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Upskill: 21 keys to professional growth Paperback – 15 Oct 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown House Publishing (15 Oct. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781785833526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785833526
  • ASIN: 1785833529
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.8 x 29.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


If you want to develop yourself, your people and your teams, read Chris Watson’s ’Upskill. Reflecting the growing trend towards self-directed learning, this do-it-yourself guide is filled with practical and innovative ideas that will help both you and your teams flourish!

- Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times number one bestselling author of Triggers and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and two-time winner of the Thinkers50 Leadership Award

This handy compendium of development ideas is packed with a wealth of proven tools to help individuals take greater control of their professional development and build long-term learning agility. ’Upskil’ encourages constructive conversations about capability in the workplace, anchored around some of the most valuable adaptive skills. The structure of the book is both engaging and inviting, allowing learners to be more flexible in the way they discover, distil and direct each of the practical suggestions for professional growth. No fillers, abstract theories or tedious stories: just full of easy-to-apply tools.

- Curt W. Coffman, co-author of Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch and First, Break All the Rules

Business is facing a new wave of complexity. Wrong response: create more processes and systems and add structures, control and committees – this complicatedness chokes productivity and satisfaction at work. Right response: better utilise people’s intelligence, leverage their adaptiveness, strengthen their problem-solving skills and grow the individual rather than the bureaucracy. ’Upskil’l provides tools and guidance to help achieve this, and enables readers to better face complexity without getting complicated – the essence of vitality.

- Yves Morieux, Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

Any format that allows you to understand a concept quickly, and shows you how to make best use of it, is going to be useful. This comprehensive book is a cornucopia of tools, models and techniques that will help leaders and managers improve their skills and be more effective. Flick through and have a go.

- Rory Underwood, MBE, motivational speaker and former England rugby international and RAF jet pilot

’Upskil’ provides a comprehensive account of personal and professional growth areas which everyone should be thinking about in terms of their own development. It is positive, easy to read and is based on in-depth knowledge of the subject – a welcome addition to the literature.

- Dr David Duncan, Chief Operating Officer, University of Glasgow

We live in an age of positive disruption which is only set to increase in the years ahead. The winners will be those individuals who are open to new ideas and actively focus on developing their learning agility. ’Upskill’ offers a huge range of tactical tools and intelligent ideas and approaches for long-term gain, which makes it so useful for anyone committed to developing themselves or others.

- Dominic Monkman, Global Strategy and Business Operations Director, GlaxoSmithKline plc

Compelling in its clarity, ’Upskill’ reflects the latest thinking on how to improve performance by building on strengths – helping individuals to learn at their own pace, in their own time. Anyone working in not-for-profit organisations, in the education sector or in other institutions outside of the corporate world will also find great value in this material.

- Eleanor Cannon, Chair, Scottish Golf

What a great wealth of ideas. Using a series of simple tools and techniques that are easy to understand and apply, Chris Watson has created a wonderful resource for anyone dealing with organisational issues or who has an interest in personal development. Every single one of the hundreds of options put forward is worth a read.

- Jim Tamm, co-author of Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships

An extremely useful guide to developing the techniques that will unleash the performance potential inside us all. ’Upskill provides a springboard for self-development and personal fulfilment, and is an excellent addition to the field of performance psychology.

- Dr Keith Earle, Sports Psychologist, Hull City Tigers

Well-structured and easy to navigate, ’Upskill’ is a veritable toolkit of tried and tested solutions for anyone wanting to develop themselves, their teams and their organisations – whether they need help attacking a specific challenge or just want to browse for practical inspiration.

- Richard Mellor, Global Chief Human Resources Officer, R/GA

’Upskill recognises that people sit at the centre of their own learning. It’s refreshing to read a book that provides individuals with such a range of tools and techniques in one place, which can be accessed whenever they are needed. Chris Watson has clearly drawn on his extensive practical experience in the field. Great job.

- Kate O’Sullivan, Deputy Chair, British Rowing, Chair, British Rowing National Coaching Committee

This highly practical repository of ideas, tools and techniques to assist with personal and professional development is both accessible and relevant. The serious business of learning is peppered with an irreverence which ensures the reader does not take this important subject or themselves too seriously.

- Paula Tunbridge, Deputy Director of Human Resources, University of York

With ’Upskill’ Chris Watson has curated an accessible, practical and memorable toolkit which any established or aspiring leader should delve into as part of their ongoing development journey. Taking an evidence-based approach, each of the twenty-one keys unlocks a door leading to a rich menu of resources, tactics and strategies. A book destined to spend very little time on the shelf.

- Mark Gilroy, Managing Director, TMS Development International Ltd

In a world of information overload, it is a blessing to discover a well-researched book full of practical tools, techniques and inspiration for developing professional skills that are currently in demand from employers. Upskill is a real time-saver.

- Dr Angela Armstrong, founder of Sustainable High Performance

Chris Watson has created an invaluable resource, bringing together tips and techniques that really work for pretty much every situation you could imagine. It’s a rich source of new ideas and inspiration and a timely reminder of things you knew but had forgotten – and even more than that it’s a fantastic point of reference for both classic and bang-up-to-date resources in the spheres of productivity and performance. Highly recommended.

- Alison Jones, bestselling author of This Book Means Business and founder of the Extraordinary Business Book Club

It would be a challenge for any individual to not be inspired by the range of practical strategies that are included in ’Upskill’. All the suggestions are neatly categorised under the twenty-one adaptive skills, so you can pick and choose where to focus your efforts – moving away from the one-size-fits-all model. Most books aimed at personal development usually only provide a couple of gems. There are 840 in this book!

- Steve Oakes, Associate Director of Education, AQR and co-author of The A Level Mindset and The GCSE Mindset

From the Inside Flap

Brimming with punchy, practical ideas to improve your day-to-day effectiveness, Chris Watson's 'Upskill: 21 keys to professional growth' is the definitive guide to developing the adaptive skills essential for success at work.

In 'Upskill', adaptive skills specialist Chris Watson delivers a dynamic snapshot of easy-to-access development possibilities providing you with:

- 840 user-friendly tools and techniques reflecting the latest thinking on how to extend capability, boost professional growth and take charge of your career.

- A rich resource of reliable solutions, grouped around the twenty-one adaptive skills most valued by today's employers including creativity, collaboration and communication.

- An abundance of proven approaches, topical insights, time-saving apps and inspirational videos, as well as helpful signposts to relevant quotes, books and other resources.

Each chapter focuses on one of the twenty-one skills, and begins with examples of how the individual skills, which can be practiced and refined throughout a career, and have all been shown to be associated with greater operational agility, may be observed in the work environment. This brief introduction is then followed by forty practical ideas to develop the performance of people. Although there is no formal hierarchy to the list of suggestions, all of the ideas have been categorized into three inter-related clusters for ease of use, encompassing ideas for personal development, for delivering results and for long-term gain.

Within each of the three clusters, all of the ideas for professional growth have been laid out in terms of how they can help you respond and adjust to the requirements of your role and the ever-changing world of work: The majority of the hints, tips and techniques can be actioned without having to access any external support or invest in any additional outlay, and are as useful for new starters in an organization as they are for experienced managers.

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