Top five must read books on business strategy

Every business seeks to establish a top position in their segment. They are all looking for that edge over the competition. Strategy is critically important for those businesses that want t stay relevant in these changing times.

There are many business books written on strategy including ‘the art of war’. Here we have the top must-reads on business strategy.

On number five it’s the Zappos founder Tony Hseieh’s honest account on building the company from the scratch narrated through the work Delivering happiness. The book is about building a great competitive advantage through building a great work culture. Since culture eats strategy for breakfast, there is no better book to suggest than ‘delivering happiness’ when it comes to building a work culture that’s customer centric and service oriented.

On number four is Ken Segall’s account on the obsession that drove apple’s success: ‘Insanely simple’. The book is a narrative description on the milestones of Apple’s journey and the simplistic strategies that built the iconic brand. You’ll understand how the obsession with Simplicity helped Apple perform better and faster, sometimes saving millions in the process. You will also learn how to develop a business strategy from a single idea and work its way upward.

On number three, we have one of the most underrated work on strategy: ‘Performance’ by Robin Stuart Kotze. The book takes a behavioral approach to performance and productivity and lays out strategic tools in the organizational design for high performance. It’s a must read for managers.

Number two is Micheal Porter’s ‘Competitive strategy’. Written in 1980, Competitive Strategy, has formed the basis of modern strategic thinking for three decades. In this book, he shows how competitive advantage can be defined in terms of relative cost and relative prices, thus linking it directly to profitability, and presents a whole new perspective on how profit is created and divided. What’s more strategic about this book is Porters ‘five forces of competition’, which has become a basic framework for developing competitive strategies for any large firms today.

And on number one it’s ‘the blue ocean strategy’. In Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne explore the idea that success lies in creating “clear waters” or blue oceans, free of competition inorder to make your competition irrelevant. Very often businesses are focused on highly competing arenas of the bloody red oceans, but blue ocean strategy works on creating unmatched value and resulting in the creation of uncontested markets.

Which management book has influenced you the most in developing a business strategy? Please leave your comments below.

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