Rita McGrath

Globally recognized expert on strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship; champion of harnessing disruptive influences for competitive advantage.


Ranked #2 in 2021.

Previous positions:

#5 (2019), #10 (2017), #9 (2015), #6 (2013), and #19 (2011).


Winner of the Thinkers50 2013 Strategy Award for The End of Competitive Advantage.



Shortlisted for the Thinkers50 2021, 2019, 2015, and 2011 Strategy Awards and the 2011 Book Award.



McGrath’s focus is on developing innovation and growth strategies during times of uncertainty.  She argues that the traditional reliance of businesses on competitive advantage is no longer relevant in today’s boundary-free markets. McGrath’s research into disruptive inflection points – the “overnight shifts that disrupt a market” – reveals how smart leaders can learn to anticipate them.


McGrath started out in government working for the City of New York, where she became interested in large-scale organizational change. Upon returning to academic life she co-authored three books with Ian C. MacMillan at Wharton’s Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center, which explored entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth in fast-moving, uncertain markets. McGrath is a professor at Columbia Business School.



Seeing Around Corners (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019); The End of Competitive Advantage (HBR Press 2013); Discovery-Driven Growth (with Ian C. MacMillan Harvard Business Press, 2009); Market Busters (with Ian C. MacMillan, Harvard Business School Press, 2005);  The Entrepreneurial Mindset (with Ian C. MacMillan, Harvard Business School Press, 2000).


Media picks


“Globally recognized expert on strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship.”

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50

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