17 books like Competing for the Future

By Gary Hamel, CK Prahalad,

Here are 17 books that Competing for the Future fans have personally recommended if you like Competing for the Future. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Designing Organizations: Strategy, Structure, and Process at the Business Unit and Enterprise Levels

Dave Ulrich Author Of Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets

From my list on how to improve organizations.

Who am I?

Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Professor at the Ross School of Business and a partner at the RBL Group, a consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value. He has published over 200 articles and book chapters and over 30 books. The organizations where we live, work, play, and worship affect every part of our lives. Organizations turn individual competencies into collective capabilities, isolated events into sustained patterns, and personal values into collective values. In short, organizations matter in our lives. By adapting their answer to “what is an organization,” leaders, employees, customers, and investors will be better able to improve their organization's experiences.

Dave's book list on how to improve organizations

Dave Ulrich Why did Dave love this book?

Jay Galbraith was the godfather of organization design. His work on how to design organizations has been the foundation of future work. He provides a system model with five parts (his star model) to diagnose and improve the organization. He also highlights the importance and role of information that flows from good organization design which was ahead of its time.

By Jay R. Galbraith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Designing Organizations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This Third Edition of the groundbreaking book Designing Organizations offers a guide to the process of creating and managing an organization (no matter how complex) that will be positioned to respond effectively and rapidly to customer demands and have the ability to achieve unique competitive advantage. This latest edition includes fresh illustrative examples and references, while the foundation of the book remains the author s popular and widely used Star Model. * Includes a comprehensive explanation of the basics of organization design * Outlines a strategic approach to design that is based on the Star Model, a holistic framework for…


Book cover of Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them

Bartley J. Madden Author Of Value Creation Principles: The Pragmatic Theory of the Firm Begins with Purpose and Ends with Sustainable Capitalism

From my list on knowledge building and value creation.

Who am I?

My intellectual journey has focused on three related passions: understanding how firms create value and the link to their stock market valuations, systems thinking, and knowledge building. This has led to the Madden Center for Value Creation at Florida Atlantic University that promotes the key value creation principles that are the foundation for a prosperous society. Prosperity is more widely shared through a society rooted in dynamism with enthusiastic support for experimentation, knowledge building, and innovation by firms. The Madden Center offers a Certificate in Value Creation online course that packages a learning experience to upgrade the knowledge, skills, and resources you need to create value. 

Bartley's book list on knowledge building and value creation

Bartley J. Madden Why did Bartley love this book?

Humanocracy addresses perhaps the biggest opportunity for value creation at scale, i.e., transitioning large command-and-control corporations to flatter organizations.

What I like most is the combination of rigorous thinking, plain language, and company stories illustrating the worldwide movement to purge bureaucracy. I have personally studied one of the companies spotlighted, the preeminent steel manufacturer Nucor. Four layers of management from the CEO to those working in the steel plants.

The authors understand what makes Nucor excel (page 82): “True to the spirit of humanocracy, Nucor’s model isn’t about pushing employees to do more, but giving them the opportunity to be more—more than blue collar workers, more than order takers, more than mere operators, more than employees… every job can be a good job.”  

By Gary Hamel, Michele Zanini,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Humanocracy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

In a world of unrelenting change and unprecedented challenges, we need organizations that are resilient and daring.

Unfortunately, most organizations, overburdened by bureaucracy, are sluggish and timid. In the age of upheaval, top-down power structures and rule-choked management systems are a liability. They crush creativity and stifle initiative. As leaders, employees, investors, and citizens, we deserve better. We need organizations that are bold, entrepreneurial, and as nimble as change itself. Hence this book.

In Humanocracy, Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini make a passionate, data-driven argument for excising bureaucracy and replacing it with something better. Drawing…


Book cover of The Agility Factor: Building Adaptable Organizations for Superior Performance

Dave Ulrich Author Of Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets

From my list on how to improve organizations.

Who am I?

Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Professor at the Ross School of Business and a partner at the RBL Group, a consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value. He has published over 200 articles and book chapters and over 30 books. The organizations where we live, work, play, and worship affect every part of our lives. Organizations turn individual competencies into collective capabilities, isolated events into sustained patterns, and personal values into collective values. In short, organizations matter in our lives. By adapting their answer to “what is an organization,” leaders, employees, customers, and investors will be better able to improve their organization's experiences.

Dave's book list on how to improve organizations

Dave Ulrich Why did Dave love this book?

Ed Lawler has a lifetime of melding academic theory and organization practice. In this research based book, he and his colleagues not only recognize that agility matters, but they do research to validate processes that create organization agility. Agility is one of the emerging capabilities for a successful organization in today’s changing world. Anything El Lawler works is well thought out, researched, and usable.

By Christopher G. Worley, Edward E. Lawler, Thomas D. Williams

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Agility Factor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A research-based approach to achieving long-term profitability in business What does it take to guarantee success and profitability over time? Authors Christopher G. Worley, a senior research scientist, Thomas D. Williams, an executive advisor, and Edward E. Lawler III, one of the country's leading management experts, set out to find the answer. In The Agility Factor: Building Adaptable Organizations for Superior Performance the authors reveal the factors that drive long-term profitability based on the practices of successful companies that have consistently outperformed their peers. Of the 234 large companies across 18 industries that were studied, there were few companies that…


Book cover of Competing by Design: The Power of Organizational Architecture

Dave Ulrich Author Of Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater Value in Fast-Changing Markets

From my list on how to improve organizations.

Who am I?

Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Professor at the Ross School of Business and a partner at the RBL Group, a consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value. He has published over 200 articles and book chapters and over 30 books. The organizations where we live, work, play, and worship affect every part of our lives. Organizations turn individual competencies into collective capabilities, isolated events into sustained patterns, and personal values into collective values. In short, organizations matter in our lives. By adapting their answer to “what is an organization,” leaders, employees, customers, and investors will be better able to improve their organization's experiences.

Dave's book list on how to improve organizations

Dave Ulrich Why did Dave love this book?

In doing organization diagnosis, it is important to have a framework for thinking about and designing organizations. Like an architect, organization and management practitioners can become architects who build blueprints for creating the right organization. The Nadler/Tushman model is one of the most insightful and comprehensive frameworks for organization diagnosis and improvement.

By Michael Tushman, David Nadler, Mark B. Nadler

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Competing by Design as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If the defining goal of modern-day business can be isolated to just one item, it would be the search for competitive advantage. And, as everyone in business knows, it's a lot harder than it used to be. On the one hand, competition is more intense than ever-technological innovation, consumer expectations, government deregulation, all combine to create more opportunities for new competitors to change the basic rules of the game. On the other hand, most of the old
reliable sources of competitive advantage are drying up: the hallowed strategies employed by GM, IBM, and AT&T to maintain their seemingly unassailable positions…


Book cover of The Startup Squad

Catherine Thimmesh Author Of Girls Solve Everything: Stories of Women Entrepreneurs Building a Better World

From my list on you’ve-got-this-girl young readers.

Who am I?

I’m someone who believes the accomplishments of women have been glossed over for far too long. I'm passionate about sharing the stories of women and girls that the world at large still tends to ignore. It’s critical to share these stores and to give face and voice to women. Social entrepreneurship, the topic of my recent book Girls Solve Everything, has fascinated me for some time:  creative problem solving, tackling problems in our communities and the world, creating a business to find and facilitate the solution. Representation matters. I’m determined to write about and share the stories of strong, innovative, creative women and girls. Our future depends on them.

Catherine's book list on you’ve-got-this-girl young readers

Catherine Thimmesh Why did Catherine love this book?

This lively middle-grade fiction series hits all the right notes: an engrossing, page-turner of budding friendships, strong girl characters, fun competition, and diverse characters that readers easily connect with and relate to. Throw in a common childhood experience – setting up a lemonade stand – but amp it up just enough so it’s more than a lemonade stand...it’s a startup business. I loved that The Startup Squad is a fun read that also manages to introduce business concepts and practices like: idea notebooks, brainstorming, marketing, sales, location, and quality merchandising. Readers can be forgiven if they take their time getting to the next book in the series – chances are, they’ll be a bit preoccupied dreaming up their own new businesses.

By Brian Weisfeld, Nicole C. Kear,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Startup Squad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

The start of an exciting new series, The Startup Squad encourages the entrepreneurial spirit in young readers with a fun, accessible voice and a heartwarming story of friendship.

