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Best Business Strategy Books

An effective strategy is needed for every company to succeed. A lot can be learned from the best strategy books but you will need to think to apply the ideas.

You Already Have An Emergent Strategy

Whether you intended to or not, you already have a strategy. Something emerges from what you do inside your business and out in your market even if you haven’t taken the time to plan out:

– What you want to achieve in the longer term;
– Who you want to sell to;
– What you want to sell;
– Who you intend to survive the inevitable competition.

The question is…

Is It Working For You?

Is your emergent strategy working for you or against you? Is it really helping you to move to your long term goals, even if those goals are intangible thoughts you have about what to do when you retire.

If it isn’t, you need to change your strategy or to develop a deliberate strategy and implement it. These strategy books will help you think about how you can get what you want whilst delighting customers and beating your competitors.

The Best Books About Strategic Planning, Strategic Management and Strategic Thinking

You will only see the books I’ve rated at Four Stars (meaning good and well worth reading) and Five Stars (excellent and very highly recommended). Reviews of lower rated books appear on Amazon.co.uk but I haven’t brought the reviews across to my own website.

If you read my reviews, you’ll see I try to explain why I like them but also to identify any weaknesses. My job as a reviewer is to help you to find the most appropriate books rather than to help sell more books.

On that note, if you do decide to buy, I’d appreciate it if you could click through to Amazon on my links as (hopefully) I’ll earn a small referral commission.

Some of these books can be very expensive so, if you’re happy with a hard back or paperback book, take a look at the second hand options on Amazon. Personally I only buy if the condition is described as “As New” or “Very Good” unless I’m really keen and forced to drop down to “Good”.

This is one of my favourite categories.

I have a particular interest in how businesses differentiate from each other and therefore stand out from competitors. These are included in a separate category of the Best Differentiation Strategy Books which also includes books about branding and developing Unique Selling Propositions (the famous USP).

If you only want to focus on the very best strategy books, here are the 5 Star Business Strategy Books. Alternatively you might want to see all my business strategy book reviews.

Here are links to the other pages – page 2page 3page 4 – page 5

Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke

The full title of this book by Christina Wodtke is

Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book 4 Stars. This means Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

A business start-up novel about using OKR to drive the business forward.

This tells the story of two young entrepreneurs who are struggling to build a speciality tea business. Their investor introduced them to the idea of setting objectives and key results (OKR) and then to a new chief technical officer with more extensive knowledge of how to apply them. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

The full title of this short book is

The Mindset Warrior Summary Guide: The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling: Key Concepts, Main Lessons & Theories

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 4 Stars. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my review.

Very helpful reminder of the main points of 4DX

The full book of the 4 Disciplines of Execution is quite repetitive. When it first outlined the 4DX approach, I thought it was going to be a brilliant expose of how to get very important things done effectively by a team. Unfortunately, I found it a frustrating read and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a book often started but not finished. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

The full title of this book by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling is

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book 4 Stars. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Great concepts for achieving excellence in virtually any situation

This book is about creating change, getting people to implement a new strategy by changing what they do through commitment rather than compliance.

Many business books are based on looking at successful companies and finding common factors in what they do. Other times, academics will develop their theory and then go out looking for evidence it works. This book is different. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

In my review of

Summary: Marketing Warfare: Review and Analysis of Ries and Trout’s Book

posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 4 Stars.

Here is my review.

How military strategy can be used in business

It’s many years since I read the full book but it’s one I’ve been intending to go back to and review. When I saw this summary available through my kindle unlimited subscription, it instantly appealed.

Just as armies fight over territories and the people in them, businesses fight over customers. The methods of waging war have changed dramatically over the centuries while the strategies have remained constant. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

The full title of this book by Constantinos Markides is

All The Right Moves: A Guide to Crafting Breakthrough Strategy

In my review posted at Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Five Stars. This means it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my book review.

Should be seen as a classic strategy text

I bought this book when it came out and thought it was excellent.

I’ve recently gone back to it and hadn’t realised just how influencing it had been in my thinking about business strategy and development. [continue reading…]

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Best Business Books

The full title of this book by W Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne is

Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the FIVE Stars level, which means that I consider it to be excellent.

Here is what I posted.

A detailed how to guide for developing blue ocean strategies

I’ve been very impressed with the authors’ blue ocean thinking, ever since I read the early articles in the Harvard Business Review. I gave the Blue Ocean Strategy book a five star review.

When the revised Blue Ocean Strategy book was published several years ago, I appreciated the extended text and give it five stars again but I was a little disappointed as well. [continue reading…]

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Best Business Books

The full title of this book by Marc Van Eck and Ellen Leenhouts is

The One Page Business Strategy: Streamline Your Business Plan in Four Simple Steps“.

In my review on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a rating of Four Stars. This means I consider it to be in the good to very good category.

Here is my review.

A nice summary planning process

This book explains a useful planning process which helps to provide focus and coordination. The format summarises the plan nicely although I think the one page is a gimmick as it specifies a minimum font size of 6ppt. Personally I’d rather have two pages I can read without squinting.

It involves working through the main Objective, Goals, Strategies & both meanings of Measures – a KPI Dashboard and Actions. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter – 5 Stars

The full title of this classic strategy book by Michael E. Porter is

Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors“.

In my review posted at Amazon.co.uk, I gave this book a rating of Five Stars. This means I think it is Excellent.

Here is my book review.

A classic strategy book that goes well beyond the five forces model

This is a classic business strategy text and is essential reading for anybody who has a serious interest in business strategy.

The book is written in three sections:
1 – General Analytical Techniques
2 – Generic Industry Environments
3 – Strategic Decisions

[continue reading…]

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Best Business Books

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

The full title of this book is

Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I gave this book a rating of Four Stars. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

An intriguing but simple parable to help people to adapt to change

This is an intriguing but simple parable to help people to adapt to change.

The problem with using parables as a teaching mechanism is that some people can be entranced by the story but just read it at the surface level. “Who Moved My Cheese?” solves this problem by having the story sandwiched between two reflections. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

Value Drivers by Mark C Scott

The full title of this book by Mark Scott is

Value Drivers: The Manager’s Guide to Driving Corporate Value Creation“.

In my review posted to Amazon.co.uk, I gave this book a rating of Four Stars. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Written for the busy manager who wants to understand business strategy but not a “how to do it” guide

This book is written for the busy manager who wants to understand competitive strategy and corporate strategy.

It is aims to answer three main questions:
1 – How does my company actually work?
2 – How do I become a better manager?
3 – How can I fit all these pieces together?

[continue reading…]

in Best Business Books