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The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business
Rita Gunther McGrath
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Format: Hardcover, 240pp.
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Pub. Date: June 4, 2013
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Item No: 9781422172810
Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:
Are you at risk of being trapped in an uncompetitive business?
Chances are the strategies that worked well for you even a few years ago no longer deliver the results you need. Dramatic changes in business have unearthed a major gap between traditional approaches to strategy and the way the real world works now.
In short, strategy is stuck. Most leaders are using frameworks that were designed for a different era of business and based on a single dominant idea—that the purpose of strategy is to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Once the premise on which all strategies were built, this idea is increasingly irrelevant.
Now, Columbia Business School professor and globally recognized strategy expert Rita Gunther McGrath argues that it’s time to go beyond the very concept of sustainable competitive advantage. Instead, organizations need to forge a new path to winning: capturing opportunities fast, exploiting them decisively, and moving on even before they are exhausted. She shows how to do this with a new set of practices based on the notion of transient competitive advantage.
This book serves as a new playbook for strategy, one based on updated assumptions about how the world works, and shows how some of the world’s most successful companies use this method to compete and win today.
Filled with compelling examples from “growth outlier” firms such as Fujifilm, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Infosys, Yahoo! Japan, and Atmos Energy, The End of Competitive Advantage is your guide to renewed success and profitable growth in an economy increasingly defined by transient advantage.
“If competitive advantage was ever sustainable, that time has passed. McGrath’s book not only captures the shortcomings of traditional, static models, but lays out the tools that fuel leading performance. The End of Competitive Advantage will give you an entirely new perspective on how to think about strategy.”
—Francisco D’Souza, CEO, Cognizant
“This smart, readable book addresses today’s most significant strategy reality: that we are living in an era of transient advantage. Rita McGrath provides a playbook for this new landscape, showing how you can identify opportunities fast, execute against them at scale, and be unafraid to move on when the situation changes.”William D. Green, former Chairman, Accenture
“The urge to hold on to one’s established competitive advantage is a vicious trap. McGrath clearly establishes the factors central to building a dynamic competitive edge for an enterprise of tomorrow. Refreshing, insightful, and a must-read.”
—Sanjay Purohit, Senior Vice President, Infosys Ltd
“McGrath’s groundbreaking work is aptly timed for today’s dynamic markets, where winning requires continuous reconfiguration.”
—Nancy McKinstry, CEO and Chairman, Executive Board, Wolters Kluwer nv
“The End of Competitive Advantage makes clear that high-performance teams have to stay vigilant. Are your leaders seizing new opportunities or just trying to optimize an outdated strategy? Keep your head up and stay alert, or a transient advantage might pass you by.”
—Klaus C. Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
“As a long-time member of the Rita McGrath fan club, I was delighted to see this book. Her approach to strategy is fresh and practical and is exactly what managers need today. It acknowledges competitive realities but shows a clear path forward. It is one of the most illuminating takes on how to deal with disruption that I have ever read.”
—Clayton M. Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
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About the Author
Rita Gunther McGrath, a professor at Columbia Business School in New York, is one of the world’s leading experts on strategy in highly uncertain and volatile environments. She works with both Global 1000 icons and smaller, fast-growing organizations to help them create an entrepreneurial mind-set, drive growth, and recognize when and how to disengage. McGrath has coauthored several popular books, including Discovery-Driven Growth: A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity (2009), MarketBusters: 40 Strategic Moves That Drive Exceptional Business Growth (2005), and The Entrepreneurial Mindset: Strategies for Continuously Creating Opportunity in an Age of Uncertainty (2000). In 2009 McGrath was inducted as a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society, an honor accorded to those who have had a significant impact on the field.
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