When their 6th grade class holds a fundraiser, four girls who barely know each other are tasked with starting a lemonade stand - and competing against their classmates to raise the most money. But Resa just takes charge without asking, Amelia keeps asking questions, Harriet keeps getting distracted, and Didi cracks under pressure. The recipe for success is tough to perfect, and there'll be some sweet and sour moments along the way…


Book cover of Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128

Joanne McNeil Author Of Lurking: How a Person Became a User

From my list on the origins of the tech industry.

Who am I?

Joanne McNeil has written about internet culture for over fifteen years. Her book considers the development of the internet from a user's perspective since the launch of the World Wide Web. Her interest in digital technology spans from the culture that enabled the founding of major companies in Silicon Valley to their reception in broader culture.

Joanne's book list on the origins of the tech industry

Joanne McNeil Why did Joanne love this book?

Until the 1980s, it seemed like Route 128 in Massachusetts was set to be the dominant location for the tech industry. What could have been a dry look at comparative corporate organizational structures is instead a compelling analysis of the contrasting cultures, business climates, and other forces resulting in the ultimate victory of Silicon Valley. The book is full of fascinating details that I haven’t read anywhere else like the role that California community colleges played in ensuring companies could swiftly train new employees.

By AnnaLee Saxenian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Regional Advantage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why is it that in the '90s, business in California's Silicon Valley flourished, while along Route 128 in Massachusetts it declined? The answer, Annalee Saxenian suggests, has to do with the fact that despite similar histories and technologies, Silicon Valley developed a decentralized but cooperative industrial system while Route 128 came to be dominated by independent, self-sufficient corporations. The result of more than one hundred interviews, this compelling analysis highlights the importance of local sources of competitive advantage in a volatile world economy.


Book cover of The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good

Alex Rosenberg Author Of How History Gets Things Wrong: The Neuroscience of Our Addiction to Stories

From my list on for getting a grip on our reality.

Who am I?

Even before I became a philosopher I was wondering about everything—life the universe and whatever else Douglas Adams thought was important when he wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe. As a philosopher, I’ve been able to spend my life scratching the itch of these questions. When I finally figured them out I wrote The Atheist’s Guide to Reality as an introduction to what science tells us besides that there is no god. In How History Gets Things Wrong: The Neuroscience of Our Addiction to Stories I apply much of that to getting to the bottom of why it’s so hard for us, me included, to really absorb the nature of reality. 

Alex's book list on for getting a grip on our reality

Alex Rosenberg Why did Alex love this book?

Frank explains why Darwin is a better guide than Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations to the problems the economy raises for almost everyone. The most important market and the only market where almost everyone is a seller instead of a buyer is the labor market. Yet it is the one that Adam Smith got almost completely wrong and Charles Darwin got almost completely right. Frank shows us how the Darwinian process of the labor market makes employers rich at the expense of workers, and how they stitched their advantage into the “Right to Work” (at lower wages) laws.

By Robert H. Frank,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Darwin Economy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who was the greater economist--Adam Smith or Charles Darwin? The question seems absurd. Darwin, after all, was a naturalist, not an economist. But Robert Frank, New York Times economics columnist and best-selling author of The Economic Naturalist, predicts that within the next century Darwin will unseat Smith as the intellectual founder of economics. The reason, Frank argues, is that Darwin's understanding of competition describes economic reality far more accurately than Smith's. And the consequences of this fact are profound. Indeed, the failure to recognize that we live in Darwin's world rather than Smith's is putting us all at risk by…


Book cover of Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors

Jeet Mukherjee Author Of Pricing with Confidence: Ten Rules for Increasing Profits and Staying Ahead of Inflation

From my list on make an impact in your organization through pricing.

Who am I?

I’ve been working in value-based pricing for over 20 years and I’ve seen firsthand how it can transform a company’s profits when done right and executed properly through sales. While the specific strategies and tactics vary across industries, company size, and product offerings, many of the foundations and logic behind those strategies can be learned, and must be understood in order to grow a company’s revenue and profit growth in today’s markets. I’d love to connect about any of these topics – feel free to reach out on LinkedIn!

