Change Whisperer – Gail Severini, Symphini Change Management Inc.

Library—Great resources on Strategy Execution


We all have a “library” of resources we’ve read that have shaped our thinking and practice.

These are my favorite books and the ones I reference regularly.  My top three are in bold.

“Strategy Execution” is defined here as the continuum from concept (strategy) to concrete results (benefits realization).

If you don’t see your favorites please share them in the comments section.

Every so often I will update this post and indicate the recent additions with an *.

Strategy Execution:

  • “Creative Destruction Whips through Corporate America”, Innosight, Executive Briefing Winter 2012
  • “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done,” Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, Crown Business, NY, 2002
  • “The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage,” Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, Harvard Business School Press, 2008
  • “How Organizations Work: Taking a Holistic Approach to Enterprise Health,” Alan P. Brache, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2002
  • “Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change”, Lawrence G. Herbiniak, FT Press, 2013

Strategy Formulation:

  • “Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant,” W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Mass, 2005
  • “The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth,” Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Mass., 2003
  • “Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour through the Wilds of Strategic Management”, Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand, Joseph B. Lampel, Free Press, 1998.


  • “The Definitive Business Plan,” Richard Stutely, Prentice Hall, Great Britain, Revised Edition 2007
  • “The PDMA Handbook of New Product Development,” Milton D. Rosenau, Jr., Abbie Griffin, George A. Castellion, Ned F. Anschuetz, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, 1995
  • “Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes,” Robert P. Kaplan and David P. Norton, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Mass., 2004


  • “As One: Individual Action, Collective Power,” Mehrdad Baghai and James Quigley, Penguin Group, NY, 2011
  • “Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework,” Kim S. Cameron and Robert E. Quinn, John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York, 2006
  • “Flat Army: Creating a connected and engaged organization”, Dan Pontefract, Jossey-Bass, 2013
  • “Leading at the Edge of Chaos: How to Create the Nimble Organization,” Daryl R. Conner, John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York, 1998


  • “How to Become a Great Boss: The Rules for Getting and Keeping the Best Employees,” Jeffery J. Fox, Hyperion, New York, 2002
  • “Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment,” George Leonard, Penguin Books USA, Inc. New York, 1992

Decision Support:

  • “The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking,” Roger Martin, Harvard Business School Press, USA, 2007
  • “Polarity Management:Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems,” Barry Johnson, HRD Press, 1996
  • “The Halo Effect: and the eight other delusions that deceive managers”, Phil Rosenzweig, Free Press, 2007

Change Management and Organization Development:

  • “ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and Our Community,” Jeffrey M. Hiatt, Prosci Research Inc., Loveland, CO, 2006
  • “Beyond Change Management: Advanced Strategies for Today’s Transformational Leaders,” Dean Anderson and Linda Ackerman Anderson, Pfeiffer, San Francisco, CA, 2001
  • “The Change Leader’s Roadmap: How to Navigate Your Organization’s Transformation,” Dean Anderson and Linda S. Ackerman Anderson, Pfeiffer, San Francisco, CA, 2001
  • “Change the Way You Lead Change,” David M. Herold and Donald B. Fedor, Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 2008
  • “The Dance of Change,” Peter Senge, Random House Inc., NY, NY, 1999
  • “The Effective Change Manager: The Change Management Body of Knowledge”, The Change Management Institute, 2014.
  • “It Starts with One,” J. Stewart Black and Hal Gregersen, Wharton School Publishing, New Jersey, 2008
  • “Leading Change,” John P. Kotter, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA, 1996
  • “Managing at the Speed of Change: How Resilient Managers Succeed and Prosper Where Others Fail,” Daryl Conner, Random House, New York, 1992, 2006
  • “Practicing Organization Development: Leading Transformation and Change”, 4th Edition, William J. Rothwell (Editor), Jacqueline M. Stavros (Editor), Roland L. Sullivan (Editor), Arielle Sullivan (Editor), October 2015, Wiley. *
  • “Practicing Organization Development: A Guide to Leading Change”, William J. Rothwell (Editor), Jacqueline M. Stavros (Editor), Roland L. Sullivan (Editor), Arielle Sullivan (Editor), October 2009, Pfeiffer.
  • Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change,” William Bridges, Da Capo Press, USA, 2003
  • “Project Change Management: Applying Change Management to Improvement Projects,” H. James Harrington, Daryl R. Conner, Nicholas L. Horney, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2000
  • “The Standard for Change Management”, The Association of Change Management Professionals, 2014.
  • “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard,” Chip and Dan Heath, Random House, Canada, 2010


  • “The Back of the Napkin,” Dan Roam, Penguin Group, New York, 2008
  • “Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time,” Susan Scott, Berkley Books, NY, 2004
  • “Mind Maps at Work,” Tony Buzan, HarperCollins Publishers Inc., London, UK, 2004
  • “Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences,” Nancy Duarte, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., NJ, 2010

Project Management:

  • “Managing Change in Organizations: A Practice Guide”, Project Management Institute, August 2013
  • Project Management Body of Knowledge, Third Edition, Project Management Institute, 2004

Corporate Governance:

  • “Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL,” Roger Martin, Harvard Business Review Press, 2011
  • “What Directors Need to Know: Corporate Governance 2003,” Carol Hansell, Thomson Carswell, Toronto, Canada, 2003

Corporate Performance:

  • “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t,” Jim Collins, HarperCollins Publishers Inc. New York, 2001
  • “The Future of Management,” Gary Hamel, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Agency, 2007
  • “Re-Imagine!: Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age,” Tom Peters, Dorling Kindersley Limited, USA, 2003


  • “Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking,” Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown and Company, New York, 2005
  • “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything,” Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, HarperCollins Publishers Inc. New York, 2005
  • “Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883,” Simon Winchester, Perennial Classics, NY, 2005
  • “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference,” Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown and Company, New York, 2000
  • “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century,” Thomas L. Friedman, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2005

On Deck (reading in progress or on the wish list):

  • “The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast As Your Business”, Rita Gunther McGrath, Harvard Business Review Press, 2013.
  • “The Execution Shortcut: Why some strategies take the hidden path to success and others never reach the finish line”, Jeroen De Flander, The Performance Factory, 2013
  • “Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters”, Richard P. Rumelt, Crown Business, 2007

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