The most recommended strategic planning books

Who picked these books? Meet our 53 experts.

53 authors created a book list connected to strategic planning, and here are their favorite strategic planning books.
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What type of strategic planning book?


Blown to Bits

By Philip Evans, Thomas S. Wurster,

Book cover of Blown to Bits: How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy

Niraj Dawar Author Of Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers

From the list on marketing strategy.

Who am I?

I have taught marketing strategy to MBAs and Executives at Business Schools and companies around the world, and have consulted for major companies in financial services, consumer packaged goods, software, and others for over three decades. Some of my Harvard Business Review articles are among the review’s bestsellers, and my book on marketing strategy, TILT: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers, received the best business book award in 2014. I run a marketing strategy consultancy at Brand Strategy Group with clients on three continents. 

Niraj's book list on marketing strategy

Why did Niraj love this book?

This book described the economics of the internet age as the web was taking off. It remains a classic in that it not only predicted many of the transformations that were to play out on the web, including social media, and it continues to be useful as a template for predicting the coming transformations that will be wrought by Web3 and Blockchain.

By Philip Evans, Thomas S. Wurster,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blown to Bits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richness or reach? The trade-off used to be simple but absolute: your business strategy either could focus on 'rich' information - customized products and services tailored to a niche audience - or could reach out to a larger market, but with watered-down information that sacrificed richness in favor of a broad, general appeal. Much of business strategy as we know it today rests on this fundamental trade-off. Now, say Evans and Wurster, the new economics of information is eliminating the trade-off between richness and reach, blowing apart the foundations of traditional business strategy. "Blown to Bits" reveals how the spread…

The Future Normal

By Rohit Bhargava, Henry Coutinho-Mason,

Book cover of The Future Normal: How We Will Live, Work and Thrive in the Next Decade

Zoë Routh Author Of People Stuff: Beyond Personality Problems: an Advanced Handbook for Leadership

From the list on leaders who want to lead for the future.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated with the future ever since I watched 2001 Space Odyssey. An amazing spaceship that could help us explore other planets! Then all that weird stuff about an A.I. gone crazy and apes banging sticks around monoliths. What the…? That curiosity smashed into a major concern at the age of fifteen on a canoe trip where I was trying to work out how to live and work closely with other humans - and failing. It turns out humans are crazy creatures. We love being together, and doing amazing things together, but that can be really hard. So leadership and the future fused into a lifelong passionate pursuit.

Zoë's book list on leaders who want to lead for the future

Why did Zoë love this book?

This was an inspiring and motivating book.

The case studies of leaders, businesses, government, and agencies implementing new technologies for the improvement of work, agriculture, nutrition, productivity, and the climate is amazing.

My favourite case study snapshot is of Vivobarefoot footwear brand that partners with algae technology startup Bloom and their patented BLOOM foam - which takes harmful algae blooms out of waterways.

Shoes made out of algae blooms. By making shoes, it’s actually making the environment better. This is the ‘beyond net zero’ promise and potential. So cool.

The authors offer provocative ‘what if…’ questions at the beginning and end of each chapter to help the reader explore what the trends mean and how they might affect their current leadership paradigm.

One of the most useful aspects of the book is the ‘industry playlist’ infographic at the back of the book. You can look up your own industry and…

By Rohit Bhargava, Henry Coutinho-Mason,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a handbook for visionaries.

Making outlandish predictions about the future is easy. Predicting the future normal is far harder.

For the past decade, Rohit Bhargava and Henry Coutinho-Mason have been on the front lines of exploring the global forces shaping our future normal through their work independently leading two of the most successful trend consultancies in the world: TrendWatching and the Non-Obvious Company.

From donning full body haptic suits to sampling cultivated meat, their work has taken them into cutting-edge labs, private testing facilities, and invite-only showcases across the world. Now for the first time, they are teaming…

The Resilience Dividend

By Judith Rodin,

Book cover of The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong

A.H. Hay Author Of Before the Storm: Exploring Protection Planning and Security Integration

From the list on operational resilience and why it's important.

Who am I?

