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Making the Shift from Sustainable to Transient Advantage

Innosight recently interviewed Rita McGrath, excerpted below.   To read the entire interview, click here.

You argue that competitive advantage is dying and that companies need to embrace the idea of transient advantage. What do you mean by that?

The Holy Grail of strategy for many years has been defined as sustainable competitive advantage: you find an opportunity, you throw up entry barriers like crazy and then you get to enjoy it for a long period of time. But increasingly, this no longer works well or even makes sense, thanks to globalization, digital disruptions, and so on. So in response to this shift, organizations need to build up temporary or transient advantages where they seize opportunities, exploit them, and then move on quickly when they’ve exhausted the opportunity. To do this effectively, we need to think differently about strategy.

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