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Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

The Difference and Why It Matters
Written by: Richard Rumelt
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy clarifies the muddled thinking underlying too many strategies and provides a clear way to create and implement a powerful action-oriented strategy for the real world.

Developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of a leader. A good strategy is a specific and coherent response to - and approach for - overcoming the obstacles to progress. A good strategy works by harnessing and applying power where it will have the greatest effect. Yet, Rumelt shows 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”.

In Good Strategy/Bad Strategy, he debunks these elements of “bad strategy” and awakens an understanding of the power of a “good strategy”. He introduces nine sources of power - ranging from using leverage to effectively focusing on growth - that are eye-opening yet pragmatic tools that can easily be put to work on Monday morning and uses fascinating examples from business, nonprofit, and military affairs to bring its original and pragmatic ideas to life. The detailed examples range from Apple to General Motors, from the two Iraq wars to Afghanistan, from a small local market to Wal-Mart, from Nvidia to Silicon Graphics, from the Getty Trust to the Los Angeles Unified School District, from Cisco Systems to Paccar, and from Global Crossing to the 2007-08 financial crisis.

Reflecting an astonishing grasp and integration of economics, finance, technology, history, and the brilliance and foibles of the human character, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy stems from Rumelt’s decades of digging beyond the superficial to address hard questions with honesty and integrity.

©2011 Richard Rumelt (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Represents the latest thinking in strategy and is peppered with many current real world examples. Good Strategy/Bad Strategy has much to offer and has every chance of becoming a business classic.” (Management Today)

“Brilliant...a milestone in both the theory and practice of strategy... 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.” (John Stopford, chairman, TLP International, professor emeritus, London Business School)

“Penetrating insights provide 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 in business, government, or in-between.” (Robert A. Eckert, chairman and CEO of Mattel)

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    5 out of 5 stars

Very educational.

Must read for anyone who wants to know more about strategy. Also last chapter will provide great insight into our market crashes and the failed strategies.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-03-04

Fascinating in the beginning and then nothing

The book begins with critics of what they call strategy in many companies and explanation of what strategy is really about. That was great. And then it turns into endless stories about concrete cases the author worked on. I have not learnt anything from them. And they were extremely boring for me. I have not managed to finish the book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-02-25

Not a bad listen

Not a bad listen, but need to listen more than once to get the true message. It clearly lays out what a strategy is and the difference between a strategy and a goal a commonly made error.

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  • G. London
  • 2020-01-04

Good but thin

The core idea is wise, but it’s pretty simple and takes 15 minutes to explain. The rest of the book is a bunch of examples and anecdotes that are interesting but don’t meaningfully expand the core thesis.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-11-26

Book was good

I enjoyed the insights and methods presented in this book. The narrator was monotone which was soporific at times.