I practised risk, resilience, and protection of infrastructure systems for 35 years. Mid-career, I became frustrated that we could deliver highly successful projects yet didn't deliver their ultimate purpose. This difference is particularly pronounced in war zones and the developing world, where most of my work has been. My research at the University challenged what I knew: it was as if someone had taken my heuristic understanding and cast the components like a pack of cards into the wind. I have shared some highlights in my journey to gather the cards. I hope you like them.

A.H.'s book list on operational resilience and why it's important

Why did A.H. love this book?

Judith Rodin is one of the more extraordinary influencers of resilience thought and practice. As President of the Rockefeller Foundation, she oversaw the 100 Resilient Cities initiative. The initiative may not have been as "sticky" as many hoped, but the lessons from this experience continue to inform and spur action in cities worldwide. This book gives us a sense of her thinking and vision in driving the initiative. It does not hold all the answers, and many take issue with her perspective. Nonetheless, it is a must-read for anyone thinking about protecting our cities. In an ideal world, I'd love to see Judith Rodin write the next book with Juliette Kayyem, former US Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, drawing on all that we've experienced over the last tumultuous decade. 

By Judith Rodin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Building resilience,the ability to bounce back more quickly and effectively,is an urgent social and economic issue. Our interconnected world is susceptible to sudden and dramatic shocks and stresses: a cyber-attack, a new strain of virus, a structural failure, a violent storm, a civil disturbance, an economic blow. Through an astonishing range of stories, Judith Rodin shows how people, organizations, businesses, communities, and cities have developed resilience in the face of otherwise catastrophic challenges: Medellin, Colombia, was once the drug and murder capital of South America. Now it's host to international conferences and an emerging vacation destination. Tulsa, Oklahoma, cracked the…

Book cover of The Mind Of The Strategist: The Art of Japanese Business

George S. Yip Author Of China's Next Strategic Advantage: From Imitation to Innovation

From the list on business and military strategy and execution.

Who am I?

My career in business strategy as a manager, consultant, and academic developed via my lifelong passion for military strategy and tactics, reading countless books on the Battle of Marathon through to the Third (!) World War. When I was introduced to business strategy in an MBA program, it was love at first lecture. I progressed to a doctorate in “Business Policy” at Harvard Business School as the second doctoral student of the then unknown Michael Porter. My main contribution has been the concept of global strategy for multinational companies. My focus is now on how Chinese companies are moving from imitation to innovation and reinventing management control.

George's book list on business and military strategy and execution

Why did George love this book?

Written in 1982 as one of the earliest books on strategy and still very relevant today. Ohmae was head of McKinsey Japan at the time of Japan's dominance in global business and contributed to the success of many Japanese companies. I had the great honor of meeting Ken Ohmae once and persuading him a few years later to provide an endorsement for my own book. Ohmae’s book explores the ways in which the strategist must think, the key principles and thought patterns that real-world strategists have used to move their companies forward in Japan and throughout the world. A timeless classic that is not just about Japan.

By Kenichi Ohmae,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Masterful Analysis of Company, Customer, and Competition Kenichi Ohmae - voted by The Economist as "one of the world's top five management gurus" - changed the landscape of management strategy in "The Mind of the Strategist". In this compelling account of global business domination, Ohmae reveals the vital thinking processes and planning techniques of prominent companies, showing why they work, and how any company can benefit from them. Filled with case studies of strategic thinking in action, Ohmae's classic work inspires today's managers to excel to new heights of bold, imaginative thinking and solutions. "In many ways, Ohmae can…

Company Of One

By Paul Jarvis,

Book cover of Company Of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business

John Lamerton Author Of Big Ideas... For Small Businesses: Simple, Practical Tools and Tactics to Help Your Small Business Grow

From the list on ambitious, lifestyle business owners.

Who am I?

I used to hate lifestyle businesses, looking down my nose at them, saying (as many others do!) that they weren’t real businesses. After a “lightbulb moment,” I now proudly describe myself as an ambitious lifestyle business owner – someone who designs their business around their lifestyle, rather than the other way around. Work to live, not live to work! As well as Big Ideas... for Small Businesses, a bestselling book about how to build a lifestyle business, I also host the Ambitious Lifestyle Business podcast, where I interview other lifestyle business owners, discovering how what an ambitious, lifestyle business looks like for them.

John's book list on ambitious, lifestyle business owners

Why did John love this book?

Bigger isn't better – at least not when it comes to lifestyle businesses. 

The “Company of One” mindset is very similar to my own “Ambitious, Lifestyle Business”: deliberately small, and designed to deliver the lifestyle desired by the owner, rather than growth at all costs. It doesn’t necessarily mean one person (personally, I run a Company of One with a team of seven).

There is only one “rule” for a Company of One – you must constantly question the need for growth. People say you should start with the end in mind. I say start with the lifestyle in mind, and then design the business around this.

Company of One will help you do this from day one (and believe me, that's far easier than changing old habits!).

By Paul Jarvis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Company Of One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What if the real key to a richer and more fulfilling career was not to create and scale a new start-up, but rather, to be able to work for yourself, determine your own hours, and become a (highly profitable) and sustainable company of one? Suppose the better - and smarter - solution is simply to remain small? This book explains how to do just that. Company of One is a refreshingly new approach centered on staying small and avoiding growth. Not as a freelancer who only gets paid on a per piece basis, and not as an entrepreneurial start-up that…

Testing Business Ideas

By David J. Bland, Alex Osterwalder,

Book cover of Testing Business Ideas: A Field Guide for Rapid Experimentation

Jeff Gothelf Author Of Forever Employable: How to Stop Looking for Work and Let Your Next Job Find You

From the list on product management from an experienced product manager.

Who am I?

Jeff has been a UX designer, team leader and product manager for over 20 years. His work in the field helped define some of the key practices product managers use today. Building a customer-centric practice is key to successful products and services and Jeff has demonstrated that not only in the products and companies he’s helped build but in the writing and thinking he’s contributed to the product managaement community.

Jeff's book list on product management from an experienced product manager

Why did Jeff love this book?

David and Alex have written the definitive reference book for product experiments. Forty-four ways for you to learn quickly and efficiently whether you’re building something of value. This book is beautifully illustrated and infinitely practical.

By David J. Bland, Alex Osterwalder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Testing Business Ideas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A practical guide to effective business model testing

7 out of 10 new products fail to deliver on expectations. Testing Business Ideas aims to reverse that statistic. In the tradition of Alex Osterwalder's global bestseller Business Model Generation, this practical guide contains a library of hands-on techniques for rapidly testing new business ideas.

Testing Business Ideas explains how systematically testing business ideas dramatically reduces the risk and increases the likelihood of success for any new venture or business project. It builds on the internationally popular Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas by integrating Assumptions Mapping and other powerful lean…

Thinking in Bets

By Annie Duke,

Book cover of Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts

Sima Dimitrijev, PhD Author Of Trial, Error, and Success: 10 Insights into Realistic Knowledge, Thinking, and Emotional Intelligence

From the list on realistic knowledge and decision making.

Who am I?

My core value is realistic education—learning from each other’s errors and successes, but with full awareness of the difference between the determined past and the uncertain future. We can benefit from uncertainty, which I’ve been doing for a living as an engineer, academic researcher, and inventor. I make use of knowledge and science as much as possible, but I also know that strategic decisions for the uncertain future require skepticism and thinking to deal with the differences in a new circumstance. With my core value, I am passionate about sharing insights and knowledge that our formal education does not provide.

Sima's book list on realistic knowledge and decision making

Why did Sima love this book?

Certainty is a black-or-white concept, either zero or hundred percent; uncertainty is something between zero and hundred percent, and this grayness is a difficult concept. In the context of dealing with uncertainty and making better decisions, I find Annie Duke’s use of poker in Thinking in Bets clever for two reasons: (1) People can engage with the concept that winning or losing in a poker game is neither exact science nor pure luck. (2) Given that poker games are so different from our everyday reality, there is no danger that people would expect decision recipes for dummies. 

By Annie Duke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal bestseller, now in paperback. Poker champion turned decision strategist Annie Duke teaches you how to get comfortable with uncertainty and make better decisions.

