You’ve hired Gale Strategies for marketing and public relations. We seem like nice people. We seem to like you. And it’s time we come clean about something.
We have a little bit of a book problem on the side. We’re high functioning book addicts. So, when we’re excited, we really do think your business is very interesting. We’re not just saying it. But we’re also busy fitting it into a framework of ideas that we’re always studiously gathering, working with, incorporating into what we do and building on. That’s part of the Gale Strategies way – the client’s story, the audience’s story, and the larger context that matters to both.
Not everyone at Gale Strategies is into books as much as some. But then some of us don’t stop reading mostly non-fiction books. The secret is audio books. You can fit them in anywhere. If you see us with our headphones on, there’s probably an audio book playing. Our families have spoken to us about appropriate times to be listening to books, and inappropriate times.
One of the upsides/downsides is during update calls, in agendas and sometimes in other documents you might find a bibliography of sorts. So given we’ve been asked more than a few times, here’s an initial list of five books we recommend and the logic –
The Challenger Customer – https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/318682/the-challenger-customer-by-brent-adamson-matthew-dixon-pat-spenner-and-nick-toman/
- Why – Arguably the best book on solution selling and very aligned with how we do our work
- The takeaway – The best sales come from confronting customers with insights that require them to rethink a part of their business
- What to read with it – The Built Trap matches up with this well
Seven Powers – https://7powers.com/
- Why – One of the most precise books on the finite number of moats that businesses use to win their category, and in fact come to define it through their model
- The takeaway – One of the most interesting competitive powers is counter positioning, where your competition cannot adopt your business model, because it would cannibalize or threaten too much of their existing business model
- What to read with it – Definitely pick up Only The Paranoid Survive to get more of the Intel story tha Helmer leans in to
The Innovation Stack – https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/617493/the-innovation-stack-by-jim-mckelvey/
- Why – How to find a market others aren’t serving and then build an unbeatable business by layers and layers of systematized problem solving
- The takeaway – Moats are often made up of many, many small but intractable problems that are solved in an interrelated manner that are hard to reverse engineer by competitors.
- What to read with it – You may want to read The Innovator’s Dilemma first
Only The Paranoid Survive – https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/72469/only-the-paranoid-survive-by-andrew-grove/
- Why – Leaders of large existing businesses can rarely pivot massively from one business to the next. Andy Grove did that, and he explains how
- The takeaway – Listen to middle management and frontline employees, they can see the future before you do… even if they’re not sure of the exact dimensions
- What to read with it – Read The Innovator’s Dilemma for more detail on this
The Innovator’s Dilemma – https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/72469/only-the-paranoid-survive-by-andrew-grove/
- Why – It’s a classic
- The takeaway – Disruption typically comes from the part of the market nobody wants to serve… often because it’s not seen as profitable
- What to read with it – Next pick up The Innovation Stack to see more detail on this process in action
Want more? We’ve got more. Wow, do we have a lot more… Just ask!