business strategy books

7 Business Strategy Books Every Leader Should Read

10/07/2020 By Jim Donovan Professional Development

There’s no shortage of advice about what managers and leaders should read in order to improve at their role, but we wanted to present you with a list that goes beyond the standard advice. Here’s Burst Forward’s list of business strategy books every leader should read. Each of these books was and continues to be influential to us in running our own business and the coaching and consulting work we do with our clients.

‘Good to Great’ By Jim Collins

What is the difference between a good company and a great company? More importantly, how do you know if a company has the potential to get there? In Good to Great Jim Collins breaks down how to identify if a company should make the leap. Collins’ book is based on his five-year research project, and the data he collected is the foundation that Collins uses to begin debunking popular myths and sharing essential knowledge and concepts.

Although it is now almost 2 decades old, this one is an oldie but goldie. Readers will be surprised at just how much they can still learn about management strategy and practice in Good to Great. Collins provides an in-depth explanation of what it means to be a Level 5 Leader (i.e. what we refer to as servant leadership these days) and how to utilize strategies such as The Hedgehog Concept (i.e. focus is key!). Collins addresses how to navigate the Flywheel (strategic anchors in action) and the doom loop. Everyone in the business industry will want to read Good to Great if they haven’t already done so. Get a taste of the author and the book by reading this article based on the book.

‘Reinventing Organizations’ By Frederick Laloux

Reinventing Organizations is a relatively new book that is still growing in impact, as it addresses essential issues that have been around for quite a while. Frederick Laloux’s book brings to light the need for change when it comes to organizations and has been hugely influential in how we think about organizational structures and development. Surveys and studies have proven that outdated approaches going back to the beginning of the 20th century (stemming from Taylor and other vanguards of traditional scientific management) have largely left individuals feeling disconnected, burnt-out and disheartened. Reinventing Organizations shows readers how change is possible by introducing them to a new paradigm and mindset.

Reinventing Organizations has been labeled as “the most influential management book of this decade.” The book is broken down into three parts and begins by explaining and connecting the history of big changes and shifts when it comes to management structures and organizations. Part 2 of Reinventing Organizations shows readers a new and soulful way in which organizations could be run. Needless to say, it doesn’t include things like job descriptions, productivity metrics and targets. Instead it is about the principles of self-management and living systems. The last section in the book encourages readers to begin thinking about transforming towards this new evolutionary structure and identifying what they would need in order to make it happen. Reinventing Organizations has received a tremendous amount of praise, and interested individuals can read the introduction to see what everyone is talking about.

‘The Advantage’ By Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni, shares an essential discovery in his book The Advantage – what he believes the key difference to be between successful and mediocre businesses. Lencioni uses stories and experiences from his own life to help the readers understand that the key element is having an organization that is healthy vs. one that emphasizes being smart. Implementing this understanding is, simply put, the advantage so many companies are tirelessly seeking.

Lencioni’s book breaks down what exactly a healthy organization could look like starting with healthy teams and then moving to purpose, goals, and processes. As he explains in The Advantage, an organization will function best when it is whole, consistent, and unified behind a few key but essential questions. These questions are often what’s left unanswered but essential in many of the organizations we work with when they are looking to build a better culture or get more effective.

‘Understanding Michael Porter’ By Michael Porter & Joan Magretta

Michael Porter’s reputation speaks for himself as the father of modern strategy, but he can be hard to read and digest from his books. It is no wonder we have some help with Understanding Michael Porter, an unofficial guide to competition and strategy. The book is a testimony to Porter’s radical thought process and written by his mentee Joan Magretta, through whom Porter created a book that can provide business leaders with the knowledge and understanding required for actual success in competitive industries.

Why is Porter so important? Because all great strategy (i.e. competitive advantages) begin with making concrete and intentional trade-offs, something many businesses still struggle with and reading through this, one can walk away with a cohesive understanding of what Porter believes these essentials to be. The value chain, five forces, and the importance of differentiation are just a few of the concepts of Porter highlighted throughout the book. Understand and implement these and you have a real strategy for success. If you find yourself becoming a me-too product in an increasingly crowded industry, now with the help of Magretta’s explanations, understanding Porter in depth just got a lot easier. Not to mention, there is an added Q&A in Understanding Michael Porter where Porter is able to address the questions and concerns of managers directly.

