The End of Competitive Advantage

Rita Gunther McGrath Discusses Business Strategy and YOU

Rita Gunther McGrath is a professor at Columbia Business School. She has been named one of The World's Most Influential Business Thinkers by Forbes.  McGrath is the author of "The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast As Your Business." This week on Sam’s Dream Blog, Rita shares about when to keep moving forward with your idea and when to change directions. 

Sam's Dream Blog: How do you know when to stick with the status quo/someone else’s ideas and when to start fresh?

Rita Gunther McGrath: I look at it in terms of a portfolio of opportunities.  The status quo never stays that way for that long. You always need to be doing what you need to do to get through today, thinking about the near term horizon and opening options for the future.  You should never, in my view, only be working on today’s problems.

SDB: When making changes, how do you know what to keep and what to let go in the process of moving forward?

Rita Gunther McGrath: Well, life is about three things, right - what gives you joy and satisfaction, what earns you money and what you’re good at.  So what you want to keep are things that help with those issues and what you want to drop are things that don’t.

SDB: What have been the biggest obstacles or challenges to realizing your dream? What advice do you have for others in pursuit of their dreams?

Rita Gunther McGrath: Time pressure, access to the right resources, rigid and unbending systems, that sort of thing.  I feel very blessed to have had tremendous opportunities and support.  I guess the best advice is to persevere and try several different routes to getting there.  Be OK with making intelligent failures.  Be honest with yourself about what you need to do.  Don’t expect other people to know what you need.  Be willing to adapt the dream as you learn more.

Thanks for reading Sam’s Dream Blog!  Learn more about Rita Gunther McGrath, and check back with SDB for the next feature on Apr. 1.  Sign up for social media updates and tell a friend while you are at it!