Seeing Around Corners, with Rita McGrath

Seeing Around Corners,
with Rita McGrath

  • PIMS Executive Forum
  • August 29, 2019

Rita McGrathRita McGrath is a globally recognized expert on innovation and growth strategies with an emphasis on corporate entrepreneurship, and in August of 2019 she was here to visit and pre-launch her new book “Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before they Happen”. 

McGrath reminded us how transient advantages are and presented a new playbook for strategy.

Inflection points

The forum session focused on the concept of strategic inflection points, those forces that change the assumptions we make about how to run our businesses, how to live our lives, and how we perceive reality generally.

Book: Seeing Around Corners by Rita McGrath

So how do you see disruptive changes coming? McGrath stressed the necessity of getting outside of your own little bubble and out to the edges of your organization in order to see what’s really going on, and reminded us that a key piece of navigating inflection points is a willingness to embrace the unknowability of the future and acknowledge that you can’t control or plan everything.

McGrath lead Executive Forum participants through a series of exercises and group discussions throughout the day that focused on identifying strategic inflection points and detecting early warnings. She said that we often look at strategic inflection points as negative, but reminded us that If we cling to our old models, we view change as a problem. If we embrace an inflection point, and view things positively, we’re able to benefit from the potential opportunity present in a strategic inflection point.

Illustration: Degrees of freedom vs signal strength over time (x-axis)