Vaughan Evans & Partners
Vaughan Evans & Partners

Key Strategy Tools

This top-selling, much acclaimed book was a first of its kind.  It is a compendium of strategy tools, assembled within the logical structure of a strategy development process - the Strategy Pyramid.


Key Strategy Tools: The 80+ Tools Every Manager Needs to Know will help you cherry pick the most useful approaches for your business.  Each tool is classified as either essential or useful.  They will help you create a robust strategy that withstands investor scrutiny and becomes your roadmap to success.


Covering 88 models and techniques, framed within the strategy pyramid, this user-friendly manual takes you through each step of the process.  Whether analysing your market, building competitive advantage or addressing risk, you'll find the strategic thinking tools at every stage.


It gives you classic models such as:

  • Porter's five forces
  • GE/McKinsey's attractiveness/advantage matrix
  • BCG's growth/share matrix
  • Kim and Mauborgne's blue ocean strategy
  • Hamel and Prahalad's core competences
  • Goold, Campbell and Alexander's parenting/fit matrix
  • Evans's suns & clouds chart


As well as wider strategic thinking techniques such as:

  • Setting SMART objectives
  • Sizing the market
  • Deriving key success factors
  • Rating your competitive position
  • Making strategic investment decisions
  • Creating value from mergers and acquisitions
  • Managing risk and opportunity


The book not only describes each tool lucidly, but shows you how to apply them - when and how to use them and when to be wary.


The book also includes real-life example of strategy in action, with examples ranging from Woolworths to Facebpook, RBS to The Beatles.

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Here it is on Amazon and on Waterstone's.

Or try these editions!

  • Dutch
  • Portuguese
  • Russian

Praise for this book

“I wish I had thought of the idea for this book.  Or could have done it so well!  The selection of topics is excellent, the commentary astute, and the explanations simple and engaging. Perfect for reading on a plane or browsing at home.”

Richard Koch, entrepreneur, co-founder L.E.K. Consulting and author, The 80/20 Principle


“This is a new, very practical and delightfully pithy approach to strategy making.  It offers a fabulous compendium of the major strategy tools, woven into a no-nonsense, step-by-step strategy process. An enormously refreshing and helpful book, invaluable to novices and strategy experts alike."

Marcus Alexander, Professor of Strategy and Enterprise, London Business School


“A really practical guide to strategy development.  All the relevant tools are explained in detail, but highlighting the essential ones is a master stroke that will save endless hours!”

Adrian Beecroft, Chairman, Dawn Capital and former Senior Managing Partner, Apax Partners


"A comprehensive inventory of the tools and analytical frameworks of strategy.  The key value of this book is the guidance it offers on how to apply these tools - and this is rooted in Vaughan Evans' deep experience of working with them."

Robert M. Grant, ENI Professor of Strategic Management, Bocconi University, Milan, visiting fellow at Georgetown University, Washington and author of the market leading strategy textbook for business school students, Contemporary Strategic Analysis, now in its 7th edition


“Everything you need from a tool kit, comprehensive, practical and high added value.”

Mike Garland, Partner and Head of Portfolio Group, Permira Advisers LLP


“This book really works. I hope it becomes a standard for every management team seeking private equity; it would certainly make my life much easier.”

David Williamson, Managing Director, Nova Capital Management


“A broad yet accessible explanation of the range of strategy tools actually used by businesses. Whether you are an experienced strategy specialist or newer to the field, you will find this an invaluable guide.”
Robert Samuelson, Executive Director Group Strategy, Virgin Media


 “Strategy is at the heart of a successful business – with this excellent book, Vaughan Evans has provided an extremely clear roadmap to achieving that success”

James Courtenay, Global Head, Advisory & Infrastructure Finance, Standard Chartered Bank


“A very satisfying read. This is a guide to strategy which covers all the necessary ground in a very straightforward and no nonsense way, employing a number of good real life examples of strategy in practice.  It is written by a true expert and will prove an invaluable tool for anybody involved in the running of a business.”

Vince O’Brien, Director, Montagu Private Equity and Past Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association


“It can be difficult to keep up to date with all the latest developments in the world of strategy, let alone how one guru’s work blends with those of his predecessors.  Vaughan Evans has done it for us.  He gives us a thorough refresher course, with each leading strategy theory, model or matrix presented as a tool in the manager’s toolkit – and carefully placed in each step of the strategy process.  Each tool is described in a lucid and vivid style seldom found in a business manual.  Refreshing and invaluable for a DIY strategist.”

