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Top 10 Best Business Strategy Books to Read

Top 10 Best Business Strategy Books to Read

Business Strategy is the planning and execution of your business activities to achieve desired goals. It's not just a vague concept but a process with multiple stages. It starts with setting a vision and mission statement and continues through marketing, sales and operational activities.

Business Strategy is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. It's often overlooked and is not usually a top priority. If you haven't invested in strategic reading material yet, it's time to start. You can always come back and update your strategy later, but a good strategy will be something that you can stick with over the long run. These are the books you need to read to get started.

You'll find the following books invaluable if you want to develop your business strategy and become a better leader.

They will help you to:

  • Learn about the importance of good strategy, the difference between strategy and tactics, and why you need to focus on strategy
  • Learn about different types of strategy, including market, product, customer, competitive, and organisational
  • Learn about the different phases of strategy development, including defining strategy, formulating strategy, and implementing a strategy
  • Understand how strategy drives innovation and creates competitive advantage
  • Learn how to create a strategy that works for your business

Top 10 Best Business Strategy Books for 2023

Top Business Strategy Books To Read

1 – Your Next Five Moves

When I first heard about Patrick Bet-David, I thought he was a marketing guru who could help me grow my business. I was impressed by his ability to explain complicated concepts in simple terms, so I read his book.

I loved how he described the strategic thinking behind many successful businesses and how he applied it to my own company. He explained the war room concept and how to use it effectively to make decisions, and he taught me how to analyse a situation and draw conclusions.

Patrick also talked about the importance of having the right team, and he taught me how to find the right people to lead your business and make sure that they share the same values.

Overall, this book is handy for anyone looking to grow their business.

Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy
  • Bet-David, Patrick (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages – 06/01/2021 (Publication Date) – Gallery Books (Publisher)

2 – Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy is a must-read book for anyone who wants to get the most out of their business or career and learn how to think strategically.

Richard Rumelt's work is an excellent example of a strategic approach to life and business. He has a remarkable ability to make complex concepts easy to understand. He puts things in perspective, making you appreciate how small and simple changes can lead to significant and lasting improvements.

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His writing style is engaging, and he has practical advice that you can implement right away.

I'd recommend it to anyone interested in strategy and how to apply it to their lives and who would like to become more successful.

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Richard Rumelt (Author) – Sean Runnette (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 05/14/2019 (Publication Date) – Random House Audio (Publisher)

3 – Competition Demystified

This book is one of the best strategy books I've read in years.

In a nutshell, this book offers a new and simplified way of thinking about strategy. It takes a holistic view, looking at the whole industry rather than focusing on individual competitors.

The authors show how competition doesn't exist in a vacuum but is defined by a set of interdependent relationships.

They go beyond the traditional idea of competitors to include suppliers, customers, substitutes, and others. The book offers a framework for all these relationships, allowing the reader to understand their relative importance and how they interact.

This book contains incredible insights and examples that help illustrate the ideas. The authors use these examples to explain the concepts clearly and understandably.

If you want to understand how competition works, this book is for you.

Competition Demystified: A Radically Simplified Approach to Business Strategy
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Greenwald, Bruce C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages – 08/28/2007 (Publication Date) – Portfolio (Publisher)

4 – Playing to Win

Playing to Win is a must-read for any business leader looking to improve their strategic approach.

The authors do a great job illustrating how a successful strategy is a product of choices and that there is no ‘one size fits all' answer to what will make your strategy a winner.

The book is divided into four chapters covering the essential elements of creating a winning strategy.

Chapter 1 covers the first element of the book, which is defining what your winning strategy is. It takes a convenient approach to this and helps the reader to identify the core factors of their business that can drive their success.

Chapter 2 looks at the second element, deciding where you will play. It explains why choosing suitable locations is essential and gives examples of companies that have been successful due to their geographic location.

Chapter 3 looks at the third element, which is how to win. It's interesting to see how this book differs from other books on the same subject. Lafley and Martin focus on the role of leaders in ensuring that the organisation follows a winning strategy rather than just focusing on the actions of the organisation.

Chapter 4 looks at the last element: managing the organisation to support the strategy. This is something that many organisations struggle with, but the authors explain why this is vital to the success of a strategy.

Overall, Playing to Win is a fantastic read that will help any business leader better understand the strategic choices they need to make.

Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works
  • Hardcover Book
  • Lafley, A.G. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages – 02/05/2013 (Publication Date) – Harvard Business Review Press (Publisher)

5 – The Winning Link

We've seen many books on strategy in recent years, but this one stands out from the rest.

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We were pleasantly surprised by the book, which was well-written. It balances theory and practical application well, and plenty of real-life examples exist.

The author explains the five-step process for strategic thinking and execution and how to align your strategy with your processes and people.

He also goes beyond the typical approach of focusing solely on the business and shows how the organisation needs to focus on the customer.

There are many examples and exercises to try out, and you'll learn valuable tactics for building a strategy that works.

The book is concise, so there are better choices than this if you're looking for a comprehensive overview of the topic. But if you want to learn a few critical things about strategy, this is a great choice.

The Winning Link: A Proven Process to Define, Align, and Execute Strategy at Every Level
  • Hardcover Book
  • Taylor, Billy Ray (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages – 08/19/2022 (Publication Date) – McGraw Hill (Publisher)

6 – Love as a Business Strategy

I'm a massive fan of the “People First” approach and Softway's take on it. I love how they've woven personal stories into their business strategy, and this is one of the best books about business strategy I've read in a while.

This book's stories are powerful because they show how resilience can overcome almost any challenge. Whether you're dealing with a crisis, a formidable team member, or a problematic situation, the stories in this book will show you how to deal with adversity and build a stronger team around you.

The author has also included real-world examples of applying these principles to your business. For example, the author discusses how you can make your business more resilient by using the “Three C's” of Change: Celebrate the good, create a new normal, and create change.

The book also shows you how to use a simple three-step formula to develop and maintain resilience in your team. The author even provides you with a list of questions to ask yourself to determine whether your team is resilient, and she gives you ways to build it into your team culture.

I enjoyed reading this book, and it will benefit any business owner.

Love as a Business Strategy: Resilience, Belonging & Success
  • Anwar, Mohammad F. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 04/13/2021 (Publication Date) – Lioncrest Publishing (Publisher)

7 – CEO Excellence

This book is a must-read for any leader who wants to improve their business.

CEO Excellence is one of the most in-depth books about leadership I've ever read, and I'm sure it'll help you achieve more in your life.

The author interviewed 67 CEOs to get their thoughts on leadership, and it's clear that the book was an incredible effort.

As the title suggests, the author looks at six mindsets that distinguish the best leaders from the rest.

These include:

  1. Intentional
  2. Optimistic
  3. Self-aware
  4. Proactive
  5. Compassionate
  6. Self-reliant

CEO Excellence does a fantastic job of explaining these mindsets and how to apply them to your life.

The book provides many examples of these mindsets in action.

It's interesting to learn about how these mindsets interact and how you can use them to improve yourself.

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The author also explains how you can apply these mindsets to various situations in your life and how to develop them.

I enjoyed reading the book and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their business or life.

CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets That Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest
  • Hardcover Book
  • Dewar, Carolyn (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages – 03/15/2022 (Publication Date) – Scribner (Publisher)

8 – Big Picture Strategy

The concept behind the book is straightforward, but it resonates with me.

It's about how to create a sustainable business model for your company and how to do it.

In the book, there are six strategic choices that you can make to build your company, and you can either limit your choices or embrace them.

One of the critical things I liked about this book is that it shows how to choose wisely and align your teams to achieve results. We see a lot in consulting, but it's tough to do in practice, so this book helps make it easier.

Another thing that I like is that the author shares her experience of growing a company from nothing to $50 million in revenue and the lessons she learned along the way.

This book is for you if you want to know what choices you can make to build a sustainable business model and how to align your teams to achieve results.

Big Picture Strategy: The Six Choices That Will Transform Your Business
  • Hardcover Book
  • Dapena Baron, Marta (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages – 08/24/2021 (Publication Date) – Wiley (Publisher)

9 – The Luxury Strategy

If you're trying to build a luxury brand, then this book will help you.

It's written by two experts in the field of luxury branding, and it offers a lot of valuable insights. It's also highly recommended for anyone thinking of starting a luxury brand and wanting to break the rules of traditional marketing strategies.

The book covers a wide range of topics, from the history of luxury brands, how to create them, the different ways of defining a luxury brand, and the models used to build them.

The authors argue that luxury is no longer just about money and price but about the experience of consuming a product.

The book also explains how brands have changed over the years, from the early days of the automotive industry, when luxury was about status and power, to the late 20th century, when luxury became more about the experience of consumption.

It also examines how luxury is defined in different markets, such as fashion, automobiles, and travel, and how this varies across countries and cultures.

They explore the difference between luxury and premium brands and show how the latter is built around a product with higher performance and value.

The authors also explain why luxury is not just about the price but the experience of consuming a product. They also examine the different types of luxury brands and show how they have evolved over the years.

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Overall, this book will help you better understand a luxury brand and how to build one successfully.

The Luxury Strategy: Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kapferer, Jean-Noรซl (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 408 Pages – 09/25/2012 (Publication Date) – Kogan Page (Publisher)

10 – Think Lead Disrupt

If you're in the business of being innovative, then this is a must-read.

