of learning in any organisation.

-Steve Pegram, Chief Operating Officer, Bardel Entertainment


Clear and easy to follow, ‘The Learning Imperative’ is a one-stop shop on how to develop leadership: offering many useful tools and techniques to assist in core areas such as planning, meetings, managing upwards, dealing with conflict and handling difficult conversations.

I would fully recommend this book to anyone in a leadership role who wants to effect positive change in others.

-Sean Lundon, Head of Academy Coaching, Everton Football Club


‘The Learning Imperative’ is for anyone who wants to motivate their team to grow and perform well. The authors set out very clearly that learning is at the heart of this process – and that if you get the learning right, the rest will follow. But they acknowledge that this is not necessarily an easy (or straightforward) process. Haven’t we all asked at one time or another – when things feel tough – whether anyone else is in the same boat as us, or, if we are alone in our struggle, whether everyone else is finding it easy? ‘The Learning Imperative’ helps you tackle such questions head-on. It starts from the premise that members of effective teams must have an ‘open-to-learning mindset’, and makes you think about how to cultivate and maintain this mindset.

The book will work best if you’re willing to reflect and be honest with yourself. Where are you now? What are you trying to achieve? How will you get to where you want to go? Reflection isn’t necessarily an easy process, and it sometimes feels a little close to the bone! But the authors guide you through the process via a set of real-life examples, which help you to understand and apply what you learn, and prompt you to think about why and how you do what you do, how you can implement change successfully, and how you can help others learn.

‘The Learning Imperative’ is also a caring book. The authors acknowledge that there is life beyond work, and that all leaders, teams and contexts are different. It invites you to think about what you’re doing, but doesn’t demand that you dedicate every spare moment to it!

It’s a practical resource that you can come back to again and again, and use in a range of contexts and in a variety of different ways – I’ll be returning to it for a while yet.

– Dr Niki Kaiser, Network Research Lead, Norwich Research School at Notre Dame High School


‘The Learning Imperative’ is practical, easy to read, thought provoking and full of useful anecdotes and examples; it shows that the authors clearly have vast experience in the fields of learning and personal development.

It will help all leaders to get the most out of their teams and, at the same time, make the learning enjoyable and interesting.

– Mike McKenna, Solicitor and Partner, Hill Dickinson LLP


‘The Learning Imperative provides a fascinating and wide-ranging summary of both theory and practice in the field of learning and development, offering a compelling narrative on how to improve corporate performance through learning. I’ve picked up a number of key ideas which I’ll take back to the office.

– Matt Cuhls, Chief Executive Officer, ReAssure Group


I am usually put off business books as they tend to be too academic for my liking; however, I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable ‘The Learning Imperative is to read and follow. Set out in a logical format, the book is well structured and includes further sources of information at the end of each chapter – thus signposting the reader to delve deeper into the subject if interested.

I recognise many of the identified challenges and barriers that prevent teams and organisations from learning and developing, and these issues are brought to life by the inclusion of relevant examples and case studies from real-life contexts. The case studies are particularly useful as they prompt reflection on how things can be seen and done differently, and they also make the tools and techniques suggested by the authors easier to understand, remember and hence apply.

Practical, well-constructed and full of insightful tips, ‘The Learning Imperative’ is a book that I will continue to refer back to.

– Martin Riley, Managing Director, Medway Community Healthcare CIC


As a manager, one is always meant to be looking at new ways to inspire, motivate and lead. What ‘The Learning Imperative’ does in a concise and well-considered way is to make leaders look at their attitude to learning and development and reflect on how they can deliver more effective leadership.

The book clearly describes why learning and development is necessary and sets out how to support the development of future leaders, while also providing very useful step-by-step guidance to assist with implementation. I particularly enjoyed the clear structure of each chapter, with entertaining, relevant anecdotes complemented by illuminating case studies that draw out the key lessons. Each section is followed by prompts for reflection, which serve to question the reader’s position on a particular area and to reinforce the points made.

As part of the senior management team of a rapidly growing organisation, I recognise many of the examples given as to how and why learning and development can fail. On this subject Mark and Andy capture, in an entertaining manner, the pitfalls surrounding poorly conceived training – and how learning and development, when properly researched and planned, can be delivered in an effective way. In writing ‘The Learning Imperative’ they have compiled a very informative and practical guide which shows how to implement a successful learning programme that will help to deliver marginal gains.

– Mark Nevin, Chief Financial Officer, Portman Travel Group


‘The Learning Imperative’ is a compelling argument for the importance of learning in the workplace and offers a sophisticated yet practical guide to implementing a positive learning culture.

The book has two vital ingredients: plenty of academic substance that is easy to digest, and a writing style that is straightforward and enjoyable to engage with. The real-life examples and case studies are informative and insightful, and promote reflection and understanding. The format of each chapter is excellent too, starting with an outline of the subject under discussion before succinctly delivering the message and wrapping up with action points. The message sticks.

If you are serious about improving performance through learning in the workplace, The Learning Imperative delivers key strategies for achieving this in spades.

– Luke Fisher, Chief Executive, Steribottle Ltd


Mark did some consultancy work with our organisation a couple of years ago; the theories and concepts that he discussed were inspirational and changed my approach to learning design forever. Everything he shared then, and more, is included in ‘The Learning Imperative’.

Containing practical guidance on how to develop performance through effective learning, this book brings the subject to life through case study examples, reflection questions and supporting resources. Furthermore, the strategies shared are straightforward, uncomplicated and easy to implement. You’ll wonder how you ever got by without them.

Whether you’re a manager, leader, trainer or teacher, ‘The Learning Imperative provides plenty of opportunity for self-reflection and growth – see where the journey takes you.

– Catherine Blackburn, Learning and Development Lead – North Region, Next plc