Books & Articles

IEA developed this list of recommended literature to assist faculty and staff in thinking big, learning from experts and exploring strategic planning techniques.

Recommended Books

Jim Collins presents factors which separate an average organization from an exceptional organization. Some of the factors discussed in the book are singular leadership, disciplined culture, and the right choice of technology. Collins also presents 6 essential steps great companies follow.

Collins discovers that great social enterprises like great businesses possess a “relentless culture of discipline.” Great social sector organizations offer superior performance, are resilient and have distinctive impacts that other institutions struggle to provide.

When the future is unpredictable, consider all disastrous scenarios. One of the strategies the writers recommend is to rely on three core behaviors instead of being risk-takers: sticking to values and goals and making decisions based on observation and experimentation. Collins presents tools and strategies that successful companies use to weather adversity and hectic times.

Collins and Porras present concepts behind visionary companies which endure for generations and remain prosperous for decades. The book provides practical advice for developing a company that lasts.

Harris and Lenox provide an overview of the process of strategic analysis and a collection of 13 analytical tools. The application of each tool is described in an easy-to-follow manner.

Kaplan and Norton describe a new management system based on the balanced scorecard (BSC). In order to gain sustainable advantages and succeed, organizations need new intangible capabilities. BSC uses four perspectives to gain these capabilities – financial measures, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth.

Marquet tells the story of how a captain successfully transformed the U.S. Navy’s worst-performing submarine to the best. He turned the demoralized crew into a motivated fighting force using a “leader-leader” model instead of a “leader-follower” model.

Moore presents a strategy for future growth utilizing different levels of power: category power, company power, market power, offer power, and execution power.

Rumelt lays out the key components of a good strategy and describes what a bad strategy is. Good strategy utilizes an organization’s strengths against its rivals’ weaknesses. Bad strategy consists of vague statements and directionless goals based on weak strengths and challenges analysis. The book describes measurable techniques to develop a good strategy.

Willink and Babin share leadership lessons learned during their service in Iraq. Some of the lessons are that effective leaders take ownership; that humility is a critical character trait that helps to admit their own mistakes; that the leader’s team is part of the strategic mission.

The Zanders share twelve practices for bringing creativity into personal and professional lives. They show how leaders can overcome limiting assumptions by shifting their perspectives.

Recommended Articles

Porter details each of the five competitive forces which organizations utilize to succeed in their industry. The five forces explored are threat of entry, internal competition, powerful suppliers and buyers, and threat of substitution.

Martin writes about different perspectives on SWOT analysis. There are several approaches organizations can use when performing SWOT analysis: some are beneficial and insightful and others generate a lot of pages, but little result.

Mintzberg presents the results of his research on the patterns in the process of strategy formation in organizations. He describes three main “modes” of strategy formation and reports the results of formation in two organizations.

The article describes how design thinking can be incorporated in day-to-day strategic planning. It identifies four practices to strategize with design-thinking content: reviewing, simulating, conversing, and collaborating.

Kenny presents a 6-step systematic procedure to make a strategic plan strategic. The first steps in the process involve identifying key stakeholders, target customers, and what they want from the organization. All six steps constitute a system-design approach to strategic planning.

A case study of The Medical University of South Carolina describes how the leadership infused diversity among the university community by developing a diversity road map, programs, and strategies for achieving goals.

Hinton provides an overview of strategic planning in higher education and advice on elements for a successful process.

Albon, Iqbal, and Pearson share their experience of non-linear strategic planning process in an educational development center. Eight recommendations derived from the writers’ reflection on strategic planning can help improve the process of planning and avoid some mistakes.

Recommended literature file:

Strategic Planning Recommended Literature (*.pdf)