Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

The Difference and Why It Matters
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (214 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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

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    4 out of 5 stars

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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Smug academic

Book may be relevant for some people but the subject matter did not suit me. At times I wondered if Rumelt's beliefs were just the claims of an academic.

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Very good but I was expecting more

I hoped it compared to Drucker's Effective Executive, but unfortunatelly it didn't. The book has very good parts, but others are good, but don't fit perfectly with the overall subject of strategy, e.g. the last chapter about real state bubbles.

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Idiot author

You should have concenterated on focused on the main topic, strategies. You committed a big mistake involving yourself with historical and political issues. You should have digged deep to know more about the reason beyond attacking Kuwait you idiot before stating these falsy statements. To be professional, you should focuse on what you are specialized in and not interfer with topics that you know notjing anout. I regret buying and spending minutes of my time listinning to your silly book

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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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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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Book was good

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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-05-20

easy listen

narrator was very good. the author is a little arrogant but if you can get past that he makes some interesting points

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-20

educational iinsight and 202 strategic thinking

very good listen with remarkable modern day COVID business thinking ..thank you ...learnt new thinking and new vocabulary

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-21-20

The best book on strategy.

A book to savour for its outstanding training effect, scholarlyness, historic perspective and comprehensive scope.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-23-20

Lot of fluff - Probably best as a physical book

It’s a long book with a lot of fluff - pretty boring. I imagine the physical book is better as you can quickly skip to the more useful parts.

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  • steve v.
  • 04-06-20

good read

this is a hi read with lots of interesting points I hope to implement soon

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  • mike g
  • 03-29-20

Good read.

A slightly simplistic but very compelling look at business strategy. A really enjoyable listen, so much so that I've been through it a few times now.

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  • Faruk
  • 02-10-20

fantastic book, very insightful with many examples

loved it. very insightful and well rounded observations of business strategy, with various examples to drill home the points. The book is a suggested core read for my MBA Strategy module and I realised now why they picked it. Very well rounded book on the subject.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-07-20

Extensivo pero interesante

La versión de audio puede ser extenso para algunas personas. Asegúrate de hacer pausas periódicamente para no perder la concentración del tema

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  • John Sharpe
  • 11-13-19

A Good Clear Message on Strategy

A good reminder of the role of insight and clear planning in moving a business forward. I was waiting for a eureka moment that never came but I might be a bit older than the target audience. You won't be blown away but you will be reminded of a few good business principles in a well written and narrated book. Overall a useful read.

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  • Nicolai Mouritzen
  • 09-29-19

Made me think of strategy in a new way

This book does a great job of explaining what a strategy is, and give examples and explanations of strategy patterns. The author also did a good job of explaining why you can't make a strategy with a cookie cutter tool.