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

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,638 ratings  ·  86 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 article 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-b
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).
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
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
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
A fairly good mix of usefull nuggets and some hot air drivel
Todd Davidson
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some 5 star essays, some 2 star essays.
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
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.
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.
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Joe Murphy
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Getting ready for that strategy course
Latonya Rochelle
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nice compendium of strategy thought.
Caio Malufe
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Some of the articles are interesting, but not sure I would recommend this book ... don’t think they’ve achieved the goal of “everything you need to know about strategy”, as they claim
Vaibhav Dhotre
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must-read book for those who really want to grove their business strategy in the competitive business environment."
Manas Gajbhiye
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book was exceptionally good with detailed explanations and related case study examples. It is good for those who want to understand the way an organization makes its Strategy.
Umer Mansoor
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good read. Very technical. The last two articles are geared towards very large organizations (i.e. not directly applicable to small companies or startups.)
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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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