7 Best Strategic Planning Books Ever Written

Are you working on ways to formulate strategy for your organization or company like a strategist? Here is the list of strategic planning books written to read.

Finding the Best Strategic Planning Books

Business strategy comes in many shapes and forms. It can be as simple as the business plan. Or it can be more hardcore like the book Art of War by Sun Tzu. Modern strategy formulation tools and methods can be something like,

- The Value Chain Model by Michael Porter
- The Balanced Scorecard by David P. Norton and Robert S. Kaplan
- The SWOT Analysis by Albert S. Humphrey
- The Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
- The Core Competency by C. K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel
- The Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder

However, there are 3 ways or basic components of strategy in business that are the basis of any strategy which is listed below,

- Diagnosis of the nature of challenges or level of competition in business.

- Guiding Policy or a broad statement about how company or organization should work with the challenges.

- Action Plans or a list of things a company or organization should do to meet the Guiding Policy.

To formulate the annual strategy and plans, many people may rely way too much on gut feelings, information technology implementation, cost reduction plan or imitate what the key competitors are working on which are kind of knee-jerk reaction.

Then, how can we make sure that our competitive strategy is not too generic and organization can work with a higher level of competitions?

Strategic Planning Books Ranking

We believe a good strategy should be tested by international business leaders or CEOs who master the strategy every day. To help our readers find the books about strategy that really works, we come up with the data collection plan as described below,

- First, we find a list of books on strategic planning and strategic thinking written by notable business leaders on Wikipedia and notable business blogs and websites.

- After that, we check out the news website to find news releases about the launch of the books about strategy, strategic planning, strategic thinking, business planning, strategy and execution and business model development.

- We also search for the strategy books written by CEOs on Goodreads and Amazon.com

- Then, we remove books irrelevant to strategic planning and strategic thinking from the list such as customer service, project management and team building.

- After that, we evaluate each strategy book by popularity using review ratings on Goodreads and Amazon.com

- We also evaluate the books by reader feedback and how often the strategy books are updated.

- Finally, we make the final cut of strategy books we would like to recommend to our readers.

Best Strategic Planning Books are as below:

  1. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by Alan Lafley (Former CEO of Procter & Gamble)

  2. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy (Former CEO of General Electric)

  3. The Real-Life MBA: Your No-BS Guide to Winning the Game, Building a Team, and Growing Your Career by Jack Welch (Former CEO of General Electric)

  4. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos)

  5. TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments by Douglas Conant (Former CEO of Campbell Soup Company)

  6. Taking People with You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen by David Novak (Former CEO of Yum! Brands)

  7. Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down by Vineet Nayar (Former CEO of HCL Technologies)

We notice that the books about strategic management, strategic thinking and execution are the combinations of the actual organization or company case study, the leadership style of each business leader and how strategy is formulated and executed. These are 3 key ingredients that make any strategy formulation works.

Do you have other strategic planning books to share?

- Porter, M. E. (1985). Competitive advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance. 1985. New York: FreePress, 43, 214.

- Kaplan, R. S., Kaplan, R. S., Norton, D. P., & Norton, D. P. (1996). The balanced scorecard: translating strategy into action. Harvard Business Press.

Books We Recommend

Supply Chain Management Book

Purchasing Book

Inventory Control Book

Lean Manufacturing Book

International Business Book

Six Sigma Book

Operations Management Book

Customer Service Book

Last review and update: September 29, 2019
All contents are written by Ben Benjabutr unless marked as [Guest Commentary]

About the Author and Editor:
Ben Benjabutr is the author and editor of SupplyChainOpz. He holds an M.Sc. in Logistics Management with 10+ years of experience in supply chain management. You can connect with Ben via Twitter, and Quora or drop him a line via e-mail.