Even the best decision doesn't yield the best outcome every time. There's always an element of luck that you can't control, and there's always information hidden from view. So the key to long-term success (and avoiding worrying yourself to death) is to think in bets: How sure am I? What are the possible ways things could turn out? What decision has the highest odds of success? Did I land in the unlucky 10%…

Only the Paranoid Survive

By Andrew S. Grove,

Book cover of Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company

Rupert Scofield Author Of Default to Bold:  Anatomy of a Turnaround

From the list on learning how to survive as an entrepreneur.

Who am I?

Rupert Scofield is the President & CEO of a global financial services empire spanning 20 countries of Latin America, Africa, Eurasia and the Middle East, serving millions of the world’s poorest families, especially women. Scofield has spent the better part of his life dodging revolutions, earthquakes and assassins in the Third World, and once ran for his life from a mob in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Rupert's book list on learning how to survive as an entrepreneur

Why did Rupert love this book?

This book is a guide to surviving an existential crisis – what Grove calls a Strategic Inflection Point – when your business is subjected to one or more of six external forces, which, if powerful enough, could destroy the business.  Some of them are obvious – competitors, regulators, customers, vendors – but others more esoteric, like “the possibility your business could be done a different way”, what today we would call being disrupted.  I read it in 2015, when the company I run, FINCA International, was facing five of these six forces, each of which clobbered us with a 10x force compared to the first three decades of our existence, when competition was weak and most external forces enabled our success. How does a CEO respond to this challenge?  Grove’s answer is summarized in the title: remain in a permanent state of dread, which to outsiders might appear on the…

By Andrew S. Grove,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Only the Paranoid Survive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The President and CEO of Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, reveals how to identify and exploit the key moments of change in any industry that generates either drastic failure or incredible success. Under Andrew Grove's leadership, Intel has become the world's largest computer chipmaker, the 5th most admired company in America, and the 7th most profitable company among the Fortune 500. Few CEOs can claim this level of success. Grove attributes much of it to the philosophy and strategy he has learned the hard way as he steered Intel through a series of potential major disasters. There are moments in…

Book cover of The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell

Nicolas A. Valcik Author Of Strategic Planning and Decision-Making for Public and Non-Profit Organizations

From the list on showing leadership through someone's own story.

Who am I?

Leadership is always the key to success in strategic planning for any organization. Great leaders can drive their organizations to success, while poor leadership can crater the organization and take generations for it to rebuild. A good leader is essential in the aspect of providing good morale for the employees of the organization. Good leadership factors cause the organization to be seen as cutting edge and as an organization that others want to go work for in an effort to be better themselves. An organization with a superior strategic planning process, will have great leaders and employees to not only formulate the plan, but also execute the plan successfully.  

Nicolas' book list on showing leadership through someone's own story

Why did Nicolas love this book?

Harari’s book is both insightful and inspirational for leaders in public service.

As were many commanders during that era, Powell was a Vietnam Veteran and learned much from the public policy debacle where he served valiantly. This helped him formulate the Powell Doctrine which provided strategic framework for the military operating in an American Foreign Policy environment.

Strategic planning was key in how Colin Powell dealt successfully with a very complex military operation (e.g. Desert Storm) by having overwhelming force as well as stakeholder support. The book discusses the different aspects of leadership as seen through Powell’s eyes, which is very insightful on what his vision of what characteristics a leader should possess.  

By Oren Harari,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the "New York Times", "Business Week", "Wall Street Journal" and "USA Today Bestseller" - Now in Paperback! "The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell" goes beyond other books to take an honest look into the foundations of Colin Powell's compelling leadership style. Sparked with insights and observations that are as refreshingly honest as they are grittily realistic, it provides a blueprint for inspiring anyone - including yourself - to achieve extraordinary levels of performance.Praise for "The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell" include: "Management professor Oren Harari adopts Colin Powell's rise into the upper ranks of American power as a…

Leading Change

By John P. Kotter,

Book cover of Leading Change

Kate Vitasek Author Of Vested: How P&G, McDonald's, and Microsoft are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships

From the list on creating successful business deals.

Who am I?

