Rita McGrath: Discovery Driven Planning

Conquering Death By Spreadsheet

You have a new strategy to pursue an attractive new opportunity. Before you can make progress, you’re hit with a barrage of questions that you have no way of answering.

  • “What will the ROI be?”
  • “How long will it take to launch”
  • “How will it affect our existing product lines?”

Many organizations, build a conventional business plan but you know in your heart of hearts this is a triumph of fantasy over reality. Rita will explain how to create a plan for a new venture that gets you to early answers fast, by focusing on the most critical assumptions that you need to convert to facts.  It’s disciplined, but it’s a discipline that comes straight out of the entrepreneurial mindset.

Following the talk and interactive Q&A, Rita shares a software tool she’s developed that connects your strategy process, budgeting activities, project governance and execution teams. While we think it will help you connect your strategy and operations, she hopes for some feedback from some brilliant software people to offer their insight into the prototype.

You will learn:

  • How to define success and specify what must be true to achieve it
  • How to avoid being unrealistic about your strategy
  • How to break a large, complex, project into manageable checkpoints
  • How to compare different potential business models


Rita McGrath

Author & Professor

Rita McGrath is a best-selling author, sought-after speaker, and longtime professor at Columbia Business School. As one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth, Rita’s work is regularly published 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.  Rita is the author of the best-selling The End of Competitive Advantage (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013). Her most recent book is Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019). Follow Rita on Twitter @rgmcgrath and LinkedIn.

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