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Rita McGrath was named the sixth most influential business thinker in the world and one of the top 25 smartest women on twitter. You can see her live (or via webcast) on January 30th at the BWI Airport Hilton in Maryland.
All participants will get a copy of Rita's book, The End of Competitive Advantage.
This special four-hour session will feature Rita talking about her latex book and research around how to thrive in an era of "transient advantage". She will be followed by a panel of C-level executives and a special collaboration session with all participants working ion their competitive playbook for 2014 and sharing their insights wit the group.
Find your Competitive Edge in 2014 featuring Rita McGrath - The End of Competitive Advantage
January 2014 | Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants, Inc.
Rita McGrath & the End
of Competitive Advantage
Tax season: Roll with the changes
The new financial landscape for
You can thrive in complex times
Our problem isn’t change; it’s keeping pace. Best-selling business expert Rita
McGrath will show us how in a can’t-miss event on Jan. 30
BY BILL SHERIDAN
To hear the experts tell it, the biggest
with outdated methods. They’re trying to
Aaron Wildavsky for this one. Most
issue facing businesses today is change.
predict their way out of an unpredictable
organizations today invest in prevention –
trying to keep bad things from happening
to them. McGrath said we need to invest
“One of the dilemmas we all face,”
Change isn’t the problem. Things have
more resources in what Wildavsky called
McGrath said, “is that we are trying to
always changed. The problems are the
“resilience,” a trait that will help us
grapple with truly complex systems by
staggering pace of change and our
“mount the appropriate response” when
using tools and frameworks that were
inability to catch up.
something goes wrong.
designed for more simple, more linear
Businesses don’t need to know that the
That point of view requires an eye toward
innovation. Don’t be afraid to try new
world is changing. They need to know
So what do we need to do? Four things,
what to do about it.
things. If they work, great. If they don’t,
respond accordingly and try again.
For that bit of information, let’s bring in
1. FORECAST DIFFERENTLY
“Start making small bets on things that
Spend less time on lagging indicators
are not part of your core business,”
like yesterday’s numbers and outcomes.
McGrath said. “Then ask yourself: Who
Spend more time on leading indicators
are your truth-tellers – the people who are
like data that offer clues about what the
able to look at the future and articulate
cases where things are going to be much
A Columbia Business School professor
and best-selling author who is sixth on
Forbes’ most recent list of the world’s
most influential business thinkers,
McGrath will speak live in Baltimore
on Jan. 30 as part of “The End of
Competitive Advantage,” an event
hosted by the MACPA and the Business
Learning Institute. The event is named
after McGrath’s most recent book, The
End of Competitive Advantage: How to
Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as
Get details and register at
McGrath’s message will focus less on
change and more on our reaction to it.
She says too many organizations are
trying to solve today’s complex problems
different than it is today?”
“Leading indicators are the hardest to
find,” McGrath said. “The problem is
And if the people in power aren’t truth-
that they are subjective; they’re not facts
tellers, watch out: This could be a difficult
yet. But they also give us some distant
early warnings about things that might
3. ALLOCATE YOUR RESOURCES
Here’s an exercise we can try: Imagine
Sure, we need to focus on our core
a future event – something that’s either
businesses. But in this crazy environment,
good or bad for your organization. Now
McGrath said it’s critical that we also
imagine what would have to happen first
devote some time and energy to
in order for that event to take place. Ask
innovation identifying opportunities,
yourself: “Can I see the signs that will tell
thinking of things we’ll want to invest in,
me if that is happening now?”
figuring out how to ramp them up and
2. TAKE ON INTELLIGENT RISK
make them scalable.
McGrath channeled political scientist
That means we’ll also have to spend some
time on what she calls “disengagement” –
figuring out what we should stop doing so
that we’ll have the time and resources to
devote to innovation.
And here’s the most important thing: Your
superstars need to be innovators.
“Average organizations put their best
people on problems,” McGrath said.
“Exceptional organizations put their best
people on opportunities.”
DON’T JUST SURVIVE. THRIVE.
In times like this, when change and
complexity fuel massive uncertainty,
many companies take the safe route and
concentrate not on growth, but on mere
Big mistake, says McGrath.
“As a leader, you want
to be thinking about the
future at all times, and
that does require some
A series for financial professionals in
Business & Industry
Shape y our
organiza t ion for
bet t er re s u l t s .
investment,” she said.
“An analogy would be to
think about sending your
children to college. I have
absolutely no idea what
those children are going
to do once they’re done
with their degrees, but I
know that if I don’t make
that investment in their
education, there will be
whole sets of opportunities
that won’t be open to
them. When you stop
thinking about growth, it’s
sort of the same as not
investing in education, not
investing in things that will
give you a future.”
“Think of it a bit like momentum,” she
said. “If you start a race from a dead
stop, you’re much less likely to get up to
speed fast than someone who’s already
moving. With growth, you have a similar
phenomenon. Those who start making
those investments today – those who start
removing some of the structural barriers
(to growth) – are going to be that much
more in motion than companies that have
been at a dead stop for the past few
“Plus, it’s more fun. It’s more fun for your
people, it’s more fun for yourself to be
thinking of doing something new rather
than the same old thing. Once you’re
focused on growth, people start to see
opportunities more readily because
they’re actively thinking about it. People
are less likely to cling to the past if they
see that there are opportunities in the
future that they could be going after.”
Getting past the barriers of change and
complexity and focusing on growth has all
Bill Sheridan is editor of The Statement and
kinds of benefits, McGrath explained.
chief communications officer for the MACPA.
CHANGE EFFORTS THAT STICK
Aug 29, 2013 // Gretchen Pisano // Event ID: 170000
CHALLENGES FOR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS
Nov 21, 2013 // Francis X. Ryan // Event ID: 170001
MACGYVERING: THE ART OF BEING RESOURCEFUL IN A CRISIS
Feb 27, 2014 // Greg Conderacci // Event ID: 170002
May 22, 2014 // Jennifer Elder // Event ID: 170003
4 hours of CPE each quarter to share and learn with other
experienced financial leaders.
AGENDA: 8-11 am – topical instruction, 11-12 noon – lunch and
LOCATION: Towson Training Center
PRICING: Members: $175/forum • Non-Members: $225/forum
L I V E
EXPERIENCE A NEW APPROACH TO BUSINESS MODELING, STRATEGY,
INNOVATION, AND GROWING REVENUE IN THESE DISRUPTIVE TIMES.
AS AN INTRO TO THE EVENT, RITA WILL ALSO BE LEADING THESE 4 WEBINARS: