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Why Rita?

It seems as if the rules of business are being rewritten on a daily basis. Entire industries are being thrown into highly uncertain, ambiguous and volatile situations.  What could once be predictably relied upon in terms of how an organization does business today, seems to be unpredictable and more complex than ever.

In her talks, Rita covers planning methodologies for high uncertainty: knowledge situations, how organizations can help better manage complexity, how to make investments when the outcomes are hard to fathom, how to manage inevitable failures intelligently, and more.  For almost every line of business, this new environment requires new ways of working, new business models and certainly new financial models.  Rita designs her talks to help inspire and energize participants to see these changes not necessarily as problems, but also as opportunities.

HR and Talent Development – Rita won enormous praise for her keynote at the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development (CIPD) HR organization in Manchester in 2014. Her message about HR is that as we move into more of a ‘tour of duty’ economy and as product and service features are easily replicated, the talent in the organization is one of the few sources of competitive advantage that remains. Rita is also doing work on how companies can create good jobs and still prosper, even in highly competitive industries. She has also given many talks for organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Programs for Entrepreneurs – Rita has extensive experience with entrepreneur-oriented groups including the Women’s Presidents Organization and the YPO. What the members particularly appreciate is Rita’s ability to take her research and create specific, actionable tools that participants can use right away. She has taught entrepreneurship classes at Wharton and Columbia and is actively engaged in entrepreneurship herself as a principal in three startups.

Communications/Media Content – Anyone in the telecommunications business knows that the world is changing faster than ever and that new threats (and opportunities) emerge just about every day. For telecom operators, the concept of “arenas”, from Rita’s latest book, is particularly important as the world goes mobile and the risk of over-the-top services is very real. Rita was the featured keynote speaker at a recent DirecTV top management meeting. With events such as the merger of AT&T and DirecTV, a host of opportunities to reshape the Telecom/Internet/Entertainment landscape are soon to arise.

Financial Institutions – Rita has done a tremendous amount of work with financial institutions, looking particularly at how the changing competitive landscape – in particular with respect to regulations – have fundamentally reshaped how business is done. In particular, she has experience in the wealth management area, in institutional banking and in the consumer sector.

Healthcare and Pharma  – With health care changes throwing wrenches into best-laid plans, health care providers need to learn new strategy skills they never needed before. Using outdated tools and playbooks from the 1970’s or even earlier is simply not going to help firms face the new challenges that transient advantage requires. Rita’s health care clients include medical device makers, pharmaceutical companies and insurers.

IT: Software and SAAS  – Rita has extensive speaking experience with companies in the Software and SAAS areas, including ties to Adobe, IBM, Microsoft and Sungard. With companies in those arenas needing to rethink, and sometimes completely reinvent, their business models, a new playbook for strategy is essential. Rita has also been part of the digital strategy effort at consultancy Accenture and has collaborations with firms in the so-called ‘Bit Data’ space. Her ideas with regard to portfolio management, iterative software development and discovering true customer needs have resonated deeply with companies in this arena.

IT: Big Data and Big Data Storage – Major changes in how companies process, store and secure data are transforming not only how established companies need to do business but also who the competition really is. With the advent of the Internet of Things, it’s clear that massive new opportunities, as well as unprecedented risