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Best Business Strategy Books

The full title of this book by Adrian Slywotsky and David Morrison is

The Profit Zone: How Strategic Business Design Will Lead You to Tomorrow’s Profits“.

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

Here is my book review.

A superb book when it was published which is still valuable in 2015

This is a fascinating look at the power of business models to determine the success of a business.

The authors argue that the traditional sources of profit in many businesses and industries are broken. No longer can higher market share and market growth be assumed to “guarantee” financial success because there are many cases where high market share is unrewarded and where fast growing markets become profit traps. [continue reading…]

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The full title of this book by Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison is

Profit Patterns: 30 Ways to Capture Profit for Your Business“.

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I rated this book as Four Stars. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

An interesting way of making sense of your analysis to see the big picture

Profit Patterns begins with the interesting metaphor of business strategy is like Picasso’s paintings.

In the beginning, things were pretty straightforward. It was very clear what was happening in the picture but over time, it became more difficult to understand the paintings, the message, the pattern until in the end you were left guessing what Picasso was painting.

The idea of Profit Patterns is that with work, order can be found within the chaos provided you understand pattern thinking. This makes sense to me and the book represents a shift in perspective from Slywotzky’s earlier books Value Migration and The Profit Zone. [continue reading…]

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The full title of this often overlooked strategy book by Shiv Mathur and Alfred Kenyon is

Creating Value: Shaping Tomorrow’s Business“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I rated this book as worthy of Five Stars. This means it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended to appropriate readers.

Here is my book review.

A highly original look at how to differentiate products

This book could be the best strategy book you’ve never heard of.

It’s a fiercely original intellectual work which will challenge many of the traditional ways of thinking about business strategy. Unfortunately both authors have died so it can’t be updated beyond the second edition but Creating Value has lots of insight for any business strategist and especially anyone who is interested in differentiation.

It’s not the easiest of reads because it is so challenging to the mind. [continue reading…]

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Best Business Books

The Trouble with Strategy by Kim Warren

The full title of this book by Kim Warren is

The Trouble with Strategy: The brutal reality of why business strategy doesn’t work and what to do about it“.

In my review posted to Amazon.co.uk, I gave this book Five Stars. This means I think it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended to anyone with a keen interest on business strategy.

Here is my book review.

The current approach to strategy is very sick but there is hope.

This is a hard hitting assessment of the world of strategy and it reveals that it is very sick, heading for intensive care even though many practitioners are in denial.

Academics are criticised for their failure to develop a convincing science of strategy. Too often academic researchers have asked the wrong question in their research and used the wrong methods. It’s no wonder that the answers are superficial and contradictory, even if they sound good and can create gurus. [continue reading…]

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The Well Timed Strategy by Peter Navarro

The full title of this book by Peter Navarro is

The Well Timed Strategy: Managing the Business Cycle for Competitive Advantage“.

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

Here is my book review.

A reminder that “when to do it” can be as important as “what to do”

This book takes a different view to strategy than most strategy books. Normally the focus is on what to do. The examples and case studies in book make it clear that “when to do it” is a vital element of success. Strategies that make sense at certain stages of the business cycle can be extremely damaging in other stages.

The book defines a Master Cyclist as someone who manages the business with a perceptive view of what’s happening in the business cycle, steering the business carefully through the major decisions. [continue reading…]

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Developing Business Strategies by David A. Aaker

I gave the book

Developing Business Strategies by David A. Aaker,

Four Stars when I reviewed it on Amazon.co.uk. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Good practical guide to strategy

This book makes it clear from the very beginning that it is written for:
– managers who need to develop strategies but have had little strategy experience
– general managers and planning specialists who want to update their strategy skills

This focus on managers means that it’s written in a simple, straightforward way that is a practical guide to developing a strategy. [continue reading…]

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I gave the original version of Blue Ocean Strategy a five star review.

Blue Ocean Strategy Expanded Edition by W Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

I’m happy to again give Five Stars to this updated version in my review posted on Amazon.co.uk. This means I think it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

Yet I was left feeling disappointed. Read my review to find out why.

Even better and more comprehensive. A great guide to differentiation and finding new markets

I’ve been following the Blue Ocean approach since the authors started publishing articles in the Harvard Business Review in the late 1990s. Even though I had been introduced to some of the techniques before (and seen other versions of the strategy canvas elsewhere in the customer value literature), I loved the original book.

For me, the big question is whether this new version is worth buying if you already have the original? [continue reading…]

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Best Business Books

I’ve been fascinated by the topic of differentiating a business or product/service for more than 20 years and I even have a separate blog called Differentiate Your Business.

Who Should Read This Book ?

  • Business owners and entrepreneurs.
  • Senior executives in big businesses.
  • Product managers and marketing managers in big businesses.
  • Business consultants, coaches and advisors.

Review Of Blue Ocean Strategy by W Chan Kim and Renee A Mauborgne

[continue reading…]

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Best Business Books

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt

The full title of this book by Richard Rumelt is

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters“.

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

Here is my book review.

It’s time to get serious about strategic planning

This is a thought-provoking book which challenges many of the practices that are passed off as strategy today. Richard Rumelt is particularly against wish driven strategies like “our strategy is to grow by 20% per year because we want to grow by 20%.”

According to Richard Rumelt, the kernel of good strategy has three elements:

1) A diagnosis of the issues and problems facing the business
2) A guiding policy to overcome the obstacles
3) Coherent action

[continue reading…]

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Playing To Win by AG Lafley and Roger Martin

The full title of this book by AG Lafley and Roger Martin is

Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works“.

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

Here is my book review.

Nice overview of strategy dominated by examples from Procter & Gamble

This takes a simple look at developing strategy based around answering five (not so easy) questions:

1) What do you want to achieve?
2) Where are you going to play?
3) How can you win?
4) How to improve/develop the core capabilities needed to win?
5) What management system is needed to make sure you win and to keep everything aligned?

[continue reading…]

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