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The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy

Fit for Growth: A Guide to Strategic Cost Cutting, Restructuring, and Renewal
Fit for Growth is a guide for senior executives and middle managers on how to align their company's costs and organization with their strategy so they can grow, create value, and sustainably outperform competitors.

The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy

Strategy That Works: How Winning Companies Close the Strategy-to-Execution Gap
The book Strategy That Works reveals five practices for closing the strategy-to-execution gap used by today’s winning companies. Packed with tools executives can use for building these five practices into their organization, it is a powerful guide to connecting where enterprises aim to go and what they can accomplish.

The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy

The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy
In The Essential Advantage, Strategy&'s Cesare Mainardi and Paul Leinwand maintain that success in any market accrues to firms with coherence: a tight match between their strategic direction and the capabilities that make them unique. Achieving this clarity takes a sharpness of focus that only exceptional companies have mastered. This book helps you identify your firm's blend of strategic direction and distinctive capabilities that give it the "right to win" in its chosen markets.

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy
Raghuram Rajan was one of the few economists who warned of the global financial crisis before it hit. Now, as the world struggles to recover, it's tempting to blame what happened on just a few greedy bankers who took irrational risks and left the rest of us to foot the bill. In Fault Lines, Rajan argues that serious flaws in the economy are also to blame, and warns that a potentially more devastating crisis awaits us if they aren't fixed.

Leading Outside the Lines: How to Mobilize the Informal Organization, Energize Your Team, and Get Better Results
Katzenbach and Khan examine how two distinct factions together form the bigger picture for how organizations actually work: the more defined "formal" organization of a company – the management structure, performance metrics, and processes – and the "informal" – the culture, social networks, and ad hoc communities that spring up naturally and can accelerate or hinder how the organization works. With dynamic examples from enterprises around the world, this book takes a timeless organizational approach and creates a powerful paradigm-shifting tool set for applying it.

The China Strategy
In THE CHINA STRATEGY, Edward Tse, Strategy& senior executive advisor, shows executives how to prepare for the new China that is rapidly recovering from the global financial crisis and evolving in unexpected directions. The engine driving the world out of the global financial crisis and back to growth is China. But only those multinational companies that develop a genuine China strategy will come along for the ride.

The Right Fight: How Great Leaders Use Healthy Conflict to Drive Performance, Innovation, and Value
Harmony and alignment are not always the best way to get the most out of organizations. Contrary to conventional management wisdom, leaders can unleash creativity, innovation and the productive potential of their employees by strategically employing “right fights,” The fundamental premise: A certain amount of struggle and stress energizes organizations and individuals, leading to optimal execution.

Cut Costs, Grow Stronger: A Strategic Approach to What to Cut and What to Keep
Cut Costs, Grow Stronger provides executives with the tools they need to rapidly implement capabilities-driven cost reduction. First identify and clearly articulate your company’s key capabilities–not just core competencies or skill sets, but those very few strengths that, in combination, define how your organization competes. Then use this information to create your company’s unique blueprint for effective and efficient cost reduction.

Merge Ahead: Mastering the Five Enduring Trends of Artful M&A
Prior to the economic downturn of 2008–2009, the number of mergers and acquisitions reached an historic high. Whatever happens next, one thing is clear: mergers, acquisitions, and growth will be more important than ever. Those who prepare their organizations for a multifaceted growth strategy—integrating acquisitions, organic growth, and alliances—will be the ones most likely to survive the difficult years and seize the opportunities in tomorrow’s restructured industries. If you’re a corporate leader—of a company large or small—there’s a merge ahead in your future.

Energy Shift: Game-Changing Options for Fueling the Future
Transportation fuel and electric power prices, energy security, and climate change have been on every business leader’s mind. Recent shifts in scientific knowledge, public awareness, and political will are causing governments to take meaningful regulatory and legislative action. And multinational corporations are factoring new realities and uncertainties into their strategies and operations. Energy Shift: Game-Changing Options for Fueling the Future is a one-stop resource for busy executives and senior policymakers who need a reliable, accessible guide to the big strategy questions surrounding energy.

