About: Rita McGrath

“A TEDx speaker and a leading thought leader in the space of digital transformation and learning”

Rita McGrath

Globally recognized expert on strategy in uncertain and volatile environments.

Highly regarded by readers and clients who include Pearson, Coca-Cola Enterprises, General Electric, Alliance Boots, and the World Economic Forum.

Rita Gunther McGrath, a Professor at Columbia Business School, is a globally recognized expert on strategy in uncertain and volatile environments. Her thinking is highly regarded by readers and clients who include Pearson, Coca-Cola Enterprises, General Electric, Alliance Boots, and the World Economic Forum. She is a popular instructor, a sought-after speaker, and a consultant to senior leadership teams. She was recognized as one of the top 20 management thinkers by global management award Thinkers50 in 2011.

She’s also been recognized as one of the top ten business school professors to follow on Twitter. In 2009, she was inducted as a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society, an honor accorded those who have had a significant impact on the field. In 2013 she will serve as Dean of the Fellows. McGrath is the author of three books in addition to her upcoming book The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast As Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press)

Rita McGrath is an expert on strategy in volatile and uncertain environments. She works with senior leadership teams to help them create an entrepreneurial mindset, drive growth and recognize when and how to disengage.

Her new co-authored book, Discovery Driven Growth: A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity (2009) was endorsed by Clayton Christensen, Ram Charan, and CK Prahalad, among others. She has co-authored two previous books: The Entrepreneurial Mindset(2000) and MarketBusters: 40 Strategic Moves that Drive Exceptional Busines Growth (2005).


  • The End of Competitive Advantage listed as the #1 business book of the year by Strategy + Business Magazine (November 2013).
  • Rita Gunther McGrath receives the 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award for Strategy by Global Management Award Thinkers50 (November 2013)
  • Rita Gunther McGrath ranked in the top ten management thinkers in the world, at #6 (up from #19 in 2011).

The End of Competitive Advantage and the New Strategy Playbook

In this popular talk, summarized briefly here, Rita McGrath outlines the essence of a new strategy playbook which recognizes that competitive advantages are often fleeting and that companies need to adopt an entirely different set of practices than those they used when advantages were more easily protected. Among the key elements of the new playbook are continuous reconfiguration rather than change management; healthy disengagement rather than desperate reshuffling; deft resource allocation rather than resources being held hostage; continuous rather than episodic innovation; leaders prepared to face brutal truths with candor; and individuals who will increasingly be running their careers as tours of duty rather than being cogs in a hierarchical system. This talk can be accompanied by diagnostic exercises that can measure how ready you and your organization are for the transient advantage economy. This talk can also be customized to reflect the particular circumstances of your company or sector.

Discovery Driven Planning

Discovery Driven Planning is a Harvard Business Review best-seller and has been adopted by companies all over the world as a key innovation tool. It has received heavy endorsements from Clayton Christensen, who proclaimed it an antidote to “innovation killers” and also used it in his recent best-seller What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?

Rita McGrath’s main argument is that most established companies have everything they need to take advantage of high-growth opportunities, with one exception: the right disciplines. Her entertaining and provocative sessions will help you and your people understand the disciplines that work to drive innovation and growth.



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