🌱 (seedling) | Literature note |

Notes from Good Strategy, bad Strategy and the Crux - Podcast with Lenny adn Rummelt


Strategy is about how to overcome high stakes challenges One needs to differentiate between Strategy and analytical tools for solving or analyzing problems. E.g 7 Powers framework or Wardley Maps are such tools for deriving a strategy, but they are not the strategy!

Instead on strategy one might call it Action Agenda

The Kernel

Diagnose the situation

  • What is going on?
  • Hypotheses of what is going on & how things are connected … we have that problem, because …
  • Use any of the strategy tools for that!
  • What is holding you back?

Guiding Policy

  • What are we going to do about this problem?
  • How will we deal with the situation

Coherent Action

  • Deal with the problem
  • Don’t fight with other achievers


  • Set of wished goals
  • List of the thing you wish to happen
  • Fluff, word salad
  • Incoherent actions
  • goals are not the strategy as they leave out important aspects

Strategy hints

  • Every time you say yes to something, you risk to turn a nascent strategy into a bad strategy
  • Need a source of power / advantage / efficiency → focus that power on a target that you can affect
  • Focus vs. different interests
  • 7 powers - find the advantage
  • Strategy needs to exploit an asymmetry
    • Relationships
    • Knowledge
    • Unforeseen / Counterintuitive
  • How is my company different?
    • Power of the user base … network effect
    • Size is what matters
  • You need to have a reason that makes sense – derived from a source of power
  • A lot based on history and past experience

Most important tool: Think Again

  • 📖 The Crux
    • [[The Crux - Richard Rumelt]]
  • Ambitious -> for which can you begin to make progress?
  • Choose a deadline that:
    • is important but also
    • is achievable
  • The Crux is the hardest part of the problem
  • Look at a problem - figure out what makes it hard to solve - find a way to solve it.
  • Insights come from immersing into a problem!
  • How should you go about creating a strategy?
    • Senior executives have to do this!
    • And they usually already know enough to do this
  • Inertia through (connect to Wardley Maps and forms of inertia)
    • Diversity of talent
    • Fear of Action

Strategy in a Start Up

  • You are making a bet
  • You need to be clear about that bet
  • You got to be willing to shift
  • Quick adaptations to changing conditions
  • Think → How should it be?
    • (the ideal window examples)
    • describe that state in full detail to spot areas to address


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