Strategic Diagnosis Is a Clear, Honest Description of the Challenge at Hand

Diagnosis is one aspect of Richard Rumelt's strategy kernel.

The diagnosis is a clear, honest description of the challenge at hand. This is a kind of narrative that reduces a complex situation to something that can be easily enunciated, drawing attention to some facets of the issue and away from others, while pointing to an appropriate domain of action. It is, Rumelt says, a "simplified model of reality."

Diagnosis names or classifies the situation the situation based on observed facts and patterns; this creates analogy and therefore opens up access to other types of knowledge about parallel or adjacent spaces that may inform how to approach the problem and define guiding policies for solving it.



Rumelt, Richard. Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters. Illustrated edition. New York: Currency, 2011.