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The 10 Best Strategy Books To Read Over The Holidays

I’m always excited for the holiday season. It gives everyone time to kick back, relax, and enjoy time with family. But if you’re anything like me, you may be itching to stay on top of

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I’m always excited for the holiday season. It gives everyone time to kick back, relax, and enjoy time with family. But if you’re anything like me, you may be itching to stay on top of your organization’s strategy, especially with a new year right around the corner.

So if you have a bit of extra time on your hands during the holidays (or even in the weeks following!) and need some reading recommendations, you’ve come to the right place. (Just don’t try to use the “turkey made me tired” line to sneak away and read—turns out it’s a myth.)

Just talking about strategy won’t get you anywhere. You need to execute.

We’ve included a nice mix of tried-and-true strategy books (dare we say some of the best strategy books of all time?) as well as some new additions to the space. We’ve organized them alphabetically by book title below.

The 10 Best Strategy Books To Read Over The Holidays

1. Blue Ocean Strategy

Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne
What I like about this popular 2005 strategy book is that it talks about how to be different in order to succeed. It’s a great antidote to the “me too” strategies that are out there. If you’d like to throw out your old strategy and start from scratch, this book will inspire you.

2. Committed Teams

Mario Moussa, Madeline Boyer, & Derek Newberry

In this book, Moussa, Boyer, and Newberry explain how to build a solid team by following three steps: setting your direction, staying on track, and adjusting when needed. This book highlights some practical steps you can take to make your strategy team (or any other team in your organization) stronger.

3. Competitive Strategy

Michael E. Porter

The frameworks listed in Porter’s work are the foundation for modern management science, making this book an automatic must-read.

4. Crossing The Chasm

Geoffrey Moore

First published in 1991, author Geoffrey Moore has updated this popular business strategy text several times. (The most recent is the third edition, republished in 2014.) This was, and continues to be, the pioneering text on disruption and how products get into the marketplace. It had an exceptionally large influence on the dot-com boom and is still relevant for business leaders today.

5. Good To Great

Jim Collins

This is an excellent read about a number of “good” companies that took a leap toward becoming “great” companies—as well as analyses on how and why some companies that do this fail and others succeed.

6. Scaling Up

Verne Harnish

This award-winning business strategy book is a must-read for any business leader. It outlines four areas that a successful company must focus on—people, strategy, execution, and cash—and offers practical suggestions on how to thrive in these areas.

7. The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team

Patrick Lencioni

If you’re after a unique book format, start here. “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” tells the story of a faux company called Decision Tech and explains how a new CEO has to lead through an uncertain and difficult time. Every leader should pick up this fun and powerful read as soon as possible.

8. The Four Disciplines Of Execution

Chris McChesney & Sean Covey

If you’re looking for actionable strategic methodology, start here. The Four Disciplines of Execution offers four basic yet critical elements that businesses must place emphasis on in order to achieve.

9. The Innovator’s Dilemma

Clayton M. Christensen

This bestseller highlight how disruption doesn’t happen by focusing on the biggest opportunities, but by serving the specific needs of a part of your industry and then evolving from there.

10. The Strategy-Focused Organization

David P. Norton & Robert S. Kaplan

This falls at the end of our list, but it’s certainly not the least of these works! It’s no secret that we are big proponents of the Balanced Scorecard. If you’re unfamiliar, Norton and Kaplan created this strategic framework in the ‘90s and have written extensively on it. This book was published in 2000, and I consider it the most cohesive of all of their books. I return to it regularly, because it discusses measurement in the context of strategy execution so well.

Which strategy books are we missing?

If your favorite strategy book didn’t make this list, tweet us @clearpointstrat and let us know! Your suggestion may end up here or in our next compilation of recommended reads.

Check out this list of organizations that have nailed their strategy execution if you don't have quite enough time to dig into an entire book.

The 10 Best Strategy Books To Read Over The Holidays
 

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