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Good Strategy/Bad Strategy
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A Profile Business Classic edition of one of the most important and critically acclaimed books on strategy ever written

About the Author

Richard Rumelt is a professor at UCLA's Anderson School of Business. He also taught for several years at INSEAD in France, and has been a consultant to a wide range of organisations, from the Samuel Goldwyn Company to Shell.

Reviews

This is the first book on strategy I have read that I have found difficult to put down. -- John Kay, London Business School
A business classic * Management Today *
A milestone in both the theory and practice of strategy. -- 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 naive 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
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
Richard Rumelt reinforces that a strategy is not a goal or objectives. It is the battle plan for action that is designed upon a unique set of attributes or conditions (kernels) that sets an organization apart from its competitors (leverages) and results in exceptional and sustainable profits. -- Chuck Harrington, CEO, Parsons Corporation
Books on corporate strategy are rare. Rarer still are ones that explain good versus bad strategy, through clear illustrations where organizations got it right or wrong. This is a must read for CEOs or planners whose job depends on getting it right! -- Kent Kresa, former Chairman General Motors, former CEO Northrup Grumman
Rumelt's non-fast food approach to strategy is terrific. A pleasure to read, this book explains what is, and what is not, good strategy and good strategic thinking. The examples, stories, and anecdotes kept me engaged throughout this well written book. -- Brian Farrell, Chairman, President & CEO THQ Inc.
Richard Rumelt's book, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy, is a must-read. It articulates the fundamentals of strategy and is exceptional in its depth and breadth of case illustrations and understanding on strategy. A book like this can only be written with many years of research and deep thought on the practice of strategy. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the field of strategy. -- W. Chan Kim, BCG Professor at INSEAD and co-author of Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant

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