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Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters Audio CD – Audiobook, CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 705 pages
  • Publisher: Connections Book Publishing Ltd; Unabridged edition (6 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611748178
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611748178
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 56.8 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,348,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This is the first book on strategy I have read that I have found difficult to put down. (John Kay, London Business School)

There are precious few books that enable you to not only re-think the way you think but also improve your performance. Richard Rumelt's brilliant Good Strategy/Bad Strategy is one, a milestone in both the theory and practice of strategy. Cutting to the core of what makes the difference between success and being an also-ran, Rumelt uses vivid examples from the contemporary business world and global history that clearly show how to recognize the good, reject the bad, and make good strategy a living force in your organization. Everyone involved in creating and applying strategy and strategic thing must read this book. In a very crowded field like strategy, few books stand out. Richard Rumelt's new work is one of the exceptions. (John Stopford, Emeritus Professor, London Business School)

Good Strategy, Bad Strategy pinpoints the polar difference: The diagnosis and actions that constitute good strategy, the fluff and failures that cause the bad. Richly illustrated and persuasively argued by a researcher, teacher, and consultant, Richard Rumelt has authored the playbook for anybody in a leadership position who must think and act strategically. (Michael Useem, Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Leadership Moment)

Rumelt's new book clearly elevates the discussion of strategy. Using compelling examples and penetrating insights, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy provides new and powerful ways for leaders to tackle the obstacles they face. The concepts of "The Kernel" and "The Proximate Objective" are blockbusters. This is the new must-have book for everyone who leads an organization--business, government, or in-between. (Robert Eckert, Chairman and CEO of Mattel)

Rumelt blends a practical focus with powerful conceptual ideas to provide an insightful guide for those wrestling with the challenge of creating strategy that makes a real difference. (Mark Jenkins, Professor of Business Strategy, Cranfield Business School)

In his provocative new book, Richard Rumelt lays bare an uncomfortable truth: Most companies have strategies that are quixotic, muddled and undifferentiated. This is hardly surprising, since in recent years the very idea of "strategy" has been dumbed-down by a deluge of naïve advice and simplistic frameworks. Rumelt cuts through the clutter and reminds managers that the essence of strategy is a clear and differentiated point of view that supports forceful and coherent action. Drawing on a wealth of examples, Rumelt identifies the critical features that distinguish powerful strategies from wimpy ones-and offers a cache of advice on how to build a strategy that is actually worthy of the name. If you're certain your company is already poised to out-perform its rivals and out-run the future, don't buy this book. If, on the other hand, you have a sliver of doubt, pick it up pronto! (Gary Hamel, co-author of Competing for the Future)

Any executive reading this book will be motivated to examine the strategy of his or her firm, come to a judgment about it, and then work to develop or improve it. The many fascinating examples of good strategy provide great insight, but even more valuable are those of the `bad' variety. Rumelt writes with great verve and pulls no punches as he pinpoints such strategy "sins" as fluff, blue sky objectives, and not facing the problem. (James Roche, former Secretary of the Air Force and president of Electronic Sensors & Systems, Northrop Grumman.)

There are many books on strategy but none as good and thought-provoking as Richard Rumelt's Good Strategy/Bad Strategy. Building on solid academic foundations and using fascinating examples from business, politics and history, Rumelt exposes the many fallacies that surround this important concept while providing his own unique and refreshingly-clear approach on how to develop a coherent and successful strategy. This is a wonderful book, full of fresh ideas and practical advice, written in a clear and engaging way. It will change the way we teach and practice strategy. (Professor Costas Markides, Holder of the Robert P Bauman Chair in Strategic Leadership, London Business School) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The long-awaited magnum opus from 'strategy's strategist' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been very impressed with this book and would be happy to recommend it to anybody who would like to define a real strategy.

By that I mean, as the book explains, not just churning out boilerplate wishful-thinking Vision Statements and Financial Projections, but a serious approach to creating a methodical and actionable strategy to overcome a seemingly infinite number of potential problems faced in business and every other sphere of life where strategic thought is required.

