Rumelt’s Razor: strategy or lofty ambitions

Rumelt’s Razor: strategy or lofty ambitions

It’s been on my shelf for an age but I am finally reading Richard Rumelt‘s book “Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters.” I wish I had picked it up earlier, it seems to be an excellent book.

I was pleased to note that much of what I have done with my clients in the last couple of years has been on the path to Rumelt’s Good Strategy but what has impressed me is how well his book defines Bad Strategy and how easy it is to end up creating it. This has already informed my thinking and practice and I am changing my strategy tools in response.

A key observation for me was that I needed to do more work in helping clients surface and understand the challenges they face and determining whether they can be addressed with the resources on hand. I find it can be very easy to skip over the challenge as something understood and move straight to tactics.

I’m only a quarter of the way through and I hope there is much more good stuff to come but I already have Rumelt’s razor:

  • Do you have a single strategic goal?
  • Have you identified the key challenges to work on in reaching that goal?
  • Have you understood the resources it will take to address it?
  • Do you have those resources?
  • Or do you have a bunch of lofty aspirations that nobody can use for anything?