FT Business Book of the Year

Best business books

All the books listed for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

The End of Competitive Advantage by Rita Gunther McGrath

The End of Competitive Advantage

The danger with tearing down Michael Porter’s pillars is that companies will be left sitting in the rubble, without landmarks to help them find a new path. But McGrath offers a guide through the volatility that includes a policy of constant, systematic early-stage innovation. — Read the complete FT review


The context of business has changed so rapidly over the past few decades that it may be time for a new lexicon. At the very least, it’s time to challenge some of the established thinking about strategy and competition that used to drive business advantage - but no longer does. In this book, strategy expert and Columbia Business School professor Rita McGrath takes on one of most fundamental and recognized notions in strategy: that of sustainable competitive advantage. She argues this can no longer be the Holy Grail for companies because in a constantly changing environment, deeply ingrained structures and systems designed to extract value actually become a liability. The new path to winning includes taking advantage of shorter term opportunities, as well as relying on new organizational talents like speed and decisiveness. McGrath defines the new transient lifecycle of competitive advantage and shows how successful firms manage through it by using an updated philosophy. The End of Competitive Advantage offers a bold new set of principles for competing in what we now understand is a continuously volatile and uncertain environment. Consider this your fresh strategy playbook for competing in an accelerating world.