Engaging with strategy? Try these to start with.

Leading thinkers in strategy invite us to look at old problems through a new lens – to shift our perspectives and to ask more searching questions.

  Strategy v. tactics

Strategy v. tactics

Russell Ackoff
 

  Simple rules

Simple rules

Kathleen Eisenhardt

  Competitive position

Competitive position

Michael Porter
 

  Unique positioning

Unique positioning

Kim & Mauborgne

 
  Core competencies

Core competencies

Gary Hamel 

  The future

The future

CK Prahalad
 

  Nonrationality

Nonrationality

Paul Shrivastava
 

  Transient advantage

Transient advantage

Rita Gunther McGrath


& interpretations

The originals

Niccolo Machiavelli

Far from the unethical fiend commonly portrayed, Machavelli's The Prince (circa 1515) is the original masterwork of realist statecraft. Everybody interested in strategy should read this brief book.

Karl von Clausewitz

karl-von-clausewitz-3.jpg

Clausewitz was a Prussian general whose lengthy tome Vom Kriege (On War) was published posthumously by his wife. It places war in its strategic context, summed up by the famous expression: "War is the continuation of politics using other means." 
See especially pp. 84–89.

Lawrence Freedman

Strategy A history.jpg

In 2013, renowned KCL historian of war Sir Lawrence Freedman published an extensive review of strategy from Thucydides to the present. For any serious strategist, it is essential reading.


Reading 'other' strategy

Not all useful strategy reading is from the world of business. Major thinking in strategy emerged from international relations; some of the best strategy thinking is still from that realm. While we may not agree with all these writers about everything, they certainly provide examples of clear thinking on strategy or strategic issues.

 
  UK national strategy

UK national strategy

Hew Strachan

  Forgotten dimensions

Forgotten dimensions

Michael Howard

  Third world war

Third world war

Lawrence Freedman

  Liberal grand strategy

Liberal grand strategy

John Ikenberry

 
  Nuclear winter

Nuclear winter

Carl Sagan et al.

  Clash of civilisations

Clash of civilisations

Samuel Huntington

  American power

American power

Joseph Nye

  Interpreting ISIS

Interpreting ISIS

Graeme Wood