Top 10 Books on Performance Management

Book shopPeople frequently ask me which book they should read to learn more about strategy and performance management. While there are many books worth reading, I don’t think there’s a single book that gives you a complete enough view.  Both strategy and performance management come in many flavors, and you have to read several books to appreciate the breadth.

Rather than providing an exhaustive (and exhausting) reading list, I decided to create a Top 10. I wanted to represent a broad range of views and focused on books that you would refer back to time and again. As a result, I only included one book per author (even if I felt that there were others worth reading) and left out books that didn’t provide additional insight.

In no particular order, here’s my list:

Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors”, Michael E. Porter (Free Press, 1998 )

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”, Jim Collins, Jerry Porras  (HarperCollins, 2004)

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done”, Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan, and Charles Burck (Crown Publishing, 2002)

Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour through the Wilds of Strategic Management”, Henry Mintzberg, Joseph Lampel, and Bruce Ahlstrand (Free Press, 2005)

Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment”, Robert Kaplan and David Norton (Harvard Business School Press, 2000)

Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step: Maximizing Performance and Maintaining Results”, Paul Niven (John Wiley, 2006)

Five Key Principles of Corporate Performance Management”, Bob Paladino (John Wiley, 2007)

Results: Keep What’s Good, Fix What’s Wrong, and Unlock Great Performance”, Gary Neilson and Bruce Pasternack (Crown Publishing, 2005)

Measuring Performance: Using the New Metrics to Deploy Strategy and Improve Performance”, Bob Frost  (Measurement International, 2000)

Making Scorecards Actionable: Balancing Strategy and Control”, Nils-Goran Olve, Jan Roy, Sofie Roy, and Carl Johan Petri (John Wiley, 2003)

Is there a must-read book you think I missed?

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3 Responses to Top 10 Books on Performance Management

  1. jeroendemiranda May 27, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi Jonathan, great summary! One addition might be ‘Strategy Maps’, alsy Robert Kaplan.

    • Jonathan Becher May 28, 2008 at 7:38 pm #

      Strategy Maps is a good book but, as I mentioned in the post, I only wanted to include one per author. I chose Strategy-Focused Organization, as it’s a bit of a classic.

  2. Jonathan October 28, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    I wrote this list more than two years ago. In the interim, there have been many more books written about performance management — some of them good. If I had to add just one more book to this list, it would be “Driven to Perform: Risk-Aware Performance Management From Strategy Through Execution” by Bardoliwalla, Buscemi, et al. While it’s a bit long at 900 pages, it’s about as comprehensive as they come.

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