I am an international authority for my award-winning research on the Vested® business model for highly collaborative relationships. I began my research in 2003 researching what makes a difference in successful strategic business deals. My day job is being the lead faculty and researcher for the University of Tennessee’s Certified Deal Architect program; my passion is helping organizations and individuals learn the art, science, and practice of crafting highly collaborative win-win strategic business relationships. My work has led to seven books and three Harvard Business Review articles. I’ve also shared my advice on CNN International, Bloomberg, NPR, and on Fox Business News.

Kate's book list on creating successful business deals

Why did Kate love this book?

You might ask why I am recommending a book on change management for a book list on structuring business deals. It is because anytime two organizations come together in a business deal something will change within their organizations. All too often people rush to sign the deal and forget there that often hundreds of critical changes behind the scenes are needed for the deal to be a success long after the ink is dry. If you are structuring a big business deal this book will help you think two steps ahead to lay the foundation so the organization can implement the changes needed. 

By John P. Kotter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The international bestseller--now with a new preface by author John Kotter. Millions worldwide have read and embraced John Kotter's ideas on change management and leadership. From the ill-fated dot-com bubble to unprecedented M&A activity to scandal, greed, and ultimately, recession--we've learned that widespread and difficult change is no longer the exception. It's the rule. Now with a new preface, this refreshed edition of the global bestseller Leading Change is more relevant than ever. John Kotter's now-legendary eight-step process for managing change with positive results has become the foundation for leaders and organizations across the globe. By outlining the process every…

Competitive Strategy

By Michael E. Porter,

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

Benjamin Gilad Author Of The Opposite of Noise: The Power of Competitive Intelligence

From the list on how to avoid making dumb decisions in your job.

Who am I?

I am always fascinated by how smart people and big companies are blind to risks and opportunities under their noses. Then one day I had a chance to start training them to avoid bad surprises. Based on my unusual background (combination of police intelligence and advanced economics degree) I created the Academy of Competitive Intelligence. It has become the leading global school for avoiding dumb decisions. It now has 10,000 corporate alumni! I didn’t plan it; I didn’t sit down and had a great business plan. I just spotted an opportunity and I grabbed it. Maybe you should do the same? My book tells you how.

Benjamin's book list on how to avoid making dumb decisions in your job

Why did Benjamin love this book?

Porter, the strategy guru from Harvard Business School, created the field of competitive analysis, out of which we grew my field of competitive intelligence. This book is the “bible” for every manager out there looking to understand where risks and opportunities come from, and how to take advantage of both (risks can be as profitable as opportunities if you learn of them earlier than others). Over the years, academics and consultants attempted to poke holes in Porter’s basic analysis frameworks to no avail. It remains the only surviving framework used by strategic planners worldwide and outlasted fads and buzz words such as re-organization, blue ocean theory, core competency model, “hyper-competition” misconception, and “business models.” Porter is to strategy what Peter Drucker was to general management. I use these frameworks to train competition analysts all over the world. 

By Michael E. Porter,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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 Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning

George Felton Author Of Advertising: Concept and Copy

From the list on copywriters on the rise.

Who am I?

I taught writing and copywriting at Columbus College of Art & Design in Ohio for thirty-seven years (retiring as an ancient-but-somehow-still-living fossil in 2014). I taught all our majors, but most of my copywriting students were advertising and design majors. During those decades I wrote nonfiction for newspapers and magazines and copy as a freelancer for ad agencies and design studios. My copywriting book emerged from my experiences in and out of the classroom. I hope I’ve given good advice on advertising: how to think about it and how to write it. But you’ll be the judge.

George's book list on copywriters on the rise

Why did George love this book?

I first read this book over twenty years ago, and it still resonates. Steel shows how they thought things through at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and, as director of account planning, he would know. Steel starts from the consumer’s point of view, which is where ads themselves should start but too often don’t. He helps us see the psychology that underlies great advertising. Smart, witty, well written—full of memorable insights and delicious examples. It’s over twenty years old, yes, but until human nature changes, this book will be relevant.

