Management Speaker Rita McGrath

Rita McGrath

Expert on Business Strategy in Uncertain Environments; Acclaimed Thinkers50 Thought Leader and Bestselling Author

Disruption alone does not a business plan make: companies must make constructive innovation a central part of their strategies. Rita McGrath’s work on fostering innovation and anticipating disruption has made her one of the world’s great management thinkers. Events with an interest in keeping their attendees ahead of the curve place McGrath’s revelatory keynote speeches front and center.

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    Rita McGrath biography

    Business speaker Rita McGrath is a leading expert on growth through innovation, even in uncertain times. A celebrated public speaker, Rita McGrath challenges and enlightens audiences around the world, in person and through virtual appearances.

    Business leaders from all sectors turn to Rita McGrath for actionable insights on discovery-driven growth strategies. Her bestselling books have vaulted her to the top of Thinkers50’s biannual lists of top management theorists.

    McGrath’s landmark book Discovery-Driven Growth turned conventional wisdom on its head, ushering in a new model for business growth. It was lauded by disruptive-innovation economist Clayton Christensen as one of the most important management ideas ever developed. The End of Competitive Advantage demonstrates that competitive advantage is unsustainable, and that constant innovation should be a core strategy. Seeing Around Corners demystifies the way that disruptive inflection points develop, and shows how to anticipate them.

    In 2017, McGrath founded Valize, a business strategy consultancy that serves as a platform for her insights. In short, Valize helps startups and Fortune 500 companies rewrite their strategic playbooks and re-tool themselves for sustained, profitable innovation.

    Since 1993, McGrath has taught at Columbia Business School. She earned her PhD from the Wharton School and honors degrees from Barnard College and Columbia University. She is also a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society.

    Rita McGrath Speaking Videos

    Rita McGrath: Want a competitive edge? Ignore stability.
    Rita McGrath on Constantly Reconfiguring and Adapting Your Business

    Rita McGrath Keynote Topics

    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.

    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.

    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.

    FAQs on Booking Rita McGrath

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    How much is Rita McGrath speaking fee?
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    Can I book Rita McGrath for a virtual keynote?
    Yes, Rita McGrath is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. To book Rita McGrath for a virtual event, please complete the contact form or send us an email to inquire about the special fees for virtual engagements.