Experts Tell Us the Best Books on Corporate Strategy

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2 years ago
This article showcases our top picks for the Books on Corporate Strategy. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

Corporate Strategy by Phanish Puranam

This product was recommended by Maria A. McDowell from EasySearchPeople

This is one of the best books on corporate strategy that I have read. Written for managers and business owners, and advisors, this book is a guide to decision-making in the domain of corporate strategy. It arms readers with research-based tools needed to make good corporate strategy decisions and to assess the soundness of the corporate strategy decisions of others. This book teaches readers how to do the analysis for answering questions such as ‘Should we pursue an alliance or an acquisition to grow?’, ‘How much should we integrate this acquisition?’ and ‘Should we divest this business?’. I recommend this book to anyone searching for a resourceful book on corporate strategy.

Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition by W. Chan Kim

This product was recommended by Richard Clews from Pants And Socks

I really enjoyed this read and it is from a pair of authors who have covered this new way of strategizing corporate growth in other books. They use an analogy of moving from red oceans (crowded and depleted market areas) to blue oceans (untapped and new market areas) as you move to redefine your business. There are excellent case studies from real companies that revolutionized the markets they were in. This book really is legendary in its delivery and easy to read, or rather consume (I couldn’t put it down!). Both of these authors are New York Times Best Sellers and they prove it again! Must read for anyone in corporate management.

The Cold Start Problem by Andrew Chen

This product was recommended by Chris Gadek from AdQuick

Chen draws on his experience as a venture capitalist and an executive at Uber, as well as interviews with well-known CEOs, to provide insights into how teams can build viral growth into their products. Launching and scaling new products requires the network effect, whereby the product’s value increases the more customers use it, attracting new customers through their word-of-mouth referrals. Chen defines the network effect in various stages in a successful company’s growth cycle as Cold Start, Tipping Point, Escape Velocity, and Ceiling. The real-world examples Chen shares provide many aha moments for readers as they put two and two together. The Cold Start Problem is definitely a must-read for startups wanting to create products and communities.

The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

This product was recommended by Shaunak Amin from SnackMagic

The Goal is an unconventional business book in that it’s written as a fast-paced fictional thriller about one man’s fight to save his manufacturing plant from disaster. It’s essentially the search for understanding the rules of how processes work and how we can improve them. Goldratt believes that we can all be scientists constantly pursuing knowledge to challenge people’s basic assumptions. And by breaking free of that uninspired thinking, we can see the actual work that needs to get done. I find this especially true if you work in a manufacturing, distribution, production, or supply chain management capacity. But the lessons of The Goal are applicable in areas other than production, which you will discover in Goldratt’s subsequent novels as he fleshes out the theory of constraints to include marketing and project management disciplines.

Small Fish Big Pond by Jeff Mains

This product was recommended by Jeff Mains from Champion Leadership Group LLC

Inspiring business executives with insights from ocean life, ‘Small Fish, Big Pond’ teaches them how to outmaneuver, outswim, and outlast their rivals. Large, well-established players pose a significant threat to the survival of small businesses. Entrepreneurs can use the Futureproof Strategic Framework to establish a genuine firm that draws top people, provides exceptional client experiences, and consistently outperforms the competition at every stage of growth. To achieve long-term success, businesses must first carve out their own niches and seize control of the minds of their ideal customers. Leaders who accept their individuality instead of seeking to be the next shark modify the game’s rules. These leaders stoke a purchasing frenzy and set the stage for enormous potential for development. In the end, size doesn’t matter. Isn’t it time to eat the big?

Measure What Matters by John Doerr

This product was recommended by Amy Wong from My Favorite Hello Blog

This book will walk you through how to use Objective Key Results (OKRs) to achieve business goals for any type of Company. It will start with how OKRs were first brought to Google and a key driver for its later success and growth. It gives multiple examples of how OKRs are used to bring shared focus and efforts throughout the organization.

Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet-David

This product was recommended by Elizabeth Hicks from Parenting Nerd

Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet-David is one of the best books out in the market for business strategies. Just as the name suggests, the key takeaway from this book is that when you’re in business, you need to think atleast five moves ahead in order to achieve success. And Patrick Bet-David tells you himself what these five moves should be. You have to master knowing yourself and your business. Secondly, you must be able to reason and have a process for reasonable decision-making. Thirdly, you have to build the right team to ensure growth and success. Then, you must always have a strategy to scale your business. Last but not least, you need to master making big moves to beat key industry players.

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy by Richard P. Rumelt

This product was recommended by Jordon Scrinko from PRECONDO

I’ve read many books on strategy but this one was a great book that opened my eyes to several topics. Planning and putting that plan into action is not as easy as I had always thought and this book helped me realise that. Richard has done a great job explaining the details of everything. But I realised that most of it is psychological and the importance of knowing these things thoroughly. To know your audience and then strike is one of the greatest lessons this book taught me.

Elevate by Robert Glazer

This product was recommended by Christopher Andrew from 420 Expert Advisers

Many little activities in the company obstruct our ability to focus on a more important task or prevent us from inventing new ideas. The emphasis in this book by Robert Glazer is on pushing the capacity. To bring about change in yourself and your team, you must first break free from whatever prevents you from doing so. Employees are frequently unable to delegate tasks to others. This book contains four life-changing ideas that will assist you in overcoming self-limiting thoughts and developing good habits that will help you beat the competition. Our greatest competitor is ourselves. Therefore it’s important to think beyond and perform well.

The Art of Strategy by Avinash K. Dixit

This product was recommended by Ty Gibson from Gibson Hill PC

What I like about this book is that it turns corporate strategy into a game, almost, in which analytical thinking is critical. It uses a lot of references from popular media, which I feel can really help the reader grasp the concepts, and overall it is a read that is both enjoyable and useful.

Playing to Win by A.G. Lafley

This product was recommended by Jonathan R Brockman from Brockman Injury Lawyer

It’s great to read a book where you can tell that the authors have a great amount of experience between the two of them. It’s written very clearly and concisely, providing invaluable insight into corporate strategy with anecdotal evidence.

The Strategy Book by Max McKeown

This product was recommended by Thalita Ferraz from Her Bones

When I was first starting to build my own business, this book was recommended to me by a couple of friends, and I think that it was the best advice I ever got. This book seriously changes how you think about the future and gives you great (actionable) advice on creating your own company using very intelligent strategies.

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

This product was recommended by Ross Jurewitz from Jurewitz Law Group

This book is pretty focused on US corporations and doesn’t necessarily have anything revolutionary to say, however, I think that it pulls together known strategies and wisdom together in a new and interesting way, and it is a great read for anyone that wants to cement their knowledge in these areas.

Swipe to Unlock by Neel Mehta

This product was recommended by Jason Porter from Scottish Heritage Pvt Ltd

Swipe to Unlock is a thorough guide to technology and business strategy essentials. Anyone interested in product management, design, marketing, consulting, or business strategy roles in the software industry should read this book. It is an all-you-need to know book for newbies and experts alike..

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

This product was recommended by Jason Porter from Scottish Heritage Pvt Ltd

No company in the world can survive without leaders and followers. This book has a great message for corporate leaders on how to conduct themselves and manage their teams for the success of their business. This book is an interesting read.

Thinking Strategically by Avinash K. Dixit

This product was recommended by Matthew Osborn from Legionary

This book trains readers to have a more strategic mindset – and it is not a surprise that it is required reading at some of the best business schools in the world. Authors Dixit and Nalebuff teach strategic principles by blending theory with real world case studies, so that readers know the ins and of good strategy, and know how to apply them to any situation. The logic is easy to follow, and though there is complex discussion (including concepts like game theory), the writing is conversational and easy to follow, making it perfect for both the interested layman, and the expert.