By Jon Steel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Truth, Lies, and Advertising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Account planning exists for the sole purpose of creating advertising that truly connects with consumers. While many in the industry are still dissecting consumer behavior, extrapolating demographic trends, developing complex behavioral models, and measuring Pavlovian salivary responses, Steel advocates an approach to consumer research that is based on simplicity, common sense, and creativity--an approach that gains access to consumers' hearts and minds, develops ongoing relationships with them, and, most important, embraces them as partners in the process of developing and advertising. A witty, erudite raconteur and teacher, Steel describes how successful account planners work in partnership with clients, consumer, and…

Designing Organizations

By Jay R. Galbraith,

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 the 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

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…

Your Next Five Moves

By Patrick Bet-David,

Book cover of Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy

Shaynuh Sloane Author Of Jaded Choyce

From the list on women managing challenging professional experiences.

Who am I?

When writing about the everyday challenges that women face within the workplace, I aim to express the events that occur before, during, and after the experience. Unpopular belief, life doesn’t go back to normal for most of us, as getting back to normal from any traumatic experience will leave you shielded. I found my voice through writing about my passion for enabling female empowerment. My path as a woman in leadership came from understanding the lack of consistent supportive resources, encouragement, and validation, amongst women in the workplace. Through my writing, I aim to creatively empower and encourage my readers to find their voice. 

Shaynuh's book list on women managing challenging professional experiences

Why did Shaynuh love this book?

In this great read, Patrick bet David opens the opportunity to strategize on planning ahead. In this book, there is the opportunity to clarify where you want to be in life and how you plan to get there. The path begins with understanding how you personally identify yourself, to how you plan to take action on it. After gaining clarity on who you are as a person, you then are able to enhance your strategy as a leader. This book gave great insight to people who feel that they are stuck in a limited place or position, exposing them to their full potential and endless possibilities. 

By Patrick Bet-David,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Your Next Five Moves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the creator of Valuetainment, the #1 YouTube channel for entrepreneurs, and "one of the most exciting thinkers" (Ray Dalio, author of Principles) in business today, comes a practical and effective guide for thinking more clearly and achieving your most audacious professional goals.

Both successful entrepreneurs and chess grandmasters have the vision to look at the pieces in front of them and anticipate their next five moves. In this book, Patrick Bet-David "helps entrepreneurs understand exactly what they need to do next" (Brian Tracy, author of Eat That Frog!) by translating this skill into a valuable methodology. Whether you feel…

Playing to Win

By A.G. Lafley, Roger L. Martin,

Book cover of Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works

Jennifer Riel Author Of Creating Great Choices: A Leader's Guide to Integrative Thinking

From the list on to think differently on creative problem solving.

Who am I?

I am a writer, teacher, and partner at IDEO, the global design and innovation firm. Before IDEO, I spent more than a decade teaching university undergrads and MBAs to create better choices, in their work and their lives. Now, I work with business leaders to help them do the same thing, at the intersection of design and strategy. I believe that one key to getting to those better choices is the ability to understand, reflect on and, yes, even improve our own way of thinking and engaging with the world. The books on this list have shifted my own understanding of the world and how I think. I hope they inspire and challenge you as well. 

Jennifer's book list on to think differently on creative problem solving

Why did Jennifer love this book?

My own early experiences with strategy were pretty uninspiring – slow, incremental, and almost entirely analytical. But the framework that Roger and AG lay out in Playing to Win changed it all for me. It’s practical. It’s understandable. And it is aimed at not just understanding the world as it is, but at imaging a world that might be different… and forging a real strategy to bring that new world to life. The book is based on the approach to strategy Roger honed in his career as a management disclosure and that AG practiced as CEO at Procter & Gamble. Full disclosure, I helped them as they were writing the book – and honestly think it is the best book on strategy of the past 30 years.

By A.G. Lafley, Roger L. Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Are you just playing--or playing to win? Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It's hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future--something that doesn't happen in most companies. Now two of today's best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategy--explaining what it's for, how to think about it, why you need it, and how to get it done. And they use one of the most successful corporate turnarounds of the past century, which they achieved together, to prove their point. A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, in close partnership…

How Stella Saved the Farm

By Vijay Govindarajan, Chris Trimble,

Book cover of How Stella Saved the Farm: A Tale about Making Innovation Happen

Ron Ashkenas Author Of Simply Effective: How to Cut Through Complexity in Your Organization and Get Things Done

From the list on simplifying your organization.

