Rita Gunther McGrath
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Rita Gunther McGrath
Key Topics:
  • Strategy
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunity
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Bio Info:

    Rita Gunther McGrath, a Professor at Columbia Business School, is a globally recognized expert on strategy in uncertain and volatile environments. Her thinking is highly regarded by readers and clients who include Pearson, Covidien, Coca-Cola Enterprises, General Electric, Alliance Boots, and the World Economic Forum. She is a popular instructor, a sought-after speaker, and a consultant to senior leadership teams. She was recognized as one of the top 10 management thinkers by global management award Thinkers50 in 2013, and won the award for outstanding achievement in the strategy category.


    She’s also been recognized as one of the top ten business school professors to follow on Twitter, and was named one of the 25 smartest women to follow on Twitter by Fast Company magazine. In 2009, she was inducted as a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society, an honor accorded those who have had a significant impact on the field. She serves as Dean of the Fellows. McGrath is the co-author of three books in addition to her brand new book The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast As Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press).


    Rita McGrath appears regularly on television and radio and is often cited in the press, including The Wall Street JournalNew York TimesFinancial Times, and Businessweek, Inc. She maintains an active blog and is featured as a discussion leader at Harvard Business Online. She has authored or co-authored 14 articles in the Harvard Business Review, including the best-selling Discovery Driven Planning.  Her most recent Harvard Business Review article is Transient Advantage, which was published in June of 2013 and was featured on the magazine’s cover.


    Rita McGrath joined the faculty of Columbia Business School in 1993. Prior to life in academia, she was an IT director, worked in the political arena, and founded two startups. Her Ph.D. is from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She teaches in Columbia’s top-ranked Executive Education programs, and is the Faculty Director for the Columbia Executive Education program Leading Strategic Growth and Change.


    Rita’s academic publications have appeared in leading journals such as the Strategic Management Journal,Academy of Management ReviewAcademy of Management Journal, and Management Science. She has won numerous awards for excellence in scholarship. Among these are the Strategic Management Society ‘best paper’ and ‘runner up’ awards in 2001 and 2004; the Maurice Holland award from the Industrial Research Institute; the Academy of Management Review “best paper” award, the Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice Award for the Best Conceptual Paper (both 1992 and 1996) and the European Foundation for Entrepreneurship Research (EFER) best paper award. She is a member of several editorial boards of prestigious journals.


    Rita is an exceptional instructor. She takes complex topics and makes them understandable and applicable. Her presentations are so informative, full of examples, case studies and questions the prompt lively discussions. Her handouts, tools, and slides enhance her classes so much that time flies, literally!

    Krys Moskal Amdurer, Pearson, VP Pearson People Development, August 2010

    Rita, I want to express our appreciation and warm-felt thank you for your outstanding presentations and support. We have had numerous requests for your return as well as having provided your info to many associations for further engagement. Early feedback has been very positive. Some written comments: “One of the definite must-attend conferences. I left feeling that my time was well spent and with ideas that I could implement or adjust to my organization.” “This is my 9th DigitalNow and, after having seen so many rock star quality speakers, I have high expectations — so when I say you blew me away in 2010… Well done.” “This was definitely one of your top conferences from a content standpoint. You know it was good when you can’t wait to get back to work and make some changes.”

    Don Dea, Co-founder, Fusion Productions, DigitalNow Conference, April 2010

    Rita was a brilliant and engaging speaker – lots of value to senior executives from large companies, and always a pleasure to work with.

    Dr. Peter S. Temes, Founder and President, I L O Institute

    Dear Rita, I really would like to express my thanks and admiration for the extraordinary two-day strategy and leadership workshop. With all your enthusiasm, professionalism, energy level, fast reactions to all concerns and relevant examples, we have achieved what I thought was maybe a too ambitious objective: a relevant, action–oriented, transformational event.

    Doris Bigio, Managing Director, Doris Bigio Management Development

    Dear Rita, On behalf of the Chief Executives Organization and the 2009 Financial Seminar participants, we want to thank you for your outstanding contribution to the education program. The Financial Seminar proved to be a great success, and you certainly were a critical part of that outcome. Your panel…on Government Intervention in the Economy: What to Expect, was insightful, and we felt privileged to have your “insider’s” knowledge shared with the membership.

    Andrew Kahn, CEO Financial Seminar Chairman

    The Outstanding Directors Exchange (ODX) session you moderated on the board’s role in strategy was a real highlight of our conference. We love the way you tie academic research to actionable takeaways. Thank you for your time, leadership and enthusiasm.

    Heather Wolf, Outstanding Directors Program Director

    I am the Executive Director of The International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM). We invited Rita McGrath to give a keynote address to our 2nd Innovation Symposium in New York City from 6-9 December 2009. Rita’s speech on “Growth in Uncertain Times” was extremely well received by our delegates who were particularly impressed with her style of presentation and the insights they gained during her 40 minutes. Rita has a very relaxed and engaging presentation manner and she includes interesting stories that people can relate to, rather than lots of charts and graphs. I would have no hesitation in recommending Rita as a keynote speaker for any innovation related event.

    Iain Bitran, Executive Director
    The International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM)

    Professor McGrath was a guest on our radio Program New Construction Strategies. She was fantastic because she not only knew the material, but delivered it in a concise and articulate way that was easy to understand. She was focused and to the point. The reason we invited her on the program was because I had the pleasure of sitting in a webinar she did for HBR and she delivered that in the same concise way. You can’t go wrong hiring Prof. McGrath to speak at your event.

    Fee Info (subject to change)
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    Travels From:
    New Nork, NY
  • Discovery Driven Planning
  • Market Busting
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Real Options Reasoning
  • Designing a Portfolio for Growth
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