Experts Tell Us the Best Books on Business Strategy

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2 years ago
This article showcases our top picks for the Books on Business 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.

Running Lean By Ash Maurya

This product was recommended by Lex Roman from Super Easy Digital

When starting and growing a business, leaders often miss the boat on who they are selling to and why. They focus too early on scaling and they neglect to bring their customer base with them. Running Lean outlines the mindset and practices of teams who test, measure and learn. It includes actionable advice about how to engage customers early and build your business alongside them. Invaluable no matter what stage of business you’re in.

Testing Business Ideas by David J. Bland

This product was recommended by Lex Roman from Super Easy Digital

Testing Business Ideas offers a field handbook for getting your business unstuck. Whether you’re launching a new product or service or trying to sort out what’s not working about your current offering, this book lays out 44 methods to deconstruct what’s working and what’s not. From pricing to packaging to messaging, Testing Business Ideas helps you find your business’ gaps and opportunities through small, measured bets.

Small Giants by Bo Burlingham

This product was recommended by Lex Roman from Super Easy Digital

The business community often emphasizes scale over sustainability. In Small Giants, Burlingham goes deep into the strategies and operations of businesses that have stayed intentionally small. Each case study unpacks hiring, marketing, acquisitions and finance for a detailed look at these thoughtful businesses. For anyone wondering how to right size their business, Small Giants offers insight into how to stay true to your mission.

A Mainline Turnaround By Lyle E. Schaller

This product was recommended by Lucie Chavez from Radaris

Do you need to change the direction your business is heading in and steer the ship in another direction? This book by Lyle E. Schaller might be able to help you create a business strategy and execute on it. It’s all about proper planning and changing the way you’re operating – and doing it successfully. Is your business designed to fail? Maybe it is and you are unwittingly headed in the wrong direction. This book will let you know more about where you’re headed and what you can do to potentially change where you may end up. As far as understanding a strategy and how to plan accordingly, this book is one of my favorites.

Building a Story Brand By Donald Miller

This product was recommended by Emily Ekanayake from Wild House Coffee

Building a Story Brand is pivotal as a business owner to knowing who your customer is. It takes you step by step on how to build your brand and the story your customer wants to hear. There are templates through their site to help you layout the story. It is about them and helping them become the hero through purchasing your product. When you connect to a pain point, become a guide and lift the customer up; you lead them to victory. It builds loyalty and trust in who you are and what you provide.

The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim

This product was recommended by David Garthe from Gravyware

This book is written as a story, which is much easier to digest and relate to. It follows a company that is performing a major software product release, but the product is nowhere ready and stable enough to be released. Against the recommendations of the CTO, the CEO decides to go forward with the release. It follows the turmoil that occurs and the various steps that the company goes through to fix everything and come out stronger than before. For every character in the book I can find someone that fits the role in my company. Many of us that read the book actually discussed who fit the characters in the book. It really got me thinking about the next steps I had to make within my department in order to avoid similar problems down the road.

Measure What Matters by John Doerr

This product was recommended by Sudhir Khatwani from The Money Mongers

John Doerr’s book is a great read for anyone who wants to become a great manager, while improving the business at the same time. In summary, this book is about setting goals, how to measure those goals, and how goal setting plays a role in business strategy. The author takes the stories of highly successful companies, and applies them to normal business situations to draw our perfect conclusions on how one should go about setting goals and measuring their business. This book provides a perfect thought process on what makes Silicon Valley companies tick, and it all comes down to OKRs.

Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt

This product was recommended by Christopher Andrew from 420 Expert Advisers

A plan is not enough for an entrepreneur; he must also evaluate its effectiveness. Furthermore, he must understand the impacts of strategy in terms of practical Execution. Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt lays out the important basics of having a great strategy and clears your path of mistakes. Many entrepreneurs are unable to distinguish between excellent and bad tactics. These books will teach you how to practically implement a company plan. However, it does not simply include theory and case studies. This book will help you look beyond the buzzwords and focus on the important goals of your organization. The important topics of the book are Leverage, proximal aims, and chain link systems. It also includes examples of big business giants such as Apple and Toyota. This book’s key advantage is that it teaches you how to create and implement a good strategy to expand your business, whether small or large.

