- Steve Jobs’ plan for Apple in 1997: hatchet job or strategy?
- Why financial performance goals are not strategy.
- Creating proximate goals and “riding the wave” of change.
Bad strategy is long on goals and vision and short on presenting a coherent set of actions for actually solving the fundamental problems facing an organization. Good strategy, on the other hand, flows from an honest diagnosis of your most critical challenge coupled with an action plan for specific objectives that your organization can reasonably accomplish to overcome that challenge.
Drawing on the successes of General Motors in the 1920s, NASA’s Apollo program, Cisco, IKEA, and Nvidia, Professor Rumelt defines five elements of good strategies. First, use analytic tools to develop insight into the nature of your challenge. Then, define achievable proximate objectives toward your goal, recognize and ride the wave of change in your industry, build a “chain link” barrier to competition, and finally, expect and overcome entropy and inertia from within.
Richard Rumelt is the Harry and Elsa Kunin Chair in Business and Society, at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and the author of several books, including Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters. He earned BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley and his doctorate in Management from the Harvard Business School.