Strategy as Simple Rules

by Kathleen M. Eisenhardt and Donald N. Sull

When the business landscape was simple, companies could afford to have complex strategies. But now that business is so complex, many need to simplify their innovation strategy. Smart companies have done just that with a new approach: a few straightforward, hard-and-fast rules that define direction without confining it. In increasingly fast-paced and complex markets, strategy is about deciding which opportunities to pursue, and maintaining a few key processes and simple rules can guide companies through the chaos. While processes are typically thought of as detailed routines, they should follow a few simple rules that provide just enough structure to allow the company to capture the best opportunities. They should not be broad, vague, mindless, or stale. The five types of rules are: how-to rules, boundary rules, priority rules, timing rules, and exit rules.

Purchase the full article at Harvard Business Review.