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Seeing Around Corners
Cover of Seeing Around Corners
Seeing Around Corners
How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen
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The first prescriptive, innovative guide to seeing inflection points before they happen—and how to harness these disruptive influences to give your company a strategic advantage.

The first prescriptive, innovative guide to seeing inflection points before they happen—and how to harness these disruptive influences to give your company a strategic advantage.

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About the Author-
  • RITA McGRATH is a best-selling author, a sought-after speaker and a longtime professor at Columbia Business School. Rita 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. She is consistently ranked among the top 10 management thinkers in the world and was ranked #1 for strategy by Thinkers50. Her most recent best-selling book is The End of Competitive Advantage (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013).

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 22, 2019
    Succeeding in business requires anticipating major changes before they come—and this is a skill that can be learned, promises Columbia business school professor McGrath in this sharp, stimulating primer. She begins by discussing inflection points, the single points in time when everything changes, which, in business, are the moments that throw one’s assumptions and supposed knowledge into question. Changes happen “gradually, then suddenly,” and businesspeople just need to learn to anticipate them well ahead of time. Illustrating her points with stories of companies that have navigated inflection points with varying degrees of success, McGrath covers how policies go wrong at unexpected scale (as occurred when Facebook went public and, under “intense” pressure to monetize its model, drew controversy over the level of access to user data it gave to advertisers), the pitfalls and benefits of social media for business, tips for galvanizing one’s organization to react to new developments, and how to learn quickly and pay attention to what customers are saying. The prose can be dense and sometimes eyebrow-raising—“How innovation proficiency defangs the organizational antibodies”—but the message and advice are pithy, clever, and encouraging for anyone who doesn’t want to be surprised by the Next Big Thing.

  • Library Journal

    August 16, 2019

    McGrath (Columbia Business Sch.) defines an inflection point as "a change in the business environment that dramatically shifts some element of your activities, throwing certain taken-for-granted assumptions into question." An example the author provides is streaming music largely replacing CDs, cassettes, and vinyl records. The book tries to explain, through case studies and suggested tools and methods, how to become aware of possible inflection points early in their development. For instance, McGrath recommends thinking not in terms of industries but rather arenas: pools of contested resources to be used by one's customers to meet a particular need or desire, and to look at issues that serve as barriers to consumers meeting those needs. She also considers leading indicators that can presage future states or conditions (e.g., employee engagement may be a top indicator for customer satisfaction). McGrath's demanding, far-reaching solutions are intended to result in a business on the alert, with open and honest communication. VERDICT A useful guide that is most appropriate for actual or aspiring managers and management consultants.--Shmuel Ben-Gad, Gelman Lib., George Washington Univ., Washington, DC

    Copyright 2019 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Seeing Around Corners
Seeing Around Corners
How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen
Rita McGrath
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