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Essential Business Strategy Books

Jeffrey Swystun
The list author says: "The biggest problem with 'business strategy' is its definition especially when you say "strategy" everyone conjures up their own meaning. And also the volume of strategy books published is overwhelmingly with few offering really new and useful content. Here is my list of a few indispensable contributions for consideration (and you will not find The Art of War on it)."
The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy: Classic Concepts and New Perspectives
The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy: Classic Concepts and New Perspectives
"A healthy and valuable compendium of strategic concepts and cases. A little dry and academic but not without some great lessons."
Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance
Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance
"A must read along with Competitive Advantage and On Competition. Porter provides the frameworks for strategic planning but caution as it is methodology heavy and cumbersome."
The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World
The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World
"An entertaining read for two reasons: it provides background on all the strategic planning tools employed by consultants for the last half century while providing a critique of the consulting profession."
Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning
Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning
"Let's face it you need data, informtion and intelligence to back up any business stategy. This book demonstrates the power of tangible evidence for decision-making."
Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning
Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning
"One of my all time favorites. Professor Mintzberg is a proponent of dynamic strategy development. Also read his followup - Strategy Safari and his classic, Managing."
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
"So many have said it but vision and strategy without execution provides no competitive advantage whatsoever. This is a great guide for translating thought into action."
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't
"Grows more relevant every year based on how the companies profiled make out. Also read Collins' Built to Last."
The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment
The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment
"What is the organization's responsibility to strategy? Surely not all good thinking comes from the top floor corner office."
Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant
Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant
"This books says the obvious about strategy but in an engaging way: Strategy is all about finding opportunity."
Driven: Business Strategy, Human Actions, And The Creation Of Wealth
Driven: Business Strategy, Human Actions, And The Creation Of Wealth
"Great correlations between factors that not only influence the construction of a strategy but its execution (which is the challenge)."