Rita McGrath: Thrive in a Complex World



Rita McGrath offers a free webinar on Wednesday, September 28, at noon on Learning to Live with Complexity. Princeton Regional Chamber members met McGrath, when she spoke at a lunch in October. 
McGrath, a Columbia Business School professor who lives in West Windsor, most recently co-wrote, with Ian Macmillan,  “Discovery Driven Growth: a breakthrough process to reduce risk and seize opportunity.”  


note added at 11:45 Click here to try to sign up for the webinar  Apparently the link I has posted expired.


“Business has always been unpredictable and surprising, and the systems in business have always been complex,” suggests the press release. “But due to the IT revolution, complexity affects everything–products, supply chains, organizations. This makes managers’ jobs far more difficult. It is harder to make sense of what is going on, make predictions about the future, and place bets.”


In a recent HBR article, McGrath suggests four fundamental changes. One (hold your breath, all you gurus who use fancy algorithms to make predictions) is to mitigate your risk by reducing the need for accurate predictions. If the environment is unpredictable, why try to predict?


HBR. I am careful to note, does not endorse this position of “no predictions please,” and in fact a prediction guru will speak at a free webinar next week. On Monday, October 3, Tom Davenport (a business analytics expert) will tell how to gain advantage by using analytics to predict the future. 


Another person who makes his living with predictions, however precarious, is Charles Steindel, chief economist of the New Jersey Department of the Treasury. He will speak at the Princeton Regional Chamber meeting on Thursday, October 6, at 11:30 a.m. at the Princeton Forrestal Marriott.


Sorry for the late notice about McGrath’s webinar — we’ve been on a road trip to Vermont. I’ve not had time to figure out why HBR is doing these webinars for free. Somebody who can figure that out, please let me know. 


**** Late breaking announcement ****


I just read in today’s Times of Trenton — but can find no notice of it anywhere else — that Princeton Power Systems is having a demo today from 10 to noon at 201 Washington Road (that’s Sarnoff/ SRI) with a workshop and openhouse from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at 3175 Princeton Pike, Lawrenceville. I think this must have been arranged by the NJEDA because it’s not even on the company’s website. I just called and it’s on. The founder, Darren Hammell, spoke at the Princeton chamber in February, 2010. 


Also, Dan Conley asks for publicity re the Marconi Foundation Scholars and Heroes Festa Italiana event in Somerset on October 7, $50, so here it is http://www.marconilanding.org/





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One thought on “Rita McGrath: Thrive in a Complex World

  1. Hi Barbara,That's interesting: I took Ian Mac's (McGrath's co-author) class on Discovery Driven Growth while I was doing my MBA at Wharton. Mac was one of the people at Wharton that influenced me in thinking clearly through an entrepreneurial idea that I was personally passionate about in food which later led to HerbNZest!Best,Deboleena DuttaCEO, HerbNZest LLCFood Enthusiast and Bloggerwww.herbnzest.comwww.facebook.com/herbnzest

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