Strategic Thinking Six Classic Book Recommendations

Six classic books on strategic thinking from Edward de Bono, Adrian Furnham, Tony Buzan, Richard Thaler and other prolific thinkers and innovators.

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS for lateral and strategic thinking…

1. Edward de Bono – Six Thinking Hats

Six Thinking Hats

SIX THINKING HATS is a de Bono classic, used by businessmen worldwide to develop techniques of creative thinking in the boardroom. The Six Hats method aims to make the fullest use of everyone’s intelligence, experience and information. De Bono has comprehensively updated his bestselling text for this new edition.

2. The Decision Book – 50 Models for Strategic Thinking

One of my favourite reference books on Strategic Thinking models. Very accessible, each model is explained in simple terms with an accompanying example.

The Decision Book: Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking

Most of us face the same questions every day: What do I want? And how can I get it? How can I live more happily and work more efficiently? A European bestseller, The Decision Book distils into a single volume the fifty best decision-making models used on MBA courses and elsewhere that will help you tackle these important questions – from the well known (the Eisenhower matrix for time management) to the less familiar but equally useful (the Swiss Cheese model). It will even show you how to remember everything you will have learned by the end of it. Stylish and compact, this little black book is a powerful asset. Whether you need to plot a presentation, assess someone’s business idea or get to know yourself better, this unique guide will help you simplify any problem and take steps towards the right decision.

3. 50 psychology ideas you really need to know

I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Personality and Society and Rationality and Problem Solving.

50 Psychology Ideas You Really Need to Know

How different are men and women’s brains? Does altruism really exist? Are our minds blank slates at birth? And do dreams reveal our unconscious desires? If you have you ever grappled with these concepts, or tried your hand as an amateur psychologist, 50 Psychology Ideas You Really Need to Know could be just the book for you. Not only providing the answers to these questions and many more, this series of engaging and accessible essays explores each of the central concepts, as well as the arguments of key thinkers. Author Adrian Furnham offers expert and concise introductions to emotional behaviour, cognition, mental conditions – from stress to schizophrenia – rationality and personality development, amongst many others. This is a fascinating introduction to psychology for anyone interested in understanding the human mind.

4. Nudge – Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness

A classic ‘marmite’ book, and a must-read for those interested in behavioural economics and choice architecture.
By Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. The book draws on research in psychology and behavioral economics to defend libertarian paternalism and active engineering of choice architecture.

The book received mixed reviews. The Guardian described it as “never intimidating, always amusing and elucidating: a jolly economic romp but with serious lessons within.” But The Sunday Times called it a “very, very dull read” and others contended that the many policy proposals it contained became “a bit wearisome”. It was named a “Best Book of the Year” by The Economist.

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness

5. Mind Maps for Business – Revolutionise your business thinking and practice

A couple of years old, but a great book from Mind Map inventor Tony Buzan. There is an excellent chapter on Mind Maps for Strategic Thinking covering Scenario Planning, PEST, SWOT, Balanced Scorecards, Porter’s Five Forces Framework, BCG growth-share matrix, Porter’s Value Chain, McKinsey 7-S framework, and the 4-P’s (marketing mix).

Mind Maps for Business: Using the Ultimate Thinking Tool to Revolutionise How You Work

6. A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing

Edited by Paul Sloan with twenty five chapters authored by different figures from the Open Innovation (OI) world. The forward is by Prof. Henry Chesbrough (‘the father of Open Innovation’). Stefan Lindegaard writes an interesting chapter calling for Open Innovation to be Fast, Open and Global. Contributors from NineSigma, Spigit and other interesting practitioners make this a very compelling read.

Open innovation and crowdsourcing are among the hottest topics in strategy and management today. The concept of capturing ideas in a hub of collaboration, together with the outsourcing of tasks to a large group of people or community is a revolution that is rapidly changing business culture. A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing explains how to use the power of ideas and people outside your organization to turbocharge your innovation. Failure to embrace these approaches could mean getting left behind.

A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing: Advice from Leading Experts in the Field

Further Reading on Business Strategy and Strategic Thinking

By Steve Nimmons

Steve is a Certified European Engineer, Chartered Engineer, Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Royal Society of Arts, Linnean Society and Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He is an Electric Circle Patron of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a Liveryman and Freeman of London and serves on numerous industry panels. He is a member of Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute and the Chartered Institute of Journalists.