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Power up your mind – review


Title: Power Up Your Mind
Author: Bill Lucas
Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, London 2001
ISBN: 185788275X
Price: £14.99

Buy this book from the TrainingZONE - Blackwells bookshop.

Power Up Your Mind is a motivational text encouraging continuous learning through various practical everyday exercises. The book is bulging full of useful graphs, case-studies, diagrams, tables and pictures which helps to maintain interest and reinforce learning and understanding. At the end of each chapter is a summary of key ideas contained in the chapter, which enables the reader to assess learning gained.

The author Bill Lucas, CEO of the Campaign for Learning, uses his industry experience to bring the theory to practice and he details some interesting examples from Centrical Customer Experience, to Finding Fun and Funkiness at Work in IKEA, to Responding to change in ICL.

Power Up Your Mind is divided into three sections; Ready, Go, Steady. Each stage begins with a mind map of the content in that area which is a very useful entry point to each subject.

Part 1, ‘Get Ready to Learn’ looks at the various facets of the brain which include survival, emotions, senses and learning. Lucas begins by helping the learner to understand the brain and how we can make it work for us before we even think about the best method of learning. Discussion focuses around our emotions, being ready to learn, learning motivation and reward.

Part 2, ‘Go For It’ mainly summarises the best known theories behind learning more effectively, i.e. The Learning Cycle, Learning Styles, Memory Principles, De Bono’s Six Hats and Double Loop Learning. It also touches on learning on-line and the various definitions of intelligence.

Part 3, ‘Steady As You Go’ looks at how to put all this learning into practice. Learning to reflect and understanding the feeling of change are the two most significant themes in this section. The book concludes by examining learning in the context of balancing your life and making time for learning.

Overall I really enjoyed both the style and content of this book. I especially liked how Lucas emphasised ‘Getting Ready to Learn’ in part 1 of the book. This section contained a lot of new information about the brain and how we need to understand ourselves before we get on with learning. The other two sections - though interesting - didn’t really tell me anything I hadn’t read elsewhere although the content was used to good effect to emphasise how to ‘Go For It’ and ‘Steady as you Go’.

The book is motivational and I will definitely use the content of the first section when I’m considering the design and delivery of my training in the future. It focuses the mind of the trainer to ensure that the individuals as well as the environment are ready for the training.

As to the right target audience for the book I imagine that only the more motivated of learners will pick up the text and therefore the best people to communicate its message will be trainers and educators. Definitely worth a read!

Kay Maddox
Training and Development Officer for Pirelli Cables UK


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