The Action Agenda Solution
To win a fight, there isnt time for decorum, narrative and sounding good. There is only time for action, to win the fight. I love your approach to strategy Professor Rumelt, it is raw, essential, and direct. Thank you
Professor Rumelt, as a 'strategy facilitator' I've been reading and rereading what you've written across the two books. Thank you for helping me to get a better understanding of what good strategy looks like.
I realise the weakness of following a template for strategy formulation, but I wondered if the problem was the lack of proper analysis of difficulties and challenges prior to using the strategy templates. I.e., could we still use strategy templates if people's minds were primed with something like a SWOT analysis?
And would something as basic as SWOT be enough to help with the diagnoses and guiding policies? As a consultant/facilitator, could you share how much work we might have to do prior to a strategy foundry, whether with the client sponsor or our own independent research?
I appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me if possible. I come from Singapore and I'm interested to bring your work to the South East Asian part of the world. Let me know if there's a better way to reach you!
Ban Mittal, Ph.d.
This is a poignant essay. Many good, for-profit businesses do real strategize—their market viability depends on it. In contrast, the standard narrative is particularly the darling of not-for-profit organizations that are “visibly” doing well already. There, the strategy preparation is a public relations tool and also a means of “internal feel good.” Often, the preparation of the document (which then sits unattended) is itself deemed an accomplishment. This “strategy document” prepared after weeks of organizational pseudo-intellectual” loud thinking, does not make a single employee ask: Now what will I have to be doing different!!! The answer is already there: Nothing. External publics are satisfied that the strategy document reads impressive and the conclusion of the document is occasion for internal celebration!! So, yes, your alternative paradigm, that demands us to ask what strategic problem we need to solve and then concretely by what NEW action shall we solve it” might bring some honesty to the whole idea of strategy preparation. iMHO