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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Strategy (including featured article “What Is Strategy?” by Michael E. Porter)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  2,607 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Is your company spending too much time on strategy development—with too little to show for it?

If you read nothing else on strategy, read these 10 articles (featuring “What Is Strategy?” by Michael E. Porter). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles and selected the most important ones to help you catalyze your organization's strategy development a
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 7th 2011 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published December 16th 2010)
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Trinh Chau
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A good set of articles for corporate strategy.
- Operational Effectiveness is different from Strategy. The former, meaning to perform BETTER than rival with SIMILAR activities, is a need but still not sufficient enough. On the other hands, Strategy is an essential for every enterprise wanting to outstand from the crowd. Strategy is to perform different activities, or to perform same activities in different ways.
- There are 3 sources of Strategy: customer-based (IKEA), access-
Abdurrahman AlQahtani
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is just an amazing set of articles around strategy. The first two from Michael Porter were tough ones, i could berely follow to a degree i was thinking to drop the book. I skipped the second article and moved on, and the rest of articels were amazing.. especially the ones related to vision, blue ocean strategy, execution, and the strategy principles. I would highly recommend this book for those with business backgound (either their own, or have been working for the past 5 years or so).
Neha Gandra
Jun 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
a surprisingly useful read, re-read, and resource for anybody studying or working in strategy. this is what i imagine organic case prep to look like hahahah

my favorite articles are:

What Is Strategy? by Michael E. Porter
The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy by Michael E. Porter
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne
Who has the D? How Clear Decision Roles Enhance Organizational Performance by Paul Rogers and Marcia Blenko
Héctor Iván Patricio Moreno
I don't know if this could be called a 'book' in all the extension of the word, but this is one of the most instructive books I've read in my life (although I haven't read that much).

It may be because before this book I barely know anything about strategy and corporate plans.
Just as the subtitle says: "If you read nothing else, read this". Absolutely.

A few of the concepts that had stuck with me:

- A strategy must include tradeoffs, to be difficult to replicate.
- The strategy is as much as what yo
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
A fairly good mix of usefull nuggets and some hot air drivel
محمد الملا
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: strategy
A must read book for whom interested in strategy
Todd Davidson
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some 5 star essays, some 2 star essays.
Mar 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
If you are into managing organizations yearning to know what strategy actually means and how to devise it, then this is a book you wouldn’t ignore. It’s a compilation of articles published in HBR, not a real book in shape - each article got at least something to reflect.

"Operational efficiency is not strategy". I like the fact Michael Porter stresses on Strategy. He clarifies that bringing the same output with less resource is not strategy, but rather efficiency. Many organizations appear to ha
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good book, but 2 out of 10 was read from other sources.

Table of Contents
1. What Is Strategy? Porter, Michael E.
2. The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy Michael E. Porter
3. Building Your Company's Vision Collins, James C. and Porras, Jerry I.
4. Reinventing Your Business Model Mark W. Johnson, Clayton M. Christensen, and Henning Kagermann
5. Blue Ocean Strategy W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
6. The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution Gary L. Neilson, Karla L. Martin, and Elizabeth Po
Sahat P
Oct 20, 2020 marked it as to-read
Yes this book will inspire you to:

• Distinguish your company from rivals
• Clarify what your company will and won't do
• Craft a vision for an uncertain future
• Create blue oceans of uncontested market space
• Use the Balanced Scorecard to measure your strategy
• Capture your strategy in a memorable phrase
• Make priorities explicit
• Allocate resources early
• Clarify decision rights for faster decision making"

And this book is a collection of best-selling articles includes: featured article "What Is S
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
#bookstoread This week's pick is on #strategy. HBR's 10 Must Reads Series from Harvard Business Review provides a lot to reflect on. Here are my picks from the #book
1.Operational effectiveness is not a strategy. Strategy attempts to achieve sustainable competitive positioning.
2.Forces (customers, suppliers, competitors, entrants, offerings) shape your strategy.
3.Startegy should form long lasting company's vision.
4.Great business model is proposed by strategic positioning.
5.Follow blue ocean, don
Martin Omedo
Nov 25, 2022 rated it really liked it
The year 2022, my reading goal was very clear to me, learning as much as possible about strategy. And strategy it has been.

On Strategy by Havard Business Review is the fifth book I am reading about strategy. This read was somewhat different because it contains short articles covering various aspects of strategy, with the first being the famously and widely read article by Michael Porter -What is strategy? It is like all the great brains in the subject of strategy have been assembled in one room
Helen Castle
Jun 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This has proved an indispensable read. It starts with Michael E Porter’s seminal essay, ‘What is Strategy?’, defining strategy, and takes you all the way through to vision-setting, execution, successful implementation and decision-making. It allowed made me to pick the wheat from the chaff, providing the framework for distinguishing strategic positioning and core values, purpose and competencies. Even though the current edition is 10 years old and Porter’s original essay is 25 years old, renderi ...more
Lassi Koivisto
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book is indeed what it says to be, a collection of the top 10 articles on strategy. These articles seem to be based on the authors books, and their key principles. Even thought this book offers great strategic insights, I found the chapters be too narrow on the actual concepts that they represent.
Therefore this book is more for getting your feet wet on these concepts of strategy, deeper study is required to fully understand all the ins and outs of these concepts. Looking forward to reading
Grant Baker
Jul 16, 2022 rated it liked it
Decent book outlining how to do strategy within a corporation. I’m not business magnate, though the lessons were still instructive. The case studies are from the late 90s and early 2000s, so it is interesting to see what was important to companies at that time. Some of the companies that were praised are now defunct or not near what they were (AOL, Philip Morris, Nano). It was nice not to have the typical businesses you here about today as they just weren’t really around yet.

