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#46—Richard Rumelt: Finding the Crux of Your Strategy

#46—Richard Rumelt: Finding the Crux of Your Strategy

Richard P. Rumelt is one of the world’s most influential thinkers on strategy and management. McKinsey Quarterly described him as “strategy’s strategist” and “a giant in the field of strategy.”

He is the author of Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters, reviewed by the Financial Times as “the most interesting business book of 2011” and by Strategy + Business as “the year’s best and most original addition to the strategy bookshelf.”

Richard received his doctoral degree from Harvard Business School and is the Harry and Elise Kunin Chair Emeritus at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. His new book, The Crux, goes on sale May 3, 2022, from PublicAffairs.

In this podcast, he shares:

  • Why so many organizations practice “Bad Strategy” and how to spot it when you see it

  • Why strategy is fundamentally about solving problems

  • How the secret behind the strategies of SpaceX and other breakthrough companies rests on finding the “crux” of the problem and how to choose a crux that others are not paying attention to

  • Why we see so much vertical integration today and when that will change

  • The three skills of: figuring out what is critical, constraining what is critical vs. what is controllable, and focusing energy on that


  • Episode Timeline:

    00:00—Introducing Richard + The topic of today’s episode

    1:46—If you really know me you know that...

    2:20—What is your definition of strategy?

    6:38—What are some of the ideas or concepts you are most well-known for?

    9:17—How do you recognize bad strategy?

    10:39—Could you explain the concept of "crux"?

    14:50—How to narrow down on actual challenge being solved

    16:40—Do you think you've seen a rise in vertical integration, and what is your opinion on it?

    18:48—Where can people find you and connect with you?


Additional Resources:

Faculty Page:

Newest book:

Last book:


The 4th Option Junto
The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.