Review of Good Strategy / Bad Strategy

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  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Well Structured


How would you like to spend time with one of the world’s most respected business thinkers discussing the fine points of corporate strategy? You can arrange this meeting, at least in an editorial sense, by reading Richard Rumelt’s engaging work on business strategy and decision making. This is your opportunity to learn from an erudite expert whom The Economist named as one of the 25 most influential people in management and corporate practices, and whom McKinsey Quarterly has called “strategy’s strategist.”

Who does he think he is, a rocket scientist? Well, yes, he also worked as an engineer on the US Voyager mission to Jupiter. Distilling a lifetime of experience and delving into history and the classics to illustrate the importance of strategy, Rumelt explains how to discern “good strategy” from “bad strategy” and tells you how to implement the good. getAbstract recommends this fascinating, informative and enjoyable book as required reading on strategy.

About the Author

Richard Rumelt is the Harry and Elsa Kunin Professor of Business and Society at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and a consultant on strategic management issues.


Rumelt offers the following insights and highlights:

1. Plans aren’t a strategy.

A graphics firm asked Rumelt to help define its strategy. The company’s CEO said his “20/20 plan” would serve as the basic strategy: Each year the firm’s revenues would increase 20% and its profit margin would reach 20% or better. The plan listed projections of costs, revenues and profits and included such strategy statements as, “We will be the graphics arts services firm of choice” and “We will delight our customers with unique and creative solutions to their problems.”

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