Good Strategy: Bad Strategy. Rumelt

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I look forward to any new strategy book, so was thrilled to get “Good Strategy: Bad Strategy” by Prof Rumelt who McKinsey call ”strategy”s strategist”. Big disappointment!

“Bad strategy” apparently shows up as ”fluff”, failure to face challenges, mistaking goals for strategy, or choosing bad objectives – all common enough, maybe, but these are not any kind of strategy. There are plenty of actual strategy mistakes that repeat endlessly across industries and throughout time, but do not get a mention.

The “good strategy” principles offered are not wrong, but seem to follow a random walk around a variety of concepts – many of which, in the absence of clear instruction,¬†themselves qualify as “fluff”. Plenty of anecdotes to show examples of good and bad, and reasonable-enough principles to follow, but no clue how to actually do what the examples show or how to enact the principles.

Prof Rumelt is no doubt a brilliant strategist, but no-one reading this is going to understand what to actually do to design and implement a strong strategy.

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