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Top 5 Reads on Effective Strategy

What if you could learn from the strategy mistakes of other leaders to save your bottom line or, better yet, save your company from failing? Read about these influential executives who have lost it all to avoid leading your company into a similar situation.



Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff


How did one of Canada’s most successful businesses crash and burn as quickly as it earned success? Jacquie and Sean tell the heartbreaking story of BlackBerry—and how two starkly different CEO’s let it happen. While these leaders harnessed innovation to redefine what it meant to communicate, their business model was challenged when competitors swept in and took advantage of BlackBerry’s delayed response to adaptation. In an industry where there’s little give to error, it can be near impossible to keep up if your strategy isn’t defined and tactful among all key players.









Why Smart Executives Fail by Sydney Finkelstein


Sydney Finkelstein has carried out a major research project to find out why smart companies with great leaders make bad choices, and continue to fail. Pulling from examples of Bob Pittman and AOL, Time Warner, Jean Marie Messier and Vivendi, Finkelstein has done his research to uncover the common themes. Why Smart Executives Fail demonstrates that there are commonalities among these examples, and offers practical advice on how to avoid it for your own company, or the company you manage.










Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt

Richard’s primary argument is that buzzwords, financial goals, and motivational slogans are examples of what he considers bad strategy. And good strategy is all about insight and guiding your own thinking. Richard draws from unique examples spanning from local markets to WalMart, Apple to General Motors, and the two Iraq Wars to Afghanistan. Using a mix of economics, finance, technology, history, and the human characterRichard searches beyond the superficial to address hard questions.












The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

Here’s a thought, what if companies failed because they did everything right? Clayton suggests that companies place too much emphasis on customers’ current needswhile failing to consider their unstated or future needs. Drawing from examples like the personal computer industry, earth movers, and steel minimills, Clayton goes into great detail about disruptive innovation (or, the anticipation of future needs) being the defining factor between success and failure.











How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In by Jim Collins

What if companies could see their inevitable decline, and shift strategy to overcome a business tragedy? After four years of research, Jim has defined five stages of decline, which h e argues can allow great companies to recover from their stumble, so long as they aren’t knocked entirely out of the game. He argues that any company can fall—and most eventually do—but recovery is possible if you are capable and willing to overcome it.