Good Strategy/Bad Strategy in the Media

ABC Australia Network Business Today interview (video),

Kath Walters, “Why your strategy isn’t working,” Leading Company

Too often, leaders are dishonest about the purpose of their strategies, Rumelt says. “They are not experimenting with strategic possibilities, they are satisfying power bases.”

Sky News Australia business reporter Carson Scott speaks with Richard Rumelt (video)

John Kay, “Avoiding fluff is surest route to success,” Financial Times.

“Read Good Strategy/Bad Strategy for the entertaining experiences of a man who has spent 40 years in the strategy business. But read it principally for its profound yet common sense approach to business.”

James Srodes, The Washington Times.

“What is so upsetting about Good Strategy/Bad Strategy is that it leaves the reader with the painful realization that none of our would-be leaders has the least notion what really ails this once-great nation, let alone any clear strategy for leading us back. Goals? Oh, sure, they all have goals – ‘more jobs’ being the most popular nostrum. But as author Richard P. Rumelt emphasizes, goals are not strategy. Goals are wishes. Strategies are how one goes about achieving goals.”

Andy Parks, The Washington Times. (Audio clip of an interview.)

Erika Andersen, “‘Good Strategy’ is Good,” Forbes.

“So much that’s said and written about strategy is – from my point of view – complete junk, that I get excited when I hear someone focusing on strategy in a coherent and useful way. Richard Rumelt is the Professor of Business & Society at UCLA’s Anderson School, and he’s written very good book called Good Strategy/Bad Strategy.”

Phil Rozenzweig, “Best Business Books 2011: Strategy,” Strategy + Business.

“The year’s best and most original addition to the strategy bookshelf is Richard P. Rumelt’s Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters“… Rumelt decided, after years of scholarly restraint, to write a book that laid out exactly what he has learned and observed over the last four decades. It is also a wide-ranging exploration, moving from business to politics to aerospace to the military, from the ancient to the modern, from diversified public corporations to family businesses, that places strategy in a broad context.”

“The 50 Most Influential Management Gurus: Rumelt #20,” Harvard Business Review.

“How to Avoid Going Nowhere Fast,” Harvey Schachter, Globe and Mail.

“Good strategy, in contrast, is more elusive. It is not an exhortation, Prof. Rumelt warns. It is not a synonym for future success. It is not to be confused with ambition, determination, inspirational leadership or innovation.”

“Want to be the next Apple? Lose the bafflegab,” Virginia Postrel,

“Strategy is not what many people think it is. It is not a fill-in-the-blanks mission statement blathering about how XYZ Corp. will ethically serve its stakeholders by implementing best-in-class integrated sustainable practices to grow as a global leader while maximizing shareholder value. Such bafflegab is “Dilbert“-fodder that generates cynicism and contempt. “

“Choosing the right strategy,” Director (UK).

“The main advantage of a good strategy is that your competitors won’t have one. “

Book review in NACD Directorship.

“To get smarter at strategy, directors need to insist on a short list of key challenges— and ask what is being done about them.”

Book review by Leigh Buchanan in Inc.

“If you read nothing else: The whole middle section, about sources of power, is valuable—particularly the explication of the limitations and nuances of competitive advantage.”

Suggested summer reading, “When minds take flight,” Financial Times

“The UCLA strategy expert puts mission statements, visionary leadership and strategic “fluff” entertainingly to the sword. His frustration with “bad strategy” – from Wall Street to Iraq – comes through strongly, together with useful prescriptions for how leaders can improve.”

Carly Chynoweth in the Sunday Times (London), “Spare us a vision, give us a strategy”

“A vision sets out reality as you would like it to be; a strategy deals with reality as it is — and not the easy bits, but the big problems that need careful work”

Kieran Fagan in the Irish Times, “Going By the Book”

“Rumelt…is now recognised as a leading authority on strategic decision making who looks beyond the trite and superficial for answers. The Economist puts him among the 25 most influential living influencers of management and corporate practice.”

Andrew Hill’s Blog in the Financial Times, “M&A: Guilty Until Proven Innocent”

“Rumelt…recounts a particularly entertaining encounter with an M&A banker in 1998…”

Andrew Hill’s Management column in the Financial Times, “Strategies Founder on Fluff and Buzzwords”

“Prof Rumelt’s explanations of where companies are going wrong are bracing and his prescriptions for good strategy&helliop;have a simple force.”

TV interview on CNBC Squawk Box.

Roger Parry in Management Today, “Book Review of Good Strategy/Bad Strategy.

“[Rumelt's] book 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.”

Related Material

Richard Rumelt, “Verizon Strike: Can both sides win?“, August 16, 2011.

“When a labor contract signed in buoyant times expires in a bleaker era – as is the case with the company’s current 45,000-worker strike — the stage is set for conflict.”

Richard Rumelt, “The U.S. needs to break its stimulus habit,“, August 2, 2001.

“the U.S. has been taking economic stimuli every quarter for a decade, pretending that a sequence of temporary jolts is the same thing as economic growth.”

Richard Rumelt, “World War II Stimulus and the Postwar Boom,” Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, July 30,2011.

“During World War II, there was no investment in civilian infrastructure and the government placed severe restrictions on consumption. That meant significant portions of the massive government spending went toward saving and private debt repayment. Thrift restored personal balance sheets, ultimately setting the stage for the postwar boom.”

Richard Rumelt, “The Perils of bad strategy.” McKinsey Quarterly, (2011, 1): 30-39.

This article is drawn from material in the first five chapters of Good Strategy/Bad Strategy.

Richard Rumelt, “Strategy in a structural break.McKinsey Quarterly, (2009,1): 35-42.

“There is nothing like a crisis to clarify the mind. “

Management lessons from the financial crisis: A conversation with Lowell Bryan and Richard Rumelt.” McKinsey Quarterly, (2009, 3): 61-67. Interviewer: Allen P. Webb.

“There’s been a dramatic failure in management governance. And so our basic doctrines of how we manage things are in question and need revision.”

Strategy’s strategist: An interview with Richard Rumelt.” McKinsey Quarterly, (2007, 4): 56-67. Interviewers: Dan P. Lovallo and Lenny T. Mendonca

“Lots of people think the solution to the strategic-planning problem is to inject more strategy into the annual process. But I disagree. I think the annual rolling resource budget should be separate from strategy work. So my basic recommendation is to do two things: avoid the label “strategic plan”—call those budgets “long-term resource plans”—and start a separate, nonannual, opportunity-driven process for strategy work.”

Guru: Richard Rumelt,” The Economist, December 26, 2008.

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