Outthinker’s 2022 Strategic Summer Reading List

Summer starts this week, at least for those Outthinkers north of the equator. If you’re anything like our team, you’ve spent the last few months collecting stacks of interesting book titles, wishing for more time in the day to read them all.

We are fortunate to discover and receive publications from an impressive list of thought leaders, speakers, researchers, and podcast guests. Their knowledge and expertise challenge our thinking and present new ideas for the future of strategy and leadership. As you prepare to pack your beach bags or vacation luggage, consider adding these recent releases to your strategic summer reading list:

Seeing Around Corners, Rita McGrath

Rita’s work offers unparalleled perspectives for strategic planning while keeping uncertainty top of mind. In Seeing Around Corners, she gives us practical tips to get smarter about predicting and preparing for the inflection points that will inevitably disrupt every industry.


Better, Simpler Strategy, Felix Oberholzer-Gee 

While many companies are focused solely on price and cost factors, Felix’s value-based strategy framework uses the ideas of value, willingness to pay, and willingness to sell as factors to drive profit. His is one of the most compelling, complete, and yet simple strategy books out there.


Smart Growth, Whitney Johnson 

The growth of any organization is dependent on the growth of the talented individuals working inside of it. Whitney gives expert advice in helping you apply disruptive innovation to unlock your potential and optimize your individual growth journey.


To Risk It All, Admiral James Stavridis 

Four-star Admiral James Stavridis impressively served for more than 30 years in the U.S. Navy. He provides a master class capturing nine principles he learned about making critical decisions with clarity while under immense pressure.


The Digital Mindset, Paul Leonardi and Tsedal Neeley 

Strategists today are pressured by rapid technological advancements to decide which tech trends to pursue and quickly master the right skills. Paul and Tsedal break down the actions you can take to improve your digital literacy so that you may thrive in the age of data, algorithms, and artificial intelligence.


The Crux, Richard P. Rumelt 

Richard is one of the world’s most influential thinkers on strategy and management. He has often been called “strategy’s strategist.” In The Crux, he explains that leaders become breakthrough strategists when they shift their focus away from goals and onto the pivotal “crux” of their challenge.


The Platform Delusion, Jonathan A. Knee 

It seems that every entrepreneur and legacy company today is striving to become a platform business. Through real-world insights backed by decades of studying which companies survive and which fall, Jonathan argues that what we should really be focusing on is creating multiple reinforcing sources of competitive advantage.


Everyday Superhero, Tony O’Driscoll and Gary Zamchick 

In this entertaining read, Tony and Gary propose a new version of leadership, one that deeply resonates with Outthinker’s vision of empowered intrapreneurs driving innovation from within their organization. Their stories highlight the revolution from outdated, authoritarian leadership to a bright future that prioritizes people, purpose, and principles.


Innovation Accounting, Dan Toma and Esther Gons 

In one of the most forward-thinking books on changing how corporations approach innovation, Dan and Esther share how to accurately think about, measure, and integrate innovation into enterprises. This may be one of our most recommended books to strategists in the past year.


When Women Lead, Julia Boorstin 

Study after study shows that diverse talent begets stronger teams and increases strategic opportunities. Julia takes it a step further by examining stories of the women who are running today’s most innovative companies and explaining why female leadership has led to disruptive business models and widespread success.

Photo by Emre Can Acer

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