Nichols shares the stories of some of the most innovative companies, including Apple, Google, and Amazon. He shows how these companies have evolved and how they continually look for ideas. He also discusses what it takes to be innovative and why you should try to be an innovator.

The book is full of practical insights, and there are many examples. For example, he explains how Google uses the ideas of different employees and how the company fosters a culture of creativity and ideas.

Nichol also talks about the importance of strategy and its role in innovation. He explains that innovation is not a function of a single person but rather a group. He discusses how innovation is a process and not a one-time event.

While the book is focused on the idea-generation side of the equation, Nichol also shares insights into creating a culture of innovation and managing the idea-generation process.

Nichol explains that the best ideas come from the fringes, and you shouldn't try to be all things to everyone. He also discusses how to develop a diverse and dynamic team and why having a diverse team is essential.

Overall, this is a convenient book, and it's full of insights and examples. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to generate and execute world-class ideas.

Think Lead Disrupt: How Innovative Minds Connect Strategy to Execution
  • Nichol, Peter B. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 333 Pages – 01/08/2021 (Publication Date) – Peter B. Nichol (Publisher)

Why Should I Care About Strategy?

A business strategy is a plan you develop for how to run your business. You can think of it as the foundation that supports your business decisions.

It's essential to clearly understand your business goals and core values before planning how to get there. You should design business strategies to support your overall vision and mission and help you reach your goals.

Without a strategic approach, you may make mistakes and get sidetracked from your core business values. Instead of focusing on what you want to accomplish, you may end up doing things that aren't aligned with your values.

Business strategies need to be clear, concise, and specific. They need to be easy to understand and apply. They should also be practical so that they can be adapted to changing conditions.

Here are a few examples of good and bad business strategies:

A good business strategy

  • Is focused on your core values and values-driven business goals
  • Includes a list of your business goals
  • Includes a mission statement
  • It is short and easy to understand

A bad business strategy

  • Is too vague
  • Is unclear
  • It has lots of words and phrases that don't mean anything
  • Doesn't include any information on your core values and values-driven goals
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What Are the Best Business Strategies?

Pricing Strategy Matrix

1 – Value-Based Business Strategy

A value-based business strategy focuses on your business goals and your core values. It defines your mission and provides direction while also helping you stay focused.

Value-based business strategies help you achieve your goals by clarifying and aligning them with your core values. They provide a framework that guides your decisions and helps you stay on track.

In other words, a value-based business strategy gives you the “why” behind your business. It shows you where you're headed, and it keeps you from wandering down different paths that don't support your vision and mission.

How Do I Create a Value-Based Business Strategy?

Begin by identifying your core values. Your core values are the values that guide everything you do. For example, your core values might be honesty, fairness, or commitment to your customers.

Next, decide what your business goals are. This is what you want to accomplish by the time you're done. Examples of business goals might be increasing sales or lowering costs.

Then, make a list of your business goals. Write down the things that are important to you. These are your values-driven goals and are the basis for your business strategy.

After you've written down your goals, take your list and break it into smaller chunks. Break your larger business goals into smaller, more achievable, and more manageable tasks.

Finally, connect your business goals to your core values. What do these values mean to you? How are your business goals connected to your core values?

2 – Mission Statement

A mission statement is a reason why you're in business. It answers the question, “Why am I in business?”

For example, your mission might be to make a difference in the lives of struggling people. Your mission statement will help you accomplish this by describing your business purpose, core values, and values-driven business goals.

3 – Clear Vision

A clear vision is a goal that you're trying to achieve. It's also the overall goal that your business strategy supports.

For example, your business strategy might help you grow your customer base and make more money. Your vision is the bigger picture of what you're trying to accomplish.

If you don't have a clear vision, your business strategy won't be helpful because it won't set you on the path to your vision. You may waste a lot of time on the wrong things.

4 – Clear Values

A clear set of values is the foundation for any business strategy. It provides a shared definition of your business, so everyone involved knows what they're supposed to be working toward.

Your values are the foundation for your business, so you must communicate them clearly to all your employees. They should be a part of your organisational culture and your everyday interactions.

Employees feel more connected to your business when your core values are communicated throughout your company. They feel a stronger connection to your brand and are more committed to making your vision come true.

Wrapping Up

In business strategy, you're trying to predict the future by looking at the past. This is where foresight comes into play. It's the ability to identify future trends and the steps necessary to address them.

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There are different strategies to adopt depending on your business. For example, you may focus on one particular area or try to be broadly successful across all areas.

The point is that you must look at the past to see where things are going. That's what makes it so difficult to predict what the future holds.

This post shared our top ten recommendations for reading business strategy books.

Last update on 2024-07-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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