The Strategy Manual

A step-by-step guide to the transformational change of anything

Goal Atlas founder and Director, Mike Baxter, is a renowned strategy expert, having spent over 20 years delivering independent front-line consultancy to some of the world’s leading companies. “The Strategy Manual: A step-by-step guide to the transformational change of anything”, draws on his many years of expertise and thought leadership, and delivers an accessible, practical handbook for anyone interested in the creation, management or governance of strategy.

“The aim of the book is to be practical: to help you to produce strategy, have that strategy adopted by your organisation and then adapt that strategy as necessary, throughout its lifespan.”

To do this, Mike presents his own, bespoke frameworks and models to help make strategy more manageable, more fit-for-purpose and ultimately result in more successful outcomes. These tools and processes are backed up by Mike’s extensive research and analysis of the theory of strategy, and cover all aspects of strategy from scoping, development and validation to adoption, measurement and governance.

"Best management book I've read all year"

Clo Willaerts

Other publications by Mike Baxter…

Mike's Latest Book: Core Values

A short, highly accessible and practical guide to making core values impactful, featuring academic research, business case studies and analysis of the strategies of 36 UK universities.

Mike Baxter’s latest book aims to have core values feature more prominently and more usefully in the life of your organisation, leading to impactful strategy and strong organisational culture. Find out more...

Report: University Strategy 2020

Based on an analysis of the published strategies of 52 UK universities and interviews with 28 university leaders, this report combines evidence-based strategy research with recommendations on best-practice strategy design. Available on Amazon.

"This report will be of great value to university leaders and their advisers." Lord Jim Knight

Strategy Distilled Newsletter

The most interesting, practical and systematic advice you'll find on strategy, from Mike Baxter, author of The Strategy Manual and Core Values. 'Strategy Distilled' is Mike's monthly newsletter, offering his own unique blend of insight, learning and things you might have missed for anyone who works on strategy, works with strategy or just loves strategy. See past newsletters.

What people are saying about The Strategy Manual:

"Excellent and actionable hand book on Business Strategy. Very impressed with the way the author uses and presents models, frameworks, and templates to help readers define and execute a business strategy. Also appreciated the clear definitions this book offers on often misinterpreted concepts like vision, mission, values, culture etc. Best management book I’ve read all year." Clo Willaerts on and

All too often, strategy is over-complicated or under-utilised. In this book, Mike hits both challenges head on, making core tenets of strategy simple, but more importantly, actionable. As a seasoned practitioner, who’s worked with an enviable roster of clients, there’s no theory here - he’s making the mental models and methodologies that you’d normally expect from tier-one management consultancies available to everyone.”  Jake Hird, VP Strategy (APAC), Merkle.

It’s very readable, personable and I can hear Mike’s voice really well with all the years of experience and thoughtfulness loud and clear.”  Gideon White, Director of Strategic Planning, University of East London.

"Very useful and to the point! Very useful and practical models that I am able to use straight away with clients in strategy work. Also interesting to get the historical, philosophical backgrounds to many of the concepts. Makes me want to read more and dig deeper. Also, I like the visualisations of the models, this makes it so much easier to communicate them clearly and swiftly to others. Very very useful book and also quite fun to read although it is primarily intended as a manual."  Carl Henrikson, Amazon Review

"It's clearly written and actionable. A useful find for formulating and reviewing strategy. I have worked with organisations large and small and believe the practical steps set out in this book will work across the board." Paul Jackson, Amazon Review

"A good handbook for strategy practitioners. A great book outlining the process of developing, adopting and assessing an organization’s strategy. The body of knowledge on practical business strategy has been well integrated in to this manual, making it a good handbook for strategy practitioners." Amazon Review

"Highly actionable, well-referenced and a pleasure to follow. I'm exceptionally pleased with this book on strategy. In my opinion, it does everything a business book should do but rarely does. First, it is highly actionable. As the author writes, it enables you take exactly the right actions in formulating a strategy. Second, it is very well referenced and takes in frameworks, concepts and models from other respected sources (all of which you'll find in the back) and then explains the synthesis of these into the steps outlined in The Strategy Manual. This is in stark contrast to other business book bestsellers, that usually rely on spurious anecdotes and storytelling (very often involving Steve Jobs) to explain why their framework is the best, without explaining the background behind the model or providing real evidence. Third, even with the amount of detail, the book is easy to read and a pleasure to follow. Usually if I want a business book that's actually based on careful research and evidence, it is very dense and hard to digest. This book is clearly structured, written in clear language, and uses numerous graphics and frameworks to help effectively communicate all the key steps. This book is an exceptional achievement and I give it my fullest recommendation."  Amazon Review

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Strategic Risk Model

Free: Models and Templates

We believe strategy is for everyone. To help you DO strategy rather than just think about it, our models, frameworks and templates from 'The Strategy Manual' are released here under Creative Commons License. This means they are free for you to use in your presentations and strategy documentation. Sign up to hear when new models are released.

Thought Leadership

Author of 'The Strategy Manual' and 'Core Values', Goal Atlas founder and Director, Mike Baxter, is a renowned strategy expert, keynote speaker and thought leader. He publishes regular articles on all aspects of strategy and strategic planning and frequently shares his ideas and expertise via the Strategy Distilled newsletter, LinkedIn and other invited presentations.

Arrange a call with Mike to discuss your strategy issues