Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt
The Difference and Why It Matters

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Clears out the mumbo jumbo and muddled thinking underlying too many strategies and provides a clear way to create and implement a powerful action-oriented strategy for the real world
Developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of a leader, whether the CEO at a Fortune 100 company, an entrepreneur, a church pastor, the head of a school, or a government official. Richard Rumelt shows that there has been a growing and unfortunate tendency to equate Mom-and-apple-pie values, fluffy packages of buzzwords, motivational slogans, and financial goals with “strategy.” He debunks these elements of “bad strategy” and awakens an understanding of the power of a “good strategy.”

A good strategy is a specific and coherent response to—and approach for overcoming—the obstacles to progress. A good strategy works by harnessing and applying power where it will have the greatest effect in challenges as varied as putting a man on the moon, fighting a war, launching a new product, responding to changing market dynamics, starting a charter school, or setting up a government program. Rumelt’s
nine sources of power—ranging from using leverage to effectively focusing on growth—are eye-opening yet pragmatic tools that can be put to work on Monday morning.

Surprisingly, a good strategy is often unexpected because most organizations don’t have one. Instead, they have “visions,” mistake financial goals for strategy,
and pursue a “dog’s dinner” of conflicting policies and actions.

Rumelt argues that the heart of a good strategy is insight—into the true nature of the situation, into the hidden power in a situation, and into an appropriate response. He shows you how insight can be cultivated with a wide variety of tools for guiding your
own thinking.

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy
uses fascinating examples from business, nonprofit, and military affairs to bring its original and pragmatic ideas to life. The detailed examples range from Apple to General Motors, from the two Iraq wars to Afghanistan, from a small local market to Wal-Mart, from Nvidia to Silicon Graphics, from the Getty Trust to the Los Angeles Unified School District, from Cisco Systems to Paccar, and from Global Crossing to the 2007–08 financial crisis.

Reflecting an astonishing grasp and integration of economics, finance, technology, history, and the brilliance and foibles of the human character, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy stems from Rumelt’s decades of digging beyond the superficial to address hard questions with honesty and integrity.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Richard Rumelt

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SEAN RUNNETTE is a multiple Earphones winner, including one for his narration of The Curve of the World (with Highbridge Audio). He has also directed and produced more than 200 audiobooks including several Audie® Award winners. He is an American Repertory Theater company member and has toured internationally with Mabou Mines. TV and film appearances include Two if by Sea, Copland, Sex and the City, Law and Order, 3rd Watch and lots and lots of commercials. When not behind the mike, he also produced audiobooks and other works. RICHARD P. RUMELT is recognized as one of the world’s most influential thinkers on strategy and management. He received his doctoral degree from Harvard Business School and holds the Harry and Elsa Kunin Chair at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Published July 19, 2011 by Crown Business. 340 pages
Genres: Business & Economics. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Good Strategy Bad Strategy

The Washington Times

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Do not, I repeat, do not read this book if you plan to savor the coming 11 months of political blather-skating by our apparent seekers of high office. For if you have read this book, their pious sloganeering and obfuscations during the campaign debate orgies may cause you to kick the cat across t...

Dec 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Good Strategy Bad Strategy: T...

Dallas News

Bitter rivals most of their personal and political lives, Burr and Hamilton came together to create the Manhattan Water Co., which supplied New York residents with fresh water.

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Good Strategy Bad Strategy: T...

Management Today

The book argues that the notion of strategy has become much misunderstood: Simply being ambitious is not a strategy ...

Jun 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Good Strategy Bad Strategy: T...

Inside Higher Ed

Instead, you have a stretch goal or a budget or a list of things you wish would happen.” If strategy is a plan for overcoming an obstacle or responding to a challenge, if that challenge is not properly identified and defined, then how can it be a good strategy?

Jul 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Good Strategy Bad Strategy: T...


A former editor at Harvard Business Review and founding editor of WebMaster magazine, she writes regular columns on leadership and workplace culture.@LeighEBuchanan.

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