Rita McGrath Keynote Topics
The End of Competitive Advantage & The New Strategy Playbook
For years, the ultimate goal of strategy was presumed to be a ‘sustainable’ competitive advantage. Strategy when advantages are not sustainable, however, can be just as powerful. It does require completely different approaches to budgeting, resources, and talent management, as well as an increased emphasis on creating a pipeline of innovations. This talk describes some of the counter-intuitive aspects of dynamic strategies, for example that it may make sense to sub-optimize some processes in the interests of preserving flexibility.
5 Ways To Tell if Your Innovation Process Is Dysfunctional
Even with the best of intentions, it is very easy for firms to mismanage their innovation process, often because they apply the disciplines from the core business to this fragile, uncertain, different process. This leads to the following symptoms of a broken innovation capability:
1. Episodic innovation
2. Resources held hostage
3. Innovations squeezed into the existing organizational structure
4. Decision-makers isolated from customers’ experiences; with too little diversity of thought
5. Treating assumptions like knowledge
In this talk, McGrath describes each issue and offers examples both of firms that have fallen victim to these problems and some that have overcome them. If desired, a detailed personal case study of what went wrong at Nokia can be incorporated.
Learning To Live With Complexity
Business has always been unpredictable and surprising, and the systems in business have always been complex. But due to the IT revolution, complexity affects everything—products, supply chains, organizations. This makes managers’ jobs far more difficult. It is harder to make sense of what is going on, make predictions about the future, and place bets. Complex systems go beyond the merely complicated because you can’t predict what is going to happen just from knowing the initial conditions. Our analytical tools have not kept up.