Jeet's book list on make an impact in your organization through pricing

Jeet Mukherjee Why did Jeet love this book?

Porter’s five forces have been around a long time–and they’re an important and timeless framework for strategy.

It helps companies focus on where to improve as they look to dominate a market, understanding the ecosystem of competitive threats, entrants, and substitutes.

By understanding what contributes to your pricing power and knowing your stance in different environments, leaders will learn to discern what your pricing power is and how to build and maintain it over time.

By Michael E. Porter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Competitive Strategy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now nearing its sixtieth printing in English and translated into nineteen languages, Michael E. Porter's Competitive Strategy has transformed the theory, practice, and teaching of business strategy throughout the world.

Electrifying in its simplicity-like all great breakthroughs-Porter's analysis of industries captures the complexity of industry competition in five underlying forces. Porter introduces one of the most powerful competitive tools yet developed: his three generic strategies-lowest cost, differentiation, and focus-which bring structure to the task of strategic positioning. He shows how competitive advantage can be defined in terms of relative cost and relative prices, thus linking it directly to profitability, and…


Book cover of The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age

Geoff Meeks Author Of The Merger Mystery: Why Spend Ever More on Mergers When so Many Fail?

From my list on accounting for M&A.

Who am I?

As an economics student I was told that corporate merger would typically enhance financial performance, because of scale economies, market power or the acquirer’s superior management. As an auditor of recently acquired firms I found disorganization, demoralised staff, and weak profits. As a researcher I found that most mergers had failed to boost profitability, a finding that was mostly replicated by researchers over the subsequent 40 years. In the meantime, helped by my co-author, one of my aims has been to provide an explanation of this evidence, recounted in ‘my book.’ I’m an academic ‘lifer’ at Cambridge University – latterly Professor of Financial Accounting and Acting Dean of Cambridge’s Judge Business School. 

Geoff's book list on accounting for M&A

Geoff Meeks Why did Geoff love this book?

This is not a book on techniques of accounting for M&A, but about why governments need to hold to account large companies seeking dominance of markets through M&A and other means.

It explores the socially harmful impacts of some mergers, such as exacerbating inequality and subverting democracy. It is rich in case evidence and combines law and economics in a vigorous, lucid critique of past governments’ permissive attitudes towards corporate merger. Wu has acted as Special Assistant to President Biden on competition policy.

By Tim Wu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Curse of Bigness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the man who coined the term "net neutrality," comes a warning about the dangers of excessive corporate and industrial concentration for our economic and political future.

We live in an age of extreme corporate concentration, in which global industries are controlled by just a few giant firms―big banks, big pharma, and big tech, just to name a few. But concern over what Louis Brandeis called the "curse of bigness" can no longer remain the province of specialist lawyers and economists, for it has spilled over into policy and politics, even threatening democracy itself. History suggests that tolerance of inequality…


Book cover of Story Driven: You don't need to compete when you know who you are

Anne H. Janzer Author Of Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn

From my list on rethinking marketing.

Who am I?

I am an author, nonfiction writing geek, and marketing practitioner on a mission to help people make a positive impact with their writing. Before setting out on this path, I spent many years as a marketing consultant, working with over 100 technology companies to articulate their messaging and value to customers and prospects. My first book, Subscription Marketing, was my manifesto about the changes needed in marketing to thrive in the emerging, subscription-based world. It’s now in its third edition and has been translated into multiple languages.

Anne's book list on rethinking marketing

Anne H. Janzer Why did Anne love this book?

Bernadette Jiwa’s short, pithy books make an outsized impact. This one is about applying the power of authentic stories to business and marketing. What if you can differentiate yourself, and your business, through meaning? Jiwa outlines what it means to be a story-driven business and provides a clear path to getting there.

By Bernadette Jiwa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Story Driven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"When you have something to say, you don't need to shout. Bernadette Jiwa helps us learn how to create the change we seek to make in the world."

SETH GODIN

Every one of us—regardless of where we were born, how we were brought up, how many setbacks we’ve endured or privileges we’ve been afforded—has been conditioned to compete to win. Ironically, the people who create fulfilling lives and careers—the ones we respect, admire and try to emulate—choose an alternative path to success. They have a powerful sense of identity. They don’t worry about differentiating themselves from the competition or obsess…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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