‘Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing’ By W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing marks the second book written by the amazing Renee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim. In the spirit of full disclosure, before diving into this must-read, you might want to check out the book’s predecessor, Blue Ocean Strategy which lays the original premise and foundation. But even if you haven’t read it, you will get the basics here to dive in. How does one stand out in a crowded market place by thinking and doing differently? There is no fixed answer, but the pathway to it starts to become evident going through the case studies and processes outlined here. If you are serious about making competition irrelevant (and not just beating it), this is a great follow up to Michael Porter’s work. It builds on many of his premises and takes one further in modern examples and innovative solutions.

In Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing the authors have provided the readers with groundbreaking research and stories that have the power to alter the trajectory of an organization or business. Kim and Mauborgne have put together an excellent resource with “the proven steps to inspire confidence and seize new growth” and this is a book we often find ourselves returning to for inspiration and ideas in almost any industry we work with.

‘Zero to One’ By Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel provides a fresh and inspiring perspective on business in America in Zero to One. Planning for startups and the future can be stressful, especially during a challenging time. However, as Thiel pointed out, there is plenty of room for optimism and growth.

In Zero to One, Thiel hones in on the importance of asking questions and posits the controversial strategy of building a monopoly for your business from the get go. The word monopoly gets a bad rap and conjures images of the worst kind of capitalist greed and anti-competition manipulation, but he provides a pretty compelling premise for why the most successful businesses are essentially monopolies and how you want to emulate them in key growth strategies if you share any of their ambitions. He uses his own personal experiences to help the readers understand this premise and discusses the importance of thinking for yourself and the power that comes with being unique. Love it or hate, we are pretty sure you will pick up some essentials on being successful in a high growth startup in terms of strategy from Zero to One. It educates and inspires, and we find a wealth of original thinking and nudging every time we return to it.

‘Measure What Matters’ By John Doerr

John Doerr might be best known for his role in helping Google take off as an early investor and advisor, before achieving fame with the VC firm Kleiner Perkins. Early on in the game, Doerr understood the importance of a good plan and the power of executing it from his mentor Andry Grove when he worked with him at Intel. As he explains in Measure What Matters, setting ambitious goals and metrics are what allowed Intel to thrive when it faced grave uncertainty, and it’s what catapulted Google in its strategy and direction.

In Measure What Matters, Doerr gives the whole shebang of how to implement Objectives and Key Results, a proven approach to setting goals and getting spectacular results. With numerous case studies across many industries, this is the bible of OKRs and the book we have our clients read when they get started with the process. But only after they have first clarified their higher level strategy (which we always insist on first for our OKRs facilitation process). Much of what we now teach on implementing OKRs builds on the practical implementation of Measure What Matters.

Curious about all these books? Want help with your setting or clarifying your own strategy and OKRs process? We will show you how to implement everything we have listed above as an influence in a systematic and customized way. Contact us for more insights and to learn how Burst Forward can help your organization thrive.

business strategy books

7 Business Strategy Books Every Leader Should Read

10/07/2020 By Jim Donovan Professional Development

There’s no shortage of advice about what managers and leaders should read in order to improve at their role, but we wanted to present you with a list that goes beyond the standard advice. Here’s Burst Forward’s list of business strategy books every leader should read. Each of these books was and continues to be influential to us in running our own business and the coaching and consulting work we do with our clients.

‘Good to Great’ By Jim Collins

What is the difference between a good company and a great company? More importantly, how do you know if a company has the potential to get there? In Good to Great Jim Collins breaks down how to identify if a company should make the leap. Collins’ book is based on his five-year research project, and the data he collected is the foundation that Collins uses to begin debunking popular myths and sharing essential knowledge and concepts.

Although it is now almost 2 decades old, this one is an oldie but goldie. Readers will be surprised at just how much they can still learn about management strategy and practice in Good to Great. Collins provides an in-depth explanation of what it means to be a Level 5 Leader (i.e. what we refer to as servant leadership these days) and how to utilize strategies such as The Hedgehog Concept (i.e. focus is key!). Collins addresses how to navigate the Flywheel (strategic anchors in action) and the doom loop. Everyone in the business industry will want to read Good to Great if they haven’t already done so. Get a taste of the author and the book by reading this article based on the book.

‘Reinventing Organizations’ By Frederick Laloux

Reinventing Organizations is a relatively new book that is still growing in impact, as it addresses essential issues that have been around for quite a while. Frederick Laloux’s book brings to light the need for change when it comes to organizations and has been hugely influential in how we think about organizational structures and development. Surveys and studies have proven that outdated approaches going back to the beginning of the 20th century (stemming from Taylor and other vanguards of traditional scientific management) have largely left individuals feeling disconnected, burnt-out and disheartened. Reinventing Organizations shows readers how change is possible by introducing them to a new paradigm and mindset.

Reinventing Organizations has been labeled as “the most influential management book of this decade.” The book is broken down into three parts and begins by explaining and connecting the history of big changes and shifts when it comes to management structures and organizations. Part 2 of Reinventing Organizations shows readers a new and soulful way in which organizations could be run. Needless to say, it doesn’t include things like job descriptions, productivity metrics and targets. Instead it is about the principles of self-management and living systems. The last section in the book encourages readers to begin thinking about transforming towards this new evolutionary structure and identifying what they would need in order to make it happen. Reinventing Organizations has received a tremendous amount of praise, and interested individuals can read the introduction to see what everyone is talking about.

‘The Advantage’ By Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni, shares an essential discovery in his book The Advantage – what he believes the key difference to be between successful and mediocre businesses. Lencioni uses stories and experiences from his own life to help the readers understand that the key element is having an organization that is healthy vs. one that emphasizes being smart. Implementing this understanding is, simply put, the advantage so many companies are tirelessly seeking.

Lencioni’s book breaks down what exactly a healthy organization could look like starting with healthy teams and then moving to purpose, goals, and processes. As he explains in The Advantage, an organization will function best when it is whole, consistent, and unified behind a few key but essential questions. These questions are often what’s left unanswered but essential in many of the organizations we work with when they are looking to build a better culture or get more effective.

‘Understanding Michael Porter’ By Michael Porter & Joan Magretta

Michael Porter’s reputation speaks for himself as the father of modern strategy, but he can be hard to read and digest from his books. It is no wonder we have some help with Understanding Michael Porter, an unofficial guide to competition and strategy. The book is a testimony to Porter’s radical thought process and written by his mentee Joan Magretta, through whom Porter created a book that can provide business leaders with the knowledge and understanding required for actual success in competitive industries.

Why is Porter so important? Because all great strategy (i.e. competitive advantages) begin with making concrete and intentional trade-offs, something many businesses still struggle with and reading through this, one can walk away with a cohesive understanding of what Porter believes these essentials to be. The value chain, five forces, and the importance of differentiation are just a few of the concepts of Porter highlighted throughout the book. Understand and implement these and you have a real strategy for success. If you find yourself becoming a me-too product in an increasingly crowded industry, now with the help of Magretta’s explanations, understanding Porter in depth just got a lot easier. Not to mention, there is an added Q&A in Understanding Michael Porter where Porter is able to address the questions and concerns of managers directly.

‘Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing’ By W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing marks the second book written by the amazing Renee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim. In the spirit of full disclosure, before diving into this must-read, you might want to check out the book’s predecessor, Blue Ocean Strategy which lays the original premise and foundation. But even if you haven’t read it, you will get the basics here to dive in. How does one stand out in a crowded market place by thinking and doing differently? There is no fixed answer, but the pathway to it starts to become evident going through the case studies and processes outlined here. If you are serious about making competition irrelevant (and not just beating it), this is a great follow up to Michael Porter’s work. It builds on many of his premises and takes one further in modern examples and innovative solutions.

In Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing the authors have provided the readers with groundbreaking research and stories that have the power to alter the trajectory of an organization or business. Kim and Mauborgne have put together an excellent resource with “the proven steps to inspire confidence and seize new growth” and this is a book we often find ourselves returning to for inspiration and ideas in almost any industry we work with.

‘Zero to One’ By Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel provides a fresh and inspiring perspective on business in America in Zero to One. Planning for startups and the future can be stressful, especially during a challenging time. However, as Thiel pointed out, there is plenty of room for optimism and growth.

In Zero to One, Thiel hones in on the importance of asking questions and posits the controversial strategy of building a monopoly for your business from the get go. The word monopoly gets a bad rap and conjures images of the worst kind of capitalist greed and anti-competition manipulation, but he provides a pretty compelling premise for why the most successful businesses are essentially monopolies and how you want to emulate them in key growth strategies if you share any of their ambitions. He uses his own personal experiences to help the readers understand this premise and discusses the importance of thinking for yourself and the power that comes with being unique. Love it or hate, we are pretty sure you will pick up some essentials on being successful in a high growth startup in terms of strategy from Zero to One. It educates and inspires, and we find a wealth of original thinking and nudging every time we return to it.

