Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters
By Richard Rumelt

This fresh approach to strategic thinking, just published in 2011, begins with tales of battles at sea in the days of Napoleon and continues to explain what kinds of strategies have made the difference for modern companies like Apple, Wal-Mart, Cisco, Starbucks and Wells Fargo.  Richard Rumelt shows that many recent high profile failures such as those of Lehman Brothers and Enron resulted not just from a poor strategy or a poorly defined strategy, but from a misunderstanding of what strategy is in the first place!  One acquaintance showed incredible ignorance by saying to Rumelt ““Strategy is never quitting until you win.”  Attitudes like that, of course, can only lead to wasted resources and eventual failure.

As Rumelt says, “The core of strategy work is always the same: discovering the critical factors in a situation and designing a way of coordinating and focusing actions to deal with those factors.”

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