Business Strategy Essentials You Always Wanted To Know by Vibrant Publishers

This product was recommended by Angus Chang from iupilon

“Business Strategy Essentials You Always Wanted To Know” by Callie Daum is my favorite book on business strategy. In this book, business strategy concepts are simplified and applied in a practical way so that businesses and working professionals can use them. A reader can use this book to learn how to identify their company’s current strategy and how it differs at each level of an organization. The book explains the transformative strategies that will boost the overall business.

Built To Last by Jim Collins

This product was recommended by Christina Russo from The Kitchen Community

It explains and walks through the strategies that some of the most successful companies in the world have used to achieve what they have, and illustrates how they can be implemented on a daily basis by other companies in order to follow in the footsteps of giants. And it must have done something right, as one million avid readers (including me) can’t be wrong, can they?

Rework, by Jason Fried

This product was recommended by Marketa Chalupnikova from Tolgee

Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. It is a very easy-to-read playbook in a form of short and sharp chapters on different business-related topics. Must read for every entrepreneur!

Principles by Ray Dalio

This product was recommended by Tom Monson from Monson Lawn & Landscaping

Regardless of your industry, Principles by Ray Dalio can help you with business strategy. Ray is a legendary investor, but he set out to write down all of his principles related to life and work. He thinks about both life and work in a unique way, and any business can benefit from reviewing what he has learned along the way.

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim

This product was recommended by Morgan Lilker from Watches of Today

It was, and is a New York Times bestseller and is a book that any entrepreneur needs to add to their library. It’s a systematic guide to using the strategy as a forward-thinking weapon to bypass the competition in your chosen field of endeavor and make success your number one goal by rising above your peers. Business is a war, and this book teaches you how to win on the modern corporate battlefield.

Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder

This product was recommended by John White from We Run

This book gives a superb visual guide to business strategy and business model development. It manages to blend both the theory and practical sides of a complex topic, allowing the reader to generate their own comprehensive roadmap to success. I have found this to be by far the most engaging book on this topic, and have used it countless times to flesh out ideas, poke holes in my assumptions, and ultimately to create successful businesses.

Business Strategy by Brian Tracy

This product was recommended by Jeffrey Nelson from Nolimitstiming

A business strategy enables you to identify your key priorities, organize your resources, and achieve better results than ever before. The author Brain Tracy simplifies even the most complex ideas. Tracy shows you how to maximize opportunities and increase ROI by using examples from Alexander the Great to IBM and General Electric. Business Strategy is a powerful and portable tool that helps you take charge of the future of your business.

The Art of Strategy by Hwy-Chang Moon

This product was recommended by Devon Wayne from ASAP Cash Offer

The Art of Strategy by Michael Porter is a classic and the best book on strategy. It covers almost every aspect of the strategy, from marketing to operations, financial, and legal challenges. The author has tons of experience working in various industries. It explains why strategic planning is essential for every company. It gives some general guidelines for creating your strategic plan. It includes choosing the objectives, money to spend, and kind of resources to accomplish them, etc.

Obviously Awesome by April Dunford

This product was recommended by Chirayu Akotiya from Leena AI

Anyone working in a startup and struggling with product/market fit will find this book more than just a little helpful. Even if you think you’ve cracked your product/market fit, chances are your positioning and messaging would benefit from some regular attention and periodic refinement to keep you on track. April has stated some useful life experiences that guide you through the process. The book challenges the value of the traditional positioning statement and instead proposes an alternative step-by-step process with an emphasis on team input. It also sheds light on challenging preconceived ideas on your product category and target users. Her 10-step process can be used to revitalize a brand’s positioning as it takes into account multiple factors such as – who your best customers are, competitive alternatives of your products, its strongest features, how to map the benefits of your products, and how all of these point to a market category. She also proposes weaving in a current trend if possible.

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore

This product was recommended by Chirayu Akotiya from Leena AI

This book lays out the mechanics of formulating and evolving a marketing strategy by exploring an extreme boundary case: introducing a fundamentally new product to the marketplace. The principles are relevant to all businesses everywhere. However, it would be wrong to view this book as a simple roadmap, because it is difficult to know where you lie on the map. The idea of the chasms, especially in the tech industry, resonates with what happens in the market (defined as groups that can refer to themselves). The main goal, then, is to be able to create a presence in a market where people can refer to and talk about your product amongst themselves. The basic point of this book is that the tactics that serve you well at one stage might sink you in the next, so it’s better to orient yourself properly before writing big checks. All in all, the book offers a great perspective and technique to break into markets, develop products, and grow as a business.