Unstuck by Craig Lemasters

This product was recommended by Susan Stitt from Front Edge Publishing

Many industries worldwide are stuck as they struggle to survive and grow. Stuck businesses do not react, pivot and redirect, which can be catastrophic. In Unstuck, Craig Lemasters shares techniques he has used in a lifetime of helping Fortune 500 companies fill their knowledge gaps—using reciprocity, strategic planning, rapid cycle learning and make-it-happen coaching through direct connections with enlightened resources. The wisdom in this book is for far more than Fortune 500 executives. “We all get stuck sometimes,” writes futurist Rita J. King in her Introduction to the book. Community leaders, teachers, networkers, entrepreneurs—and anyone who works with others in companies and organizations—will find powerful tools in these pages. Craig makes that promise in his dedication page: “to everyone who feels stuck.” He addresses all of us throughout the book. Why is this book timely? Because leaders are facing more disruption and seemingly insurmountable barriers than ever before. In the opening pages, Craig writes: “For most of human history on this planet, change has consistently been gradual. … Now, change has accelerated so rapidly that it poses a formidable challenge to the acquisition of timely knowledge, let alone accumulating the depth and range of knowledge needed to get ahead of change. My goal, and my full-time vocation, is to meet leaders in that moment of stuck and share a way to get unstuck.” This book is divided into two sections. Part 1 is “Stuck,” because getting unstuck depends on clearly understanding the complex forces leaders are facing. In this section of the book, Craig draws on his own experience as a Fortune 500 CEO leading digital transformation. Readers learn the symptoms to look for when organizations are getting stuck, how expectations differ from reality and how our internal bank of wisdom may not be broad enough to meet emerging challenges. Part 2 is “Unstuck,” which is possible once an organization has diagnosed the problem. Readers learn about defining and filling knowledge gaps in an organization and many other practical techniques for leading teams and connecting with others, both locally and around the world. When you can acknowledge being stuck, you’re ready to overcome it. Craig shares his definition of wisdom and how it can help you overcome the knowledge gaps keeping you stuck. Learn practical techniques for leading teams and connecting with others. The stories and ideas Craig shares in these pages have been proven throughout his own career as an executive—and have been finely tuned through his years of consulting with Fortune 500 companies around the world. The key is a practical return to the foundations of leadership in business: knowledge and experience producing timely wisdom. As Craig puts it: “The multiplied power of knowledge and experience, wisdom, helps us leaders get back to making choices with confidence. That is, choices made with speed and clarity which lead to decisive action. The choices that we avoided while we were stuck. With wisdom, we get to reclaim our primary role as leaders and shepherd our teams through flawless execution of our initiatives.”

Good to Great by Jim Collins

This product was recommended by Joseph Greene from Trinidad Birding

Good to Great by Jim Collins is a brilliant book that really delves into why some businesses are successful and why some aren’t, and how your business can succeed in the ways the most successful businesses have. The book focuses on the little stuff that can really turn your business into a great business such as discipline and technology. I really recommend this book to any business owner out there.

Leaders Make the Future by Bob Johansen

This product was recommended by Tim Absalikov from Lasting Trend

Our world is undergoing changes and leadership is not an exclusion. A new world requires new leadership skills. The author of the book will teach you how to turn problems into opportunities. You will know how to apply the principles of nature in your leadership style, practice immersive learning, develop bio-empathy, and many other future leadership skills.

Scaling Up by Verne Harnish

This product was recommended by Alex Estrada from Give Him This!

Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t is an excellent book for any business leader who is interested in developing a corporate strategy to successfully manage a rapidly growing business. Verne Harnish draws on his vast experience as an entrepreneur to offer valuable insights on how to scale up a business effectively. He covers a wide range of topics, from building a strong leadership team to developing a corporate culture that supports growth. Scaling Up is an essential read for any business leader who wants to take their company to the next level.

Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick by Chris Bradley

This product was recommended by Eva Taylor from WP Buffs

When a book begins with the fundamentals and ties them into real-time scenarios, you know it has plenty of lessons for you. This one from Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit does just that, and then some more. Taking the reader through time-tested C-suite strategies and discussing core corporate blueprints, the pages offer you a strategic narrative that is practical and significant. A great resource to have at hand, the comics make the book even more enjoyable yet deeply insightful.

David Friedland

Bit of a gear addict.

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