430: How to Start Seeing Around Corners, with Rita McGrath


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Rita McGrath: Seeing Around Corners Rita McGrath is a best-selling author, a sought-after speaker, and a longtime professor at Columbia Business School. She is one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth and is one of the most regularly published authors in the Harvard Business Review. Rita is consistently ranked among the top 10 management thinkers in the world and was ranked #1 for strategy by Thinkers50. Rita is the author of the bestseller The End of Competitive Advantage*. Her newest book is titled Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen*. In this conversation, Rita and I explore how it feels like change happens overnight, but why that’s not usually accurate. We detail four basic stages of inflection points, why it’s critical to be present at the edges, and what leaders can do practically to see around corners. Key Points Strategic inflection points feel like they happen overnight, but in reality there are many indicators over time that inflection points are coming. The four basic stages of almost every inflection point: hype, dismissive, emergent, maturity. Snow melts from the edges. The most effective leaders can and will see this if they are present at the edges. To see early warning signs, create information flows that reach directly from leaders offices into the frontlines of the business. Create incentives that reward useful (and awkward) information. Talk to the future that is unfolding now. There are people, customers, and businesses where the future is already happening. Resources Mentioned Seeing Around Corners by Rita McGrath Rita McGrath on LinkedIn Breaking Up the Degree Stranglehold: Disruption in Higher Education Only the Paranoid Survive* by Andrew Grove Book Notes Download my highlights from Seeing Around Corners in PDF format (free membership required). Related Episodes How to Lead a 100-Year Life, with Lynda Gratton (episode 266) The Truth and Lies of Performance Management, with Michael Bungay Stanier (episode 361) The Way to Nurture New Ideas, with Safi Bahcall (episode 418) Discover More Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic.

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