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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Strategy (including featured article What Is Strategy? by Michael E. Porter) Paperback – February 7, 2011
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About the Author
HBR's 10 Must Reads series focuses on the core topics that every ambitious manager needs to know: leadership, strategy, change, managing people, and managing yourself. Harvard Business Review has sorted through hundreds of articles and selected only the most essential reading on each topic. Each title includes timeless advice that will be relevant regardless of an ever-changing business environment.
Classic ideas, enduring advice, the best thinkers: HBR's 10 Must Reads.
Top Customer Reviews
Although I found the essays by each of the above-mentioned authors less inspiring and enlightening than their books on the same subjects, this compilation does give a good introduction to their ideas, and will help the reader discern whether to take the next step and read the authors' books. Each essay contains sidebars including an "Idea in Brief" sidebar which will help the busy reader further; however, in the Kindle version the sidebars simply appear in the main text, which interrupts the flow and can lead to confusion.
Not all strategic advice is good advice. In my view the advice given in the essay "Transforming Corner-Office Strategy into Frontline Action" leaves something to be desired. The idea of distilling a company's entire strategy into "one pithy, memorable and descriptive phrase" may appeal to some, but I really struggle to see its value. Examples include AOL ("Consumer Connectivity first - anytime, anywhere"), GE ("Be number one or number two in every industry in which we compete, or get out"), Dell ("Be direct"), and eBay ("Focus on trading communities"). Do any of these actually communicate useful strategies, or are they meaningless mantras?
On the other hand, I found the other essays on essentially the same topic (turning strategy into action) quite useful.Read more ›
My own opinion is that strategies are "hammers" that drive tactics ("nails) and the key is to get a strategy in proper alignment with the ultimate objectives as well as with an organization's various activities. That said, what we have in this volume is a variety of thoughtful perspectives on strategy provide by those who are among the world's most highly-regarded authorities on the subject.
More specifically, the reader learns how to understand what strategy is and isn't as well as what it does and (doesn't) do, and, how to manage/leverage the five competitive forces that shape strategy (Michael E. Porter); also, how to build a company's vision (James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras), how to reinvent a business model (Mark W. Johnson, Clayton M. Christensen, and Henning Kagermann), how to formulate and then execute a "blue ocean strategy" (W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne), how to take full advantage of the "secrets" of effective strategy execution (Gary L. Neilson, Karla L. Martin, and Elizabeth Powers), how to use the Balanced Scorecard as a strategic management system (Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton), how to transform corner-office strategy into frontline action (Orit Gadiesh and James L. Gilbert), how to turn great strategy into great performance (Michael C.Read more ›
1. Understand competitive behavior
2. Understand how a strategy will rebalance competitive equilibrium
3. Understand commitment of resources even if deferred benefits
4. The ability to predict risk and return enough to make a commitment
5. The willingness to act
Barriers to entry
1. Scales to production, research, and marketing are barriers
2. To create barriers companies combine economies of scale with brand
3. Capital requirements limit entry into many markets
4. Entrenched companies may have cost advantage not available to potential reviles
5. A new product must displace existing product by cost reduction, promotions, intense selling efforts, or new distribution channels
6. Regulation can limit entry into a business
Suppliers can exert bargaining power by reducing profitability by raising prices or reducing the quality of their products
A supplier is strong if it does not have to contend with other products in the industry
Buyers find alternate suppliers and play one against another to reduce price or improve quality
Highly profitable buyers are less price sensitive . The buyer is interested in quality
Consumers are more sensitive to price purchasing an undifferentiated product where quality is not an issue
A company improves its strategic position by finding buyers and suppliers that can not a adversely affect it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This collection is great to start understanding the basics of strategy. Most of the articles within the book provide real life examples of companies applying the principles and how... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is a great starters toolbox of strategy. People in charge of managing a unit, business, or brand will enjoy its practical advice and techniques. A must read.Published 4 months ago by George
Must read for those that want a deep understanding of Business strategy.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I didn't get through this book...a little too bland for mePublished 9 months ago by Jessica schiesser