Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

The difference and why it matters

by Richard P. Rumelt ⚡

This is one of the better strategy books I've read recently - while there's always some vague allusions and metaphors looking at military history and ancient battles in books of this genre, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy is light on those and heavy on what I actually care about, business strategy.

Rumelt sums up a good strategy as the following:

  1. A good diagnosis of the issue at hand and the underlying opportunities that are available
  2. A guiding policy that allows you to exploit those opportunities
  3. A set of actions that enable you to carry out the guiding policy

Bad strategy on the other hand can be characterised as:

  1. Meaningless "fluffy" words that say a lot while simultaneously saying nothing, see also New Thought
  2. An inability to adapt to the challenge
  3. Mistaking goals as strategy
  4. Failing to indentify issues or available opportunities

To be honest, any book that dumps on New Thought is going to be a-ok with me.