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

This product was recommended by Rachel Mars from Architectures Ideas

A. Lay out a somewhat free group: Moderate size – a fitting measure of assets contributed, which can guarantee improvement as well as limitedly affect the general development rate; Group independence – the activity of problematic items Different from the first item; b. Take equity/acquisition of small companies. The most effective method to maintain this new business: Data shows that conjectures for problematic items are many times wrong, to some degree since gauges depend on existing circumstances. The time and size of troublesome items are unusual. So instead of activity, it is more about learning and experimentation. With respect to being a pioneer organization or a tenderfoot, the book brings up that each enjoys benefits and hindrances, and there is no end. Problematic innovation ought to be outlined as a promoting challenge, not a mechanical one.

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 outs of good strategy, and as well as having the capability 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. For me, the magic of this book is that it gives you more than just an academic understanding of the principles of business strategy, but can also teach you how to apply them practically – meaning it is an utterly unrivalled guide.

Your Strategy Needs a Strategy by Martin Reeves

This product was recommended by Erin Mastopietro from Dope Dog

Martin Reeves, Knut Haanaes, and Janmejaya Sinha of The Boston Consulting Group provide a tried-and-true way to choose the optimum strategic course for your business in this book. They begin by assisting you in evaluating your business environment, including how unpredictable, powerful, and harsh it is. This is an important step in developing an effective plan. According to the degree of predictability, malleability, and harshness, they demonstrate how current strategy methods can be divided into five categories: Be Big, Be Fast, Be First, Be the Orchestrator, or just Be Viable. Explanations that go into great detail for each of these strategies will give you crucial knowledge that will enable you to match your approach to strategy to your environment, decide when and how to implement each strategy, and prevent a potentially deadly mismatch.

Beyond Good by Theodora Lau

This product was recommended by Charles Cridland from YourParkingSpace

This book is centered on an ideology that is close to my heart, and I wish every entrepreneur gets to read it once. Theodora talks about unsustainable business practices and the role of companies in curtailing them. She emphasizes the need for business for good where corporations can pursue profits while keeping their practices sustainable and in line with societal development goals. The book mentions that FinTech is leading this big change, and there is much to learn from them. They have used technology to unlock many possibilities and tap the forgotten demographics, to improve their financial wealth and local communities. Showcasing the interviews with the CEOs of Paypal, Microsoft, and Ant Financial, this book shows how big firms play their parts in making our world better, motivating the smaller businesses to follow suit.

The Exit-Strategy Playbook by Adam Coffey

This product was recommended by Dave Polykoff from Zenpost

If there is one business book you should read this year, it should be this one. Adam Coffey’s books are a pleasure, and this one is no different. The Exit-Strategy Playbook is a guide to forming the right team of experts to prepare your business for sale and explore the galaxy of potential buyers. Adam has spent thirty years of his professional life executing the buy-and-build strategy and sold over 100 companies for up to $1 Billion. His book will set you up to learn from possibly the best person at exit strategies. Most importantly, the book can be customized to your size of earnings and provides you with a roadmap to all the possible exit strategies. I found the content of this book easy to read; it taught me a business lesson on how to squeeze the orange to get every last drop out of it.

Productize by Eisha Armstrong

This product was recommended by Tom Greenspan from Vs Mattress

This book is a comprehensive guide to turning your professional services into scalable products. It teaches you the seven deadly productization mistakes many individuals make and then walks you through ways to avoid them. I consider it a practical guide to accelerating the growth of a professional service business. This book contains several real-life case studies and interviews with professional service leaders who have successfully scaled their services. It also has lots of tools and templates that can be implemented right away, so you don’t have to start everything from scratch. Overall, the book has to offer twenty-five years of Eisha’s experience in launching and growing successful productized services. It is arguably one of the best books you can find in this field.

Better, Simpler Strategy by Felix Oberholzer-Gee

This product was recommended by Jason Baker from Emerald House Cleaning

Better, Simpler Strategy is an excellent book and a significant contribution to business strategies. For a business owner, this book is a treasure-trove of information. The idea of this book is that simpler is better. Instead of drowning themselves in various projects and initiatives, businesses should follow only a handful of ideas that truly make a difference. Having a radically simplified strategy lets these businesses succeed vs. competitors. I adore that it talks about business trade-offs which makes it more practical. This is something faced by every business manager, and the insights from this book can help them decide what adds value to their customers, employees, and supplier and what needs to be prioritized.

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