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Good Strategy Bad Strategy

336 pages, 2011

business & management

business & management

1082 books

The book 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.  

Richard Rumelt proves 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.

Understanding the Difference Between Good and Bad Strategy

In 'Good Strategy Bad Strategy', Richard Rumelt explains that a good strategy is more than just a plan. It's a force that pushes you towards your goals. On the other hand, a bad strategy is vague and lacks clear direction. It's like a ship without a compass. So, if you want to succeed, you need to know the difference between the two.

The Kernel of Good Strategy

Rumelt introduces the concept of the 'strategy kernel'. This includes a diagnosis of the challenge, a guiding policy to handle the challenge, and a set of coherent actions to carry out the policy. It's like a roadmap to success. So, if you're feeling lost, take a look at your strategy kernel.

The Power of Focus

One of the key takeaways from 'Good Strategy Bad Strategy' is the importance of focus. Rumelt argues that trying to do too many things at once can lead to failure. Instead, you should concentrate on one thing at a time. So, if you're feeling overwhelmed, it might be time to narrow your focus.

The Role of Leaders in Strategy

According to Rumelt, leaders play a crucial role in strategy. They need to identify the challenges, set the guiding policies, and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal. So, if you're a leader, remember that your actions can make or break your strategy.

The Danger of Fluff

Rumelt warns against 'fluff' - vague, buzzword-filled language that doesn't really mean anything. He argues that clear, straightforward communication is key to a good strategy. So, if you're struggling to understand your strategy, it might be time to cut the fluff and get to the point.

Quotes 5

Richard Rumelt's 'Good Strategy Bad Strategy' is a powerful book that has changed my perspective on business strategy.

Mark ZuckerbergMark Zuckerberg - Facebook Co-Founder

Rumelt's 'Good Strategy Bad Strategy' is a must-read. It provides a clear understanding of what strategy really means.

Bill GatesBill Gates - Microsoft Co-Founder

'Good Strategy Bad Strategy' by Richard Rumelt is a game-changer. It's a book that every entrepreneur should read.

Elon MuskElon Musk - Tesla CEO

Richard Rumelt's 'Good Strategy Bad Strategy' is a brilliant book that has greatly influenced my investment strategies.

Warren BuffetWarren Buffet - Investment Guru

'Good Strategy Bad Strategy' by Richard Rumelt is a profound book that has shaped my approach to business strategy.

Jeff BezosJeff Bezos - Amazon Founder
Mark ZuckerbergBill GatesElon MuskWarren BuffetJeff Bezos


Ann Handley

Ann Handley

Daniel Burka

Daniel Burka

Michael Batko

Michael Batko

entrepreneurtechnologyventure capitalist
Ran Segall

Ran Segall


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