‘Measure What Matters’ By John Doerr

John Doerr might be best known for his role in helping Google take off as an early investor and advisor, before achieving fame with the VC firm Kleiner Perkins. Early on in the game, Doerr understood the importance of a good plan and the power of executing it from his mentor Andry Grove when he worked with him at Intel. As he explains in Measure What Matters, setting ambitious goals and metrics are what allowed Intel to thrive when it faced grave uncertainty, and it’s what catapulted Google in its strategy and direction.

In Measure What Matters, Doerr gives the whole shebang of how to implement Objectives and Key Results, a proven approach to setting goals and getting spectacular results. With numerous case studies across many industries, this is the bible of OKRs and the book we have our clients read when they get started with the process. But only after they have first clarified their higher level strategy (which we always insist on first for our OKRs facilitation process). Much of what we now teach on implementing OKRs builds on the practical implementation of Measure What Matters.

Curious about all these books? Want help with your setting or clarifying your own strategy and OKRs process? We will show you how to implement everything we have listed above as an influence in a systematic and customized way. Contact us for more insights and to learn how Burst Forward can help your organization thrive.

business strategy books

7 Business Strategy Books Every Leader Should Read

10/07/2020 By Jim Donovan Professional Development

There’s no shortage of advice about what managers and leaders should read in order to improve at their role, but we wanted to present you with a list that goes beyond the standard advice. Here’s Burst Forward’s list of business strategy books every leader should read. Each of these books was and continues to be influential to us in running our own business and the coaching and consulting work we do with our clients.

‘Good to Great’ By Jim Collins

What is the difference between a good company and a great company? More importantly, how do you know if a company has the potential to get there? In Good to Great Jim Collins breaks down how to identify if a company should make the leap. Collins’ book is based on his five-year research project, and the data he collected is the foundation that Collins uses to begin debunking popular myths and sharing essential knowledge and concepts.

Although it is now almost 2 decades old, this one is an oldie but goldie. Readers will be surprised at just how much they can still learn about management strategy and practice in Good to Great. Collins provides an in-depth explanation of what it means to be a Level 5 Leader (i.e. what we refer to as servant leadership these days) and how to utilize strategies such as The Hedgehog Concept (i.e. focus is key!). Collins addresses how to navigate the Flywheel (strategic anchors in action) and the doom loop. Everyone in the business industry will want to read Good to Great if they haven’t already done so. Get a taste of the author and the book by reading this article based on the book.

‘Reinventing Organizations’ By Frederick Laloux

Reinventing Organizations is a relatively new book that is still growing in impact, as it addresses essential issues that have been around for quite a while. Frederick Laloux’s book brings to light the need for change when it comes to organizations and has been hugely influential in how we think about organizational structures and development. Surveys and studies have proven that outdated approaches going back to the beginning of the 20th century (stemming from Taylor and other vanguards of traditional scientific management) have largely left individuals feeling disconnected, burnt-out and disheartened. Reinventing Organizations shows readers how change is possible by introducing them to a new paradigm and mindset.

Reinventing Organizations has been labeled as “the most influential management book of this decade.” The book is broken down into three parts and begins by explaining and connecting the history of big changes and shifts when it comes to management structures and organizations. Part 2 of Reinventing Organizations shows readers a new and soulful way in which organizations could be run. Needless to say, it doesn’t include things like job descriptions, productivity metrics and targets. Instead it is about the principles of self-management and living systems. The last section in the book encourages readers to begin thinking about transforming towards this new evolutionary structure and identifying what they would need in order to make it happen. Reinventing Organizations has received a tremendous amount of praise, and interested individuals can read the introduction to see what everyone is talking about.

‘The Advantage’ By Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni, shares an essential discovery in his book The Advantage – what he believes the key difference to be between successful and mediocre businesses. Lencioni uses stories and experiences from his own life to help the readers understand that the key element is having an organization that is healthy vs. one that emphasizes being smart. Implementing this understanding is, simply put, the advantage so many companies are tirelessly seeking.

