Essay Sample on the Perils of Bad Strategy

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  852 Words
Date:  2022-11-11


A strategy is a plan of action aimed at achieving a specific objective. Strategizing is all about gaining or trying to obtain a position of advantage over competitors. There are always uncertainties associated with deciding on strategies. Hence, primarily, a strategy is an outlined set of options designed to achieve an advantage. All managers claim to have a strategy for their organizations. However, Richard Rumelt through his article "The perils of bad strategy "says most leaders often don't have a strategy: they have something more flimsy which he terms as "bad strategy."

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Like anything valuable, a good strategy is not common. To achieve a good strategy, a leader has to focus on central objectives that will lead to a flow of favorable outcomes in the company. Additionally, a good strategy helps to bridge the gap between the critical challenges and the immediate objectives that lie within grasp. Therefore, creating a good strategy requires one to understand the value of what makes a bad one. This article, therefore, aims to highlight some of the concepts of bad strategy and how to reverse that into achieving a good strategy.

Marks of Bad Strategy

In the article, the author highlights four hallmarks that organizations often fool themselves into bad strategy and explains why it is so prevalent: failure of face problems, mistaking goals for strategy, poor strategic goals, and fluff.

Failure to face problems-A strategy should aid you in going through a challenge. However, if you don't define the problem at hand, you will never make any progress. Therefore, failing to identify an obstacle certainly means you do not have a strategy. Instead, you only have a budget that you wish would happen.

Mistaking a goal for a strategy-You cannot just highlight objectives for the group and call that a strategy. As a strategist, you must create conditions to make the push towards achieving your targets.

Poor strategic Objectives-Unclear strategic objectives can disorient an organization. At a planning conference, everyone proposes things they would like to see achieved and then, rather than focusing on critical matters, the team up bundles it up adding the long-term mark for weight, but signifying nothing has to be done straight away.

Fluff-A symbol of mediocrity and poor strategy is a superficial concept. As such, a fluff is intended to mask the lack of thought.

Causes of Bad Strategy

Bad strategy has its roots in the inability to choose and template planning.

Inability to choose-Strategies call for focus and choice. When you choose some goals in favor of others, the result is a weak strategy.

The template-style planning-A transformational leader develops a vision, helps people to change for the good of the company and empowers people to accomplish the organizations' vision (Rumelt, 2011). As such, a vision-led leadership produces a system of strategic planning. A strategy template consists of the following:

  • Vision-This includes what the organization will be like in the future.
  • Mission-This comprises of the statement of purpose of the organization.
  • Values-This is a statement consisting of the company values. The values of the organization should not be controversial in any way. Integrity, respect, and excellence should be the fundamental pillars of the firm.
  • Strategies-A company needs some aspirations or goals to work towards. For instance, investing in a performance portfolio creates value for stakeholders and growth for the clients. This template is efficient for all kind of institutions, from schools to universities to government agencies.

Crafting a Good Strategy

Knowing what you want to achieve is one thing and knowing how to get there is another. As such, the article sheds light on some aspects of how to execute a good strategy:

  • Diagnosis-This a description of the nature of the problem. A proper diagnosis streamlines the overwhelming complexity of reality by highlighting certain aspects of the situation as being the vital ones.
  • A guiding policy-This is the general method chosen to overcome the challenges outlined in the diagnosis.
  • Coherent/logical actions-Comprises of steps that are synchronized to support the execution of the guiding policy.

A good strategy is logical and straightforward. It involves applying strength to the most promising opportunities. Strategizing means identifying critical issues within your organization and making a plan to focus on result-oriented actions. Unfortunately, strategic planning for many business leaders is nothing more than an exhortative exercise. A good strategy represents a specific plan to overcome a defined problem. Proper procedures involve thought analysis and policy implementation aimed at moving the company ahead.

Overall, a strategy needs to be sustainable over a long period. A poor approach can lead to constant challenges in the future. Leaders who design bad strategies tend to ignore the challenges or view them as pesky irritations. Indeed, many believe that acknowledging problems equates to negative thinking. Therefore, bad strategy becomes nothing more than a rallying cry. In that regard, it is important to develop solid alternative approaches that can open up new avenues of thought. This enables one to focus on relevant policies and coordinate their actions to meet the desired goal.


Rumelt, R. (2011, June). The perils of bad strategy. Retrieved from

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Essay Sample on the Perils of Bad Strategy. (2022, Nov 11). Retrieved from

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