Always On: Advertising, Marketing, and Media in an Era of Consumer Control
We stand at the beginning of a consumer-centric age — an era with potentially enormous returns for leaders in marketing, advertising and media — if they get their approach right. The new media environment is “always on,” digitally accessible to audiences from anywhere at any time, and responsive to their control. As consumers get used to this, the world of marketing is shifting to one of media fragmentation and splintered audiences; constant experimentation; fine-grained insight through new engagement metrics and other means; and continual innovation of the visible advertising message, and the changing business infrastructure underlying it.

Make or Break: How Manufacturers Can Leap from Decline to Revitalization
Manufacturing is once again at the top of corporate agendas in the U.S. and Europe. Make or Break examines the flaws and limitations of Lean and Six Sigma, and demonstrates how businesses can revolutionize their manufacturing practices to create growth, transform plant operations, and heal fragmented supply chains.

The Four Pillars of Profit-Driven Marketing
The Four Pillars of Profit-Driven Marketing offers a practical, proven framework that helps marketers capture the metrics essential to determining ROI and use them to develop an overall marketing strategy based on accurate ROI figures. Inside, two marketing strategy experts at Strategy&, Leslie H. Moeller and Edward C. Landry, reveal their “four pillars” of marketing, which help track ROI at every point in the ever-expanding and increasingly complex world of media platforms.

The Age of Heretics: A History of the Radical Thinkers Who Reinvented Corporate Management
Behind many corporate ideas or practices now wearing the mantle of “conventional wisdom,” is a heretic, someone who fought for that idea when it seemed outlandish, improbable, impossible. The Age of Heretics explores the evolution of corporate culture – through the lives of its heretics – from 1945 to the present. The book is a history of the social movement to change large mainstream corporations for the better, but it is not just that. It is also an inquiry into the precise way in which corporations have changed our world, and what it means to be a hero or heroine in a world bounded by immense institutions.

Results: Keep What's Good, Fix What's Wrong, and Unlock Great Performance
Great companies are always looking for ways to cut costs — in finance, HR, IT, and other general and administrative services. But stringent cost management is counterproductive when it shortchanges your ability to grow, or hamstrings your best people. The answer lies with optimizing overhead: designing services from the market back, using IT more effectively, and looking beyond conventional approaches and geographical borders for solutions. This in-depth guide by Strategy&'s unparalleled team of organizational experts can help change you from a reluctant manager, complying with pressure from outside, into a proactive advocate for your own best customer: Yourself.

Megacommunities: How Leaders of Government, Business and Non-Profits Can Tackle Today's Global Challenges Together
Today, issues that significantly affect all of us - global climate change, rebuilding urban infrastructure, water scarcity, preparing for pandemics, dealing with aging populations - have become key challenges to decision makers in the public sector, private sector, and civil society. At first glance, these problems seem intractable. But in an era of expanding global networks and interdependence, they cannot be ignored. Such problems cannot be solved by government, business, or civil society alone. It takes a megacommunity. Leaders of many organizations must work together toward common goals, without any one of them being in control of the whole system. The key is a shift in focus from maximizing to optimizing… Megacommunities is a response to the growing need for people at every level of society to move to a new approach to managing complexity: it shows a path for deliberate development of leadership capabilities, and results-oriented action in an open-ended network of leaders from multiple organizations.

Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies
In Purpose, world-renowned thought leader Nikos Mourkogiannis turns the entire idea of leadership on its head and shows that the choice between values and success is no choice at all. Mourkogiannis argues that companies must satisfy the need for purpose--a set of values that defines an organization and inspires and motivates its employees. Rather than organization and structure, ideas are what cause companies to go from good to great. Drawing on examples from across multiple industries, Mourkogiannis demonstrates how a strong purpose is the essential first step toward lasting success.


strategy+business Readers

Add value to your business library. These collections of the best of our intellectual capital and research on selected themes, such as managing risk or strategy-based transformation by calling 1-703-787-8044.

Sourcing Reloaded: Targeting Procurement’s New Strategic Agenda
In today’s risky global business environment, supplier networks are the ultimate lifeline for many companies — delivering the far-flung materials, goods, and services that drive worldwide commerce. The sourcing function has thus become an indispensable contributor to strategic goals and competitiveness in every industry. But charting a course that positions the corporate purchasing department as a catalyst for growth is no easy matter. Sourcing Reloaded: Targeting Procurement’s New Strategic Agenda is packed with insights and prescriptive advice that senior leaders and purchasing executives can use to navigate today’s most vexing sourcing problems. Its main theme: how to balance traditional sourcing strategies with the new, collaborative approaches needed to drive sourcing’s effectiveness and help it attain its full potential in the face of the demands of globalization, resilience, sustainability, complexity, and customization. Sourcing Reloaded is aimed directly at companies that are determined to build fresh purchasing capabilities that leave behind old, unprofitable sourcing routines forever. For them, this book will be a helpful guide to a revolution in the making.
Published 2008, 176 pages, $19.95 paperback.

Capturing the People Advantage: Thought Leaders on Human Capital
What do the chief information officer of Toyota Motor Sales, the executive vice president of retail banking at PNC Financial Services, and the chief personnel officer of ThyssenKrupp have in common? All of them, along with the 12 additional executives and academics featured here, recognize the value of human capital as a critical enabler of business results. They are devoting significant resources, creativity, and brainpower to capturing the people advantage. Leaders from both the human resources function and the C-suite reveal how to ensure that investments in workforce-enhancing practices, including employer branding, leadership development, and corporate universities, will reliably contribute to bottom-line results. The insights of these expert practitioners are bolstered by the ideas of leading academic commentators, including C.K. Prahalad, Jay Conger, and John Boudreau. Capturing the People Advantage reflects the increasingly widespread conviction in global corporations that people are a primary asset and competitive advantage, and that a compelling people strategy is required to fully realize their value.
Published 2008, 222 pages, $19.95 paperback.

The CFO as Deal Maker: Thought Leaders on M&A Success
If you have ever wondered what goes on behind the headlines in major mergers and acquisitions, you will find no more fascinating and enlightening reading than The CFO as Deal Maker. In these pages, you will learn how Banco Santander earned a place among the world’s top 10 banks by taking part in the US$98.5 billion acquisition of ABN Amro; how Saudi Basic Industries acquired GE Plastics and became the world’s number one chemicals company by market value; and how Mittal Steel engineered its merger with Arcelor to create a global steelmaker — and become the largest player in the industry. This book features interviews with 15 leading CFOs, who share their ideas, experiences, and lessons learned in the successful execution of some of the largest deals in business history. If your goal is to hone your deal-making skills and capabilities, to ensure the fulfillment of fiduciary responsibility, or to build your personal reputation for M&A success, The CFO as Deal Maker is essential reading.
Published 2008, 184 pages, $19.95 paperback.

Health Care’s Retail Solution: A Consumer-Focused Cure for the Industry
The issues facing us in health care today are as urgent as they are complex. Escalating costs, inconsistent quality, uneven access, and devastating pandemics are all pressing problems that elude easy answers. Health Care’s Retail Solution offers a consumer-centric vision for health care. It describes how a system that puts the consumer at the center of everything we do can help align all stakeholders on improving the well-being of individuals while significantly enhancing the value of the insurers, providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other companies serving them. In addition to laying out an overarching vision, this book analyzes fundamental changes that need to be made in order to realize a consumer-focused future in health care. It is essential reading for everyone who is committed to transforming health care in the U.S. and around the world.
Published 2008, 96 pages, $19.95 paperback.

Reinventing Service: New Approaches to Meet New Demands 
It’s generally held that to succeed, a company must serve its customers. But that simple ambition can quickly become complex and costly in today’s environment, where consumers expect the highest quality service, tailored to their needs, delivered immediately. In this anthology, we explore the major forces shaping the execution and quality of effective service operations. We offer insight into the key challenges facing service businesses, including how to build a service strategy to support your growth objectives, satisfy customers efficiently and effectively, and manage complexity.
Published 2008, 192 pages, $19.95 paperback.

Moments of Choice: Driving Profitable Growth with Shelf-Centered Collaboration
Consumers today face a daunting array of choices at the retail shelf, and for manufacturers and retailers, the challenges of the value chain have never been greater. But the potential benefits of fine-tuning product assortment, promotions, and shelf quantities are also immense. What if manufacturers and retailers could both create demand and respond to different consumers’ needs, putting the right products where they will sell today and this week? With the widespread availability of point-of-sale data, data mining, and sophisticated real-time analytics, such imaginings are now possible. A team of thought leaders from Strategy& have identified this emerging phenomenon as “shelf-centered collaboration.” In Moments of Choice: Driving Profitable Growth with Shelf-Centered Collaboration, they reveal how manufacturers and retailers can partner at the shelf for the benefit of both — and for the people they serve.
Published 2007, 176 pages.

CMO Thought Leaders: The Rise of the Strategic Marketer
Meet the chief marketing officers and other marketing leaders who have risen to the challenges of the new millennium. They are the new “growth champions” for their companies, raising the bar of customer-centric strategy and practice. A team of experts from Strategy& and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) have conducted 15 incisive and revealing interviews with former and current marketing leaders at household-name companies, including Jim Stengel of Procter & Gamble, Beth Comstock of GE’s NBC Universal, John Hayes of American Express, Cie Nicholson of Pepsi-Cola, Omid Kordestani of Google, Mike Glenn of FedEx, and Rob Malcolm of Diageo. Other interviews describe the CMO leadership at Yahoo, Nokia, Verizon, Foster’s, Bank of America, Wachovia, Mercedes-Benz, and Hewlett-Packard. This unique book will take forward-looking CMOs inside the minds of their peers — and help them fulfill their professional potential.
Published 2007, 300 pages, $19.95 paperback.

Optimizing Overhead: From Cost Center to Competititve Advantage
Great companies are always looking for ways to cut costs — in finance, HR, IT, and other general and administrative services. But stringent cost management is counterproductive when it shortchanges your ability to grow, or hamstrings your best people. The answer lies with optimizing overhead: designing services from the market back, using IT more effectively, and looking beyond conventional approaches and geographical borders for solutions. This in-depth guide by Strategy&’s unparalleled team of organizational experts can help change you from a reluctant manager, complying with pressure from outside, into a proactive advocate for your own best customer: Yourself.
Published 2007, 216 pages, $19.95 paperback.

China: How to Aim True in the World’s Fastest Growing Economy
China is quickly becoming a top agenda item for many CEOs and the ability to understand the deeper patterns driving this new force will determine future results for many companies. Only ten years ago, China was seen (by the West) primarily as an enormous potential market, ripe for the picking. Five years ago, it had already become the world’s fastest growing producer of goods, and the fierce competitiveness of its enterprises has only intensified since then. Today, China is a comprehensive source not just of low-cost goods, but of finance capital, far-sighted innovation, and its own diverse brands. Even in the near future, the capabilities of this booming, immense, and diverse nation defy easy prediction. In China: How to Aim True in the World’s Fastest Growing Economy, Strategy&’s experts draw upon their intensive observations and client service experience in Greater China, to offer insightful advice for this rapidly changing market and real case examples cutting across many different industries.
Published 2007, 171 pages.

Outsourcing Thought Leaders: Managing Business without Borders
The outsourcing industry is becoming ever more sophisticated and, for many customers, indispensable. In Outsourcing Thought Leaders: Managing Business without Borders, executives of some of the field’s most successful companies speak candidly about this fast-moving marketplace. These compelling interviews — half of the subjects lead prominent outsourcing service providers, half are veterans who have created and driven successful corporate outsourcing programs — reveal that a clear view is emerging of the changes that lie ahead for the global services industry, as well as of the most effective approach for dealing with these changes.
Published 2006, 144 pages, $19.95 paperback.

Manufacturing Realities: Breaking the Boundaries of Conventional Practice
Companies have begun to view manufacturing in a new light — as a core component in providing value, and a critical contributor to improvements in earnings. But extracting value from manufacturing now requires extraordinary skills, which are in short supply at many companies. A team of Strategy& experts has compiled in this book the latest and most innovative ideas in modern manufacturing thought to offer new ways to understand manufacturing: its costs, its hidden value, and its opportunities.
Published 2006, 117 pages, $19.95 paperback.

The Whole Deal: Fulfilling the Promise of Acquisitions and Mergers
Contrary to conventional wisdom, today’s mergers can and should be more successful. Mergers are an indispensable part of most growth strategies and vital for staying competitive and meeting shareholder expectations. The trick, this book shows, is to apply strategic diligence, focus early planning on the key integration imperatives, and execute effectively.
Published 2006, 240 pages, $19.95 paperback.

Mastering the Innovation Challenge: Unleashing Growth and Creating Competitive Advantage
Of all the core functions of most companies, innovation has arguably the most competitive value — but it is often managed with the least discipline. Now a team of experts from Strategy& brings together some of the best thinking on how companies can step up to the innovation challenge. Whether you need to design winning new business models, develop breakthrough products and services, or streamline your innovation operations and organization, this volume can help.
Published 2006, 216 pages, $19.95 paperback.

Results-Driven Marketing: A Guide to Growth and Profits
How can you make ROI marketing a reality? This collection of articles from strategy+business and the experts at Strategy& touches each of the eight links of the marketing value chain: connecting with markets, understanding customers, moving beyond commodities, mastering brands, connecting with customers, building relationships, maximizing talent, and organizing for results-driven marketing.
Published 2005, 248 pages, $19.95 paperback.

CFO Thought Leaders: Advancing the Frontiers of Finance
Based on interviews with CFOs from 17 of the world’s most successful companies, this book is the first to examine how the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, globalization, and the IT revolution have changed the chief financial officer’s role.
Published 2005, 216 pages, $19.95 paperback.

The Missing Link: Designing Supply Chains for Growth, Profitability, and Resilience
Based on research and case studies from Strategy&, this book enables decision-makers to improve the performance of their supply chains, gain market leverage, and build strength.
Published 2005, 148 pages, $19.95 paperback.

Two-Volume Set

The Case for Transformation, along with Transformation Cases, describes how companies and their leaders can build the adaptive capabilities to turn initial beneficial change into lasting advantage and resilience. The Case for Transformation concentrates on how companies create and sustain the capabilities to adapt to continual, discontinuous change.
Published 2004, 224 pages, $19.95 paperback.

Making Overhead Outperform: Next-Generation G&A Performance
Within the past decade, best-in-class companies around the world, realizing that they are their own best customers, have “brought the market inside,” radically transforming internal service delivery and adding tangibly to companies’ profitability. This book is a guide to this revolution.
Published 2003, 184 pages.

Enterprise Resilience: Managing Risk and Security in the Networked World
In today’s environment of economic uncertainty, waning shareholder confidence, and terrorism, organizations must focus more on building more resilient business and operating models to minimize the impact of unforeseen shocks. Indeed, “enterprise resilience” is likely to become the new benchmark for organizations seeking to maintain and improve the confidence of their stakeholders.
Published 2003, 150 pages,  $19.95 paperback.

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