Lencioni’s book breaks down what exactly a healthy organization could look like starting with healthy teams and then moving to purpose, goals, and processes. As he explains in The Advantage, an organization will function best when it is whole, consistent, and unified behind a few key but essential questions. These questions are often what’s left unanswered but essential in many of the organizations we work with when they are looking to build a better culture or get more effective.

‘Understanding Michael Porter’ By Michael Porter & Joan Magretta

Michael Porter’s reputation speaks for himself as the father of modern strategy, but he can be hard to read and digest from his books. It is no wonder we have some help with Understanding Michael Porter, an unofficial guide to competition and strategy. The book is a testimony to Porter’s radical thought process and written by his mentee Joan Magretta, through whom Porter created a book that can provide business leaders with the knowledge and understanding required for actual success in competitive industries.

Why is Porter so important? Because all great strategy (i.e. competitive advantages) begin with making concrete and intentional trade-offs, something many businesses still struggle with and reading through this, one can walk away with a cohesive understanding of what Porter believes these essentials to be. The value chain, five forces, and the importance of differentiation are just a few of the concepts of Porter highlighted throughout the book. Understand and implement these and you have a real strategy for success. If you find yourself becoming a me-too product in an increasingly crowded industry, now with the help of Magretta’s explanations, understanding Porter in depth just got a lot easier. Not to mention, there is an added Q&A in Understanding Michael Porter where Porter is able to address the questions and concerns of managers directly.

‘Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing’ By W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing marks the second book written by the amazing Renee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim. In the spirit of full disclosure, before diving into this must-read, you might want to check out the book’s predecessor, Blue Ocean Strategy which lays the original premise and foundation. But even if you haven’t read it, you will get the basics here to dive in. How does one stand out in a crowded market place by thinking and doing differently? There is no fixed answer, but the pathway to it starts to become evident going through the case studies and processes outlined here. If you are serious about making competition irrelevant (and not just beating it), this is a great follow up to Michael Porter’s work. It builds on many of his premises and takes one further in modern examples and innovative solutions.

In Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing the authors have provided the readers with groundbreaking research and stories that have the power to alter the trajectory of an organization or business. Kim and Mauborgne have put together an excellent resource with “the proven steps to inspire confidence and seize new growth” and this is a book we often find ourselves returning to for inspiration and ideas in almost any industry we work with.

‘Zero to One’ By Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel provides a fresh and inspiring perspective on business in America in Zero to One. Planning for startups and the future can be stressful, especially during a challenging time. However, as Thiel pointed out, there is plenty of room for optimism and growth.

In Zero to One, Thiel hones in on the importance of asking questions and posits the controversial strategy of building a monopoly for your business from the get go. The word monopoly gets a bad rap and conjures images of the worst kind of capitalist greed and anti-competition manipulation, but he provides a pretty compelling premise for why the most successful businesses are essentially monopolies and how you want to emulate them in key growth strategies if you share any of their ambitions. He uses his own personal experiences to help the readers understand this premise and discusses the importance of thinking for yourself and the power that comes with being unique. Love it or hate, we are pretty sure you will pick up some essentials on being successful in a high growth startup in terms of strategy from Zero to One. It educates and inspires, and we find a wealth of original thinking and nudging every time we return to it.

‘Measure What Matters’ By John Doerr

John Doerr might be best known for his role in helping Google take off as an early investor and advisor, before achieving fame with the VC firm Kleiner Perkins. Early on in the game, Doerr understood the importance of a good plan and the power of executing it from his mentor Andry Grove when he worked with him at Intel. As he explains in Measure What Matters, setting ambitious goals and metrics are what allowed Intel to thrive when it faced grave uncertainty, and it’s what catapulted Google in its strategy and direction.

In Measure What Matters, Doerr gives the whole shebang of how to implement Objectives and Key Results, a proven approach to setting goals and getting spectacular results. With numerous case studies across many industries, this is the bible of OKRs and the book we have our clients read when they get started with the process. But only after they have first clarified their higher level strategy (which we always insist on first for our OKRs facilitation process). Much of what we now teach on implementing OKRs builds on the practical implementation of Measure What Matters.

Curious about all these books? Want help with your setting or clarifying your own strategy and OKRs process? We will show you how to implement everything we have listed above as an influence in a systematic and customized way. Contact us for more insights and to learn how Burst Forward can help your organization thrive.

resources-post-cta-bg
resources-post-cta-bg-tablet