All in all, decent
Madhur Bhargava
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book's cover title says it all - "If you've read nothing else on strategy, read these definitive articles from HBR". I found almost all the articles presented in this book very enlightening and filled with a lot of "aha" moments. Especially the first 2 articles by Michael Porter are just gold. The book is written in Harvard's traditional case study method and may be a bit jargon heavy specifically for users who come from a non-management background/expertise but is a very fulfilling read for ...more
Bayo Ibi
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not so much a book per se than a collection of articles from a pretty solid cast of contributors. For those interested in this type of thing, some strong pieces on business strategy/ strategic management with good linss to real world examples.
(Some a bit dated... soubt the AOL-Time Warner merger is anything to celebrate in hindsight)
Also, a few parts a little 'hot air'-y and potentially worth a skip.
Overall, a few frameworks and angles of thinking that I can apply to my daily work in srategy.
Özkan Tezgin
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I used this book for my Strategy class in Oxford. Strategy could be quite boring and daunting topic to study for a finance student. However this book will make you love strategy with its engaging and exciting literature. Short but robust articles supported with real case scenarios. This book will ensure you understand why strategy is the most important thing in an organisation whatever you are doing
Pranay Roy
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
There are insightful articles on strategy covering many examples. This is a good start to understand strategic viewpoints with practical takeaways. There are some overlaps in articles, which make it repetitive and somewhat lengthy. Overall, a useful collection, handpicked after careful consideration from HBR. Worth a read!
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading HRB articles is a basis of understanding business. HBR has to control the translation of their editions and never leave them to independent institutions without reviewing. Some of the articles contain very old ideas and many revisions came after it, I wish that revisions were mentioned at the margins, at least.

Two points consume one star of evaluation.
Leo Fischer
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
An instructive read, it discusses several different parts of business strategy and not just disruption or leadership. The importance of aligning a business' structure and core competencies with its market strategy was well presented, with a some useful insight into when competition is zero-sum or race-to-the-bottom vs growing-the-pie. ...more
Ezzeddine Jradi
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book more than 2 years ago, never had the chance to finish it until today. Ironically, two months back I was promoted to a strategy role. I highly recommend this book for corporate management. It has useful frameworks and insightful information. I wonder if this book will have new version, which companies will be used as examples.
Jenish Patel
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book on Strategy. The articles are very informative with Case Study of many well known companies. every author has their own unique perspective but they are all directing towards the same strategy implementation. Recommended for every Entrepreneur and B-School students.
Ruchir Gandhi
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Each article matters !!

Condensation of Best Strategy articles which really matters to each organisation, each holding managerial position either government, private or NGOs. Second book to read on strategy.
Mark Bunch
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: management
I agree, on the subject of business strategy, this book is a must read. It opens with Michael Porter from the Harvard Business School and continues to pound out the top articles on this subject. This book is a requirement for those about to embark on strategic planning.
Bilal Uzun
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strongly recommend if you work on strategy development and execution.

I liked structured approach to explain what strategy is, what is difference with operational performance and how to develop strategy.
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but boring

There is a lot of great content but a bit hard to get through even though it is only short articles. I put it down and came back to it a year later to finally get through the whole thing.
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Classic business essays, with much that still stands - though most of the case studies are now so outdated as to risk undermining the solid theory. Perfectly possible to get the fundamentals from Wikipedia rather than trace back to the source.
Bene Laszlo
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A bit boring to be honest. Michael Porter's two publications about strategy are priceless. Lots of great insights. The book is focused more on big enterprises, but the concepts apply to every business. It's worth the read if you are curious about business strategy. ...more
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, strategy
A great read from start to finish, you can agree or disagree with the ideas presented, but the reason for them and their basis of conclusion is clear, so you will always end up learning something new and gain a new, valid, point of view.
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Michael E. Porter is the leading authority on competitive strategy, the competitiveness and economic development of nations, states, and regions, and the application of competitive principles to social problems such as health care, the environment, and corporate responsibility.

Professor Porter is generally recognized as the "Father of Strategy", as has been identified in a variety of rankings and

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Here at Goodreads World Headquarters, we tend to read a lot of books. Like, a lot a lot. And every December, as we finish up our...
13 likes · 7 comments
“Competition on dimensions other than price - on product features, support services, delivery time, or brand image, for instance - is less likely to erode profitability because it improves customer value and can support higher prices. p.32” 5 likes
“Blue oceans are right next to you in every industry.” 4 likes
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