Who am I?

As an organizational consultant, and a business writer, I’ve always been fascinated by Mark Twain’s comment that he would've written a shorter letter if he had more time. It’s a wonderful reminder that simplicity and clarity require hard work and won’t happen by itself. As part of the consulting team that worked with Jack Welch to transform GE in the 1990s, I saw firsthand that leaders actually have the power to simplify their organizations, and that it can make a huge difference. What they need is a playbook for how to do this, and that was my intention when I wrote Simply Effective. Since then I’ve seen “simplicity” become a driving force for business success. 

Ron's book list on simplifying your organization

Why did Ron love this book?

Yes, Stella is a book – but it’s really a fable about how to cut through corporate inertia and bureaucracy to drive innovation.

When I first read it, I was blown away – a story about farm animals saving their farm from bankruptcy – with lots of clear and compelling messages. And it was actually fun to read. Since I first learned about it from one of the authors (we were working with a common client), I’ve recommended it to lots of other executives, and it’s made a difference.

One of the key lessons from Stella is that truly transformative innovation often needs to be separated from the core business – with different resources, budgets, metrics, and expectations. Otherwise it’s going to be in competition with the core business – and it will end up getting the short end of the stick in terms of money and people.

Then when…

By Vijay Govindarajan, Chris Trimble,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Stella Saved the Farm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by George Orwell's Animal Farm and the international bestseller Our Iceberg is Melting, How Stella Saved the Farm is a simple parable about embracing change and managing innovation in difficult times.

Bankruptcy, or the grim prospect of being acquired by a hostile human competitor, threatens Windsor Farm. But when a young sheep called Stella comes up with a bold idea, will the other animals be able to respond to her ambitious call to action?

Grounded in over a decade of academic research, How Stella Saved the Farm will resonate for organizations of all types, from global corporations to small…

Book cover of Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World

Rita Gunther McGrath Author Of Discovery-Driven Growth: A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity

From the list on understanding how breakthrough innovation happens.

Who am I?

When I first started in the field of strategy, all the cool kids were doing industry-level analysis. Order of entry, strategic groups, R&D intensity…anything you could get sufficient data about to run complex models was the order of the day. Those of us studying the ‘insides’ of corporations, particularly the process of innovation, were kind of huddled together for warmth! Today, strategy and innovation have come together in a remarkable way, but I find that most people still don’t understand the processes. One of my goals is to de-mystify the innovation process – these books will give you a great start in understanding the practices that are too bewildering for too many people.  

Rita's book list on understanding how breakthrough innovation happens

Why did Rita love this book?

Just as no man is an island, today no company is, either. An ecosystem approach to strategy leads one to make entirely different choices about how to engage, when to compete, and which capabilities to build than you would make without such a perspective. The book engagingly opens with a retelling of the well-worn Kodak story, with a twist – it wasn’t that Kodak didn’t “get” digital, it's that they doubled down on printing when screens were getting good enough to make printing irrelevant. In its chapters, you’ll learn about how a mapping company survived when its competitors gave away its product for free; how Amazon got its Echo technology to be adopted as a standard by other organizations and how a clearly promising new ecosystem can be stillborn when its champions don’t play nicely together. 

By Ron Adner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winning the Right Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How to succeed in an era of ecosystem-based disruption: strategies and tools for offense, defense, timing, and leadership in a changing competitive landscape.

The basis of competition is changing. Are you prepared? Rivalry is shifting from well-defined industries to broader ecosystems: automobiles to mobility platforms; banking to fintech; television broadcasting to video streaming. Your competitors are coming from new directions and pursuing different goals from those of your familiar rivals. In this world, succeeding with the old rules can mean losing the new game. Winning the Right Game introduces the concepts, tools, and frameworks necessary to confront the threat of…

Chess Not Checkers

By Mark Miller,

Book cover of Chess Not Checkers: Elevate Your Leadership Game

Brian Unell Author Of Everyday Leadership: You Will Make A Difference

From the list on leadership you can use at home, work, and in life.

Who am I?

