Gene Babon's Reviews > The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business

The End of Competitive Advantage by Rita Gunther McGrath
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Michael Porter defined Competitive Advantage. Rita Gunther McGrath proclaims that we have entered a new era of transient competitive advantage -- exploiting short-lived opportunities with speed and decisiveness.
In today's market you need to think of customer "jobs to be done," rather than rigid markets influenced by supply and demand.
The author uses the Jim Collins approach of identifying outlier companies who have sustained growth for a decade by using principles of transient competitive advantage. However, many of these shape-shifting companies are not domestic and will likely be unfamiliar to many Americans reading this book.

The author does a good job of organizing and presenting the new strategy playbook for this era of transient competitive advantage. This game plan begins with continuous reconfiguration and healthy disengagement, which is the process of moving out of an exhausted opportunity. This can only be done by letting go of the common practice of defending an advantage to the bitter end.

In a world of temporary advantage, innovation needs to be a continuous, core, well-managed process rather than the episodic and tentative process it is in many companies. Words such as "projection," estimate," and "target" should be banned and replaced with words such as "assumption," "feedback," and "checkpoints" or "milestones."

Individuals in this new era of transient competitive advantage will need to adjust to survive and prosper. Workers with valuable, rare, or in-demand skills are likely to be rewarded handsomely. Disposable workers will increasing become the norm as companies embrace transient opportunities or face extinction.

The final chapter offers checklists and game plans for the individual. Metaphors for work in the era of transient competitive advantage include making a movie, putting on the Olympics, or working in a political campaign. This is the mindset that workers must embrace.

Like it or not, the transient-advantage economy has arrived and shows no sign of retreat. Both business leaders and individual workers should consider adding The End of Competitive Advantage to their 21st Century continuous learning library.
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Reading Progress

December 14, 2013 – Shelved
December 14, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
March 1, 2014 – Finished Reading
June 24, 2014 – Shelved as: strategy

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