Rita McGrath explores the risks and opportunities of the transient‐advantage economy

Brian Leavy (AIB Professor of Strategic Management at DCU Business School, where he has been working since 1981)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Publication date: 28 June 2013



The purpose of this article is to provide an interview with innovation guru Rita Gunther McGrath. In this interview, McGrath offers her own perspective on the new competitive landscape, which she refers to as the “transient advantage economy,” and she sets out to help strategists more fully understand its implications and better navigate its major challenges.


In a world where strategy development itself needs to become more and more a process of innovation and discovery, few are better qualified to offer deep insight and practical help. McGrath is a Professor at Columbia Business School and a globally renowned expert on strategy in uncertain environments.


The “transient‐advantage economy,” that promises to leave few if any businesses unaffected, calls for an entirely new strategy playbook.

Practical implications

Deeply ingrained structures and systems designed to extract maximum value from a competitive advantage become a liability when the environment requires instead the capacity to surf through waves of short‐lived opportunities.


From the way we handle innovation, to resource allocation, to change, to the leadership mind‐set and even the management of individual careers, the transient advantage economy calls for a radical rethinking of how we create strategies and manage organizations.



Leavy, B. (2013), "Rita McGrath explores the risks and opportunities of the transient‐advantage economy", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 41 No. 4, pp. 10-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/SL-04-2013-0024

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