I am a recovering Big 5 consultant and healthcare administrator, while others portray me as a transformational healthcare executive who has a passion for cultivating talent and driving change to enable sustainable results. I am a visionary and collaborative team builder and servant leader who views issues/opportunities from all perspectives, turns data into information, the complex into simple, and chaos into focus. I have led transformational consulting projects, a $180M technology implementation, and a team of 1,500 people. I enjoy serving on non-profit boards, mentoring others, and co-leading a team of four at home with my wife, Hilary.  

Brian's book list on leadership you can use at home, work, and in life

Why did Brian love this book?

In Chess Not Checkers, Mark Miller uses fictional storytelling to describe how it is important as a leader to set the pace, grow the leadership team, build a bench of talent, create clarity, surround yourself with talent, affirm the organizations values, build community, share ownership, foster dreams, master the fundamentals, share results, and raise the bar.  

By Mark Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chess Not Checkers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As organizations grow in volume and complexity, the demands on leadership change. The same old moves won’t cut it any more. In Chess Not Checkers, Mark Miller tells the story of Blake Brown, newly appointed CEO of a company troubled by poor performance and low morale. Nothing Blake learned from his previous roles seems to help him deal with the issues he now faces. The problem, his new mentor points out, is Blake is playing the wrong game.

The early days of an organization are like checkers: a quickly played game with mostly interchangeable pieces. Everybody, the leader included, does…

Book cover of Your Business, Your Book: How to plan, write, and promote the book that puts you in the spotlight

Andrew Crofts Author Of Ghostwriting

From the list on ghostwriting and ghostwriters.

Who am I?

I have been a ghostwriter for over thirty years, publishing more than a hundred books under other people’s names, as well as those under my own name. It has allowed me to live a hundred different and varied lives and it is a profession I like to encourage all writers to consider. Several of my own novels have featured ghostwriters as central characters, including Secrets of the Italian Gardener and What Lies Around Us.

Andrew's book list on ghostwriting and ghostwriters

Why did Andrew love this book?

Ginny Carter is another very experienced ghostwriter and in this book, she explains exactly why it is good for business people to write books in order to promote themselves, their companies, and their products. Since most successful business people do not have the time to write the books themselves, her eloquent arguments will inevitably lead them to hiring ghostwriters such as Ginny – and myself.

By Ginny Carter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Your Business, Your Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


If you're a coach, consultant, or speaker who makes a living from your expertise, this is for you. It's the guide you need to help you plan, write, and promote the book that elevates your authority, increases your visibility, and gets more clients saying 'yes'. Because creating such a book is a challenge. Where do you start? How do you keep going until the end? And what do you do when you've finished? Don't let your book stay in your head - allow it to come to life and make a positive difference…

Disrupt Yourself

By Whitney Johnson,

Book cover of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work

Joshua Womack Author Of You are not that funny: Stories from Cleveland Stand-Up

From the list on discipline, writing, and disciplined writing.

Who am I?

The reason I’m so fascinated by stand-up and books on writing is because I have done both. For a brief time I was a comedian, and the lessons in creativity and writing I learned along the way helped me find the career of copywriting. I’m passionate about learning how great writers write, and more importantly, keep writing, even when they don’t feel like it. I like to be inspired with lessons I can bring with me to every Word doc I open up.

Joshua's book list on discipline, writing, and disciplined writing

Why did Joshua love this book?

This book reinforces the notion to be brave enough to suck at something new.

We’re all experts in something, but chances are we can learn even more… even if we struggle at first. A really good message for those looking to shake things up in their career. “When we take a step down to gain momentum for the upward surge, for a time we will know less than those around us. This can deal a blow to the ego.”

The message? Don’t let your ego get in the way of learning!

By Whitney Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Thinkers50 Management Thinker of 2015 Whitney Johnson wants you to consider this simple, yet powerful, idea: disruptive companies and ideas upend markets by doing something truly different--they see a need, an empty space waiting to be filled, and they dare to create something for which a market may not yet exist. As president and cofounder of Rose Park Advisors' Disruptive Innovation Fund with Clayton Christensen, Johnson used the theory of disruptive innovation to invest in publicly traded stocks and private early-stage companies. In Disrupt Yourself, she helps you understand how the frameworks of disruptive innovation can apply to your particular…