Christine Harvey, former Director of Business Analysis and Planning, GlaxoSmithKline R&D 


“A practical approach, easy to read and understand, on how to build your business strategy, the steering direction that any business, large or small, needs to succeed”

Jose-Maria Maldonado, Partner, Bridgepoint Capital, Madrid


“Every company needs to know where it is headed.  It needs a strategy.  That doesn’t have to be complicated, especially for an SME.  Much of it is common sense.  Be guided by Vaughan Evans’s sensible but sparkling book and you will get the strategy you need.”

Peter Wright, Investment Director, Finance Wales


“I had never come across a strategy manual that was as useful as the Powerpoint slides we used to follow at my former consulting group.  Until now.  Evans’s book is exceptional.  It is effectively two books in one: a DIY strategy manual and a toolkit.  The manual is arranged around his Strategy Pyramid, with its nine no-nonsense building blocks.  Then in each block he lays out a bunch of tools, guiding us as to which are the most essential, for developing a strategy.  This is an easy-to-follow strategy process that any manager can run with.  A winning book for a winning strategy.”

Stephen Lawrence, Chief Executive, Protocol Education Ltd and former Managing Director, Arthur D. Little


“Often one of our portfolio companies needs to firm up or redefine its strategy.  Sometimes we have to call in strategy consultants to help the management team.  With this tiptop strategy manual to hand, we may not need to make those calls.”

Ken Lawrence, Partner, Gresham Private Equity


"Another excellent book from Vaughan Evans. This time he's achieved the near impossible task of writing a book on strategy formulation that is actually differentiated from the plethora of other offerings out there.  By setting out each of 88 strategy models and techniques within a transparent process, this book will be genuinely useful to managers and entrepreneurs.”

James Pitt, Partner, Lexington Partners


"Many businesses fail to deliver their potential or fail altogether because they neglect to develop a clear, concise, appropriate and well-communicated strategy.  Business books on the subject often don’t help – they tend to adopt a theoretical approach, appearing to the manager to lack practical relevance.  As a result, they can be unhelpful and uninspiring.  This is far from the case in Vaughan Evans’s excellent Key Strategy Tools.  He has put together a well constructed compendium of techniques and tools, from Porter to Rumelt, Hamel to Hammer, plus some gems from his own solid experience, and provides clear guidance on their relevance and application.  Evans has a ‘no nonsense’ conversational style of writing and has delivered a book for all managers, regardless of experience. As with his recent guide to writing a business plan, this is not for your business library.  It is for action on your desk!"

Grahame Hughes, Founding Director, Haven Power Ltd.


“I am not aware of any other book that brings together so many different business analysis tools into a single volume, cleverly grouped to shape a manual.  You can’t have a Haynes manual for strategy, but this is as close as you will get to one.  It has the potential to become the standard reference text for busy executives.”

Richard Hepper, Deputy Chief Executive, Capital for Enterprise


 “This is a most impressive book.  I particularly like the approach it takes structurally, with each of the 88 tools assigned its rightful place in the strategy formulation process.  It is a comprehensive, practical and highly effective guide to strategy and will prove an invaluable aide to both entrepreneurs and managers of larger businesses.  I genuinely like this book.”

Charles Ind, Managing Partner, Bowmark Capital LLP


"In writing Key Strategy Tools, Vaughan Evans has provided us with a handy reference book of strategy models and techniques, with the added benefit of a sound process manual. Using his characteristic brand of humour, Evans reminds us of most of the tried and tested tools and introduces some stimulating new ones too."

Mike Price, Chief Executive, Better Strategy Ltd


“Where else can you find instant access and a user-friendly guide to over 80 important strategy tools?  A must for every manager’s desktop.”

Paul Gough, Partner, STAR Capital Partners


“Vaughan Evans has done it again.  His book on business planning last year showed entrepreneurs how to build a plan that meets investor concerns.  But a winning plan hinges on a winning strategy.  Now Evans sets out how to build such a strategy, clearly and progressively.  Follow this book and you’ll build a strategy to win over investors.”

Jonathan Derry-Evans, Partner, Manfield Partners


"A successful strategy requires an intellectual framework, clear analysis and the tools to construct it. Vaughan Evans' new book brings all these together and explains, in jargon-free language, how to choose and use the tools most relevant to your needs to create a compelling strategy. Comprehensive, but clear and concise, and evidently honed from practical experience, this is the go-to strategy guide for entrepreneurs and managers alike.”
Richard Kemp, Managing Partner, Sephton Capital

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