Having a good strategy is important. But it is more important to not have a bad strategy.


Bad strategy is not simply the absence of a good strategy. It is developed out of specific misconceptions and leadership errors.


Once you develop the ability to detect bad strategy, you will dramatically improve your effectiveness at judging, influencing, and creating strategy.


To detect a bad strategy, look for one or more of its four major signs:


Fluff. Fluff is a meaningless unnecessary idea often portrayed as strategic concepts or arguments. It uses “Sunday” words (words that are inflated and unnecessarily obscure) and apparently esoteric concepts to create the illusion of high-level thinking.


Failure to face the challenge. Bad strategy fails to recognize or define the challenge. When you cannot define the challenge, you cannot evaluate a strategy or improve it.


Mistaking goals for strategy. Many bad strategies are just statements of desire rather than plans for overcoming obstacles.


Bad strategic objectives. A strategic objective is set by a leader as a means to an end. Strategic objectives are “bad” when they fail to address critical issues or when they are impracticable.


These are the usual components of a bad strategy. One or many of them maybe be seen in our day to day bad strategies.


All good strategies are free of these.

Good strategy is precise and to the point.

It focuses on realistic objectives rather than goals.

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