Booklist: Strategic Planning

Rarely is success stumbled upon by accident. Instead, it’s the result of careful, focused planning that identifies direction, market and strategies to achieve goals that also have been deliberately set. How many plastics processors today are taking the time to study, assess and understand their companies’ strategic plans? And, how many are expending the effort necessary to update those plans and ensure their companies are on track? These six books contain advice on reacting with agility to market shifts, evaluating new customer sources, applying game theory to decision-making and laying out a roadmap for a strategic plan that places business owners in a position to win.

Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
Authors: W. Chan Kim
and Renée A. Mauborgne
Released: Feb 3, 2005, Updated 2014
In this perennial bestseller, embraced by organizations and industries worldwide, globally preeminent management thinkers W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne challenge everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success. Recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written, Blue Ocean Strategy, now updated with fresh content from the authors, argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans” – untapped new market spaces ripe for growth. Blue Ocean Strategy presents a systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant and outlines principles and tools any organization can use to create and capture its own blue oceans.

The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life
Authors: Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff
Released: Jan. 4, 2010
Game theory means rigorous strategic thinking. It’s the art of anticipating your opponent’s next moves, knowing full well that your rival is trying to do the same thing to you. Though parts of game theory involve simple common sense, much is counterintuitive, and it can only be mastered by developing a new way of seeing the world. Using a diverse array of rich case studies – from pop culture, TV, movies, sports, politics and history – the authors show how nearly every business and personal interaction has a game-theory component to it. Mastering game theory will make you more successful in business and life, and this lively book is the key to that mastery.

The Agility Shift
Author: Pamela Meyer
Released: Sept. 29, 2015
The Agility Shift shows business leaders exactly how to make the radical mindset and strategy shift necessary to create an agile, entrepreneurial organization that can innovate and thrive in complex, ever-changing contexts. As author Pamela Meyer explains, there is much more involved than a reconfiguration of the org chart and job descriptions. It requires relinquishing the illusion of control at the very foundation of most management training and business practice. Despite most leaders’ approaches, “Agility is not simply accelerated planning.” Unlike many agility books on the market, The Agility Shift provides specific, actionable strategies and tactics for leaders at all levels of the organization to put into practice immediately to improve agility and achieve results.

Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works
Authors: A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin
Released: Feb. 5, 2013
Strategy is not complex. But, it is hard. It’s hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future – something that doesn’t happen in most companies. Now two of today’s best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategy – explaining what it’s for, how to think about it, why you need it and how to get it done. And, they use one of the most successful corporate turnarounds of the past century, which they achieved together, to prove their point. A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, in close partnership with strategic adviser Roger Martin, doubled P&G’s sales, quadrupled its profits and increased its market value by more than $100 billion in just 10 years. Now, drawn from their years of experience at P&G and the Rotman School of Management, where Martin is dean, this book shows how leaders in organizations of all sizes can guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success – where to play and how to win.

Strategic Planning: As Simple as A, B, C
Author: David R. McClean
Released: Jan. 12, 2015
If your organization wants to get better at strategic planning, you could hire expensive consultants eager to charge you as much as they can. Or you could demystify the process by reading this guidebook written by an accomplished businessman and former military strategic planner who explains that strategic planning means doing the right things, which is much different than doing things right. Col. David R. McClean (USA, Ret) provides a phased approach with clear and concise advice so you can improve your strategic planning and increase growth. Whether you own a corner sandwich shop or manage a megabank, you can conduct an organization assessment to develop a comprehensive strategic plan, select and lead strategic planning teams, communicate with colleagues and business partners, and analyze and execute an effective implementation plan.

Strategy-In-Action: Marrying Planning, People and Performance
Authors: Thomas D. Zweifel and Edward J. Borey
Released: Jan. 3, 2014
Traditional strategic planning no longer guarantees success. Rapid change and uncertainty, globalization and new technologies, flatter hierarchies and empowered consumers call for a new approach. The award-winning Strategy-In-Action shows, through cutting-edge research and compelling cases, how companies ended the long-standing divorce between planners and implementers. One saved $200 million from people power and another made €74 million from innovation. CEOs, senior managers and strategists will find a systematic, seven-step roadmap for winning strategies: how to build alignment among multiple stakeholders; get intelligence from far-flung locations; stand in the future while respecting the past; give voice to dissenters and maximize ownership; build a mindset of accountability, leadership and entrepreneurship; produce quick wins and screen out losers efficiently; and get dynamic feedback from the action.

Book summaries provided by the publishing entity.