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Rita Gunther McGrath

Rita Gunther McGrath

Rita Gunther McGrath is a professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and an expert on strategic business growth in uncertain environments.

Rita McGrath, Columbia Business School Associate Professor, is a globally recognized thought leader and author whose focus is on developing innovation and growth strategies during times of uncertainty. She enables business leaders to see their world through a different lens, guiding them through competitive complexities and is highly valued for her rare ability to connect research to business problems. McGrath works with boards, CEOs and senior executives to think strategically, by providing practical yet imaginative strategic advice.

McGrath is a sought-after speaker at exclusive events such as the Global Drucker Forum, various CEO Summits and at corporate strategy sessions in a wide variety of industry sectors around the globe. She recently founded Valize, LLC, a company focused on providing structured and pragmatic approaches to an organization’s growth strategies by embedding an Innovation Operating System across its activities.

McGrath is currently working on a new book about strategic inflection points as a follow up to her best-selling The End of Competitive Advantage (2013). She has co-written three other books with Ian MacMillan: Discovery Driven Growth, (2009) which was cited by Clayton Christensen as one of the most important management ideas ever developed; MarketBusters: 40 Strategic Moves that Drive Exceptional Business Growth (2005); and The Entrepreneurial Mindset (2000), all published by Harvard Business Review Press. MarketBusters has been translated into ten languages and was named one of the best business books of 2005 by Strategy+Business.

McGrath was ranked in the Top 10 of Thinkers50 business gurus in 2015 and 2013 and received the #1 Achievement Award in Strategy for her research published in her book, The End of Competitive Advantage. McGrath consistently appears in rankings of the top business school professors to follow on Twitter. Two of the many Columbia Executive Education programs McGrath teaches are: Leading Strategic Growth and Change (LSGC) and Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship Online (MCE). LSGC is week long program, focused on the process of discovering new opportunities and how to thrive in rapidly changing and highly uncertain environments. MCE is a 3-part online program, providing executives and their teams with the concepts, tools, and application opportunities to enhance their efforts to create new business ventures from within their firms.

McGrath is one of the most widely published authors in the Harvard Business Review and she is often interviewed and cited by the press, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, and NPR’s Marketplace. She maintains an active social media presence, and has been rated one of the 25 smartest women to follow on Twitter by Fast Company magazine. McGrath was voted HR Magazine’s Most Influential International Thinker, writes regularly for Fortune magazine’s online edition, is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal’s “The Experts” column and blogs regularly at

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. She received her Ph.D. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has degrees with honors from Barnard College and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. She is married and is proud to be the mother of two delightful grownups.


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