December 2023-Round Up

Rita McGrath
5 min readJan 4, 2024

The field of strategy, as I’m fond of saying, had its intellectual roots in Industrial Economics. That way of thinking suggests two assumptions that I think are often a trap, when used in the wrong situations.

The first assumption is that industries exist. Sure, that’s a useful idea when things are stable and the most significant competitor you face is indeed in your industry. Throw in a few strong entry barriers and away we go! But in more and more situations, entry barriers have come down and the most significant competition you face is either not in your industry or is rethinking how your industry operates (think SpaceX vs. NASA).

The second assumption is that the normal state of things is equilibrium, and that change is the unusual thing. After everything that has gone on from about 2016, and certainly after a tumultuous 2020, I don’t know how we can think that way.

In Case You Missed It

We are running three editions of my week-long Columbia course “Leading Strategic Growth and Change.” The content addresses how you structure for a balance of innovation and the day-to-day, making better choices, transformation, platform strategies and much more. People say it changes their lives and careers! If you’reinterested, check out the 2024 course offerings!

The whole team came to the Thinkers50 conference in November — what a joy to be back in-person! We talked about AI, climate change, and everything else that makes the future so uncertain, and how to use our influence to make a dent. This year’s event was at a special location, London’s Guildhall. I’m still in the top 10, and my good friend Amy Edmondson claimed the #1 spot for the second time (you can see us in conversation at this link).

In December, I packed my bags and headed to the Drucker Forum in Vienna. The theme for our conversations was “Creative Resilience: Leading in an Age of Discontinuity”, and my panel asked the question “How will management rise to the occasion?”

Consistent high points this fall were my regular Fireside Chats and LinkedIn Live sessions with fellow thought leaders. They are recorded and available for replay on YouTube. Here are convenient links to some recent recordings. Kelly Richmond-Pope on fraudsters and targets. Geoffrey Moore on an…

--

--

Rita McGrath

Columbia Business School Professor. Thinkers50 top 10 & #1 in strategy. Bestselling author of The End of Competitive Advantage & Seeing Around Corners.