As a small business owner I have found this book to be invaluable for generating ideas and direction for my business efforts.

Another point that should be mentioned is to do with credibility. If you needed any further convincing that this book is a worthwhile read, buried a third of the way into the book is the fact that the author is a former NASA engineer, as well as a long-time researcher of strategy. He has interviewed many top level strategists, including the likes of Steve Jobs. The information shared is, by all accounts, very well founded.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
As the title of this review correctly indicates, Richard Rumelt is convinced (and I agree) that a good strategy can provides both a timely head's up to imminent challenges and guidance when preparing to respond effectively to them. With surgical skill and (to my delight) a light touch, he explains what a good strategy is. In fact, he also explains what is and isn't a strategy, good or bad. Moreover, he cites dozens of real-world examples to illustrate which strategies succeed, which fail, and why. Both good and bad strategies are a result of a process so Rumelt correctly examines both good and bad processes, each of which involves a sequence of decisions. Thus a good strategy is the result of a process of correct decisions; a bad strategy is the result of a process of incorrect decisions.

One of Rumelt's valuable insights suggests that a decision is correct if (huge IF) it is appropriate to the given needs, interests, resources, and objectives. This is what Peter Drucker had in mind (in 1963) when observing, "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." Many years later, Michael Porter made essentially the same point when suggesting that "the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do." Rumelt's purpose in the book is to awaken his reader "to the dramatic differences between good strategy and bad strategy and to give [his reader] a leg up toward crafting good strategies." Rumelt nails the "what," devoting most of his attention to the "how" and "why.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not exaggerating when I say that reading this book made me think more clearly.

The author describes what strategy IS, and describes how to distinguish good from bad. It's the kind of stuff that's obvious - but only AFTER you've had it pointed it out to you.

He goes into a clear breakdown of what makes bad strategy (wishful thinking, not understanding the problem, etc.) and good strategy (knowing what the problem is, actionable etc.). The tips on how to detect bad strategy are worth reading. One of them is to watch out for "fluff" --- I love this definition of cloud computing from an EU report: "an elastic execution environment of resources involving multiple stakeholders and providing a metered service at multiple granularities for a specified level of quality-of-service". (In case you wondered what your EU taxes were being spent on).

It's easy reading and quite short, you can probably read most of it on a 2 hour flight, and it's worth the time; really recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always enjoyed Richard Rumelt's articles and his book is a very readable example packed account of good and not so good strategic thinking.

It lies in the half way house between academic theory and personal anecdote beloved of successful entrepreneurs who encourage you to "do it their way". Rumelt disects the jargon and cliche driven approaches you find in other works. It's a steal.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a long book with cherry picked examples of good strategies which illustrate the author's one idea:

Objectives are not strategies. Strategies are plans for getting something done.

That seems a sensible idea to me, but beyond that the book is (admittedly interesting) examples + fluff.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a thought-provoking book which challenges many of the practices that are passed off as strategy today. Richard Rumelt is particularly against wish driven strategies like “our strategy is to grow by 20% per year because we want to grow by 20%.”

According to Richard Rumelt, the kernel of good strategy has three elements:

1) A diagnosis of the issues and problems facing the business
2) A guiding policy to overcome the obstacles
3) Coherent action

It’s a simple, powerful idea because bad strategy is too often a general guiding policy, but unlike step 2, it has been picked at random because it sounds good or trendy rather than needed to address the big issues the business faces.

Similarly this strategy kernel emphasises that action plans are an inherent part of good strategy and not something to be added in later (perhaps). It sounds obvious when you read it here or in the Good Strategy Bad Strategy book but you still hear vague ideas like “our strategy is to expand overseas” or “our strategy is to build an online business”.

It is an interesting read for anyone familiar with strategic planning but it focuses on strategic thinking in general terms rather than specific. It’s not a book for someone who is new to strategy and wants to know how to put together a strategic plan. It assumes a lot of knowledge.

There are plenty of stories from history, from space exploration, from military history and from business although there’s more emphasis on new technology than I would have liked personally. I’m a late adapter and some of the stories passed over my head.
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