“A good strategy works,” says Richard Rumelt, “by harnessing power and applying it where it will have greatest effect.” This is the application of leverage.
Rumelt elabortes with the famous quote from Archimedes:
Archimedes, one of the smartest people who ever lived, said, “Give me a lever long enough, a fulcrum strong enough, and I’ll move the world.” What he no doubt knew, but did not say, was that to move the earth, his lever would have to be billions of miles long. 1 With this enormous lever, a swing of Archimedes’ arm might move the earth by the diameter of one atom. Given the amount of trouble involved, he would be wise to apply his lever to a spot where this tiny movement would make a large difference. Finding such crucial pivot points and concentrating force on them is the secret of strategic leverage.
Continuing my series of posts about product strategy, I’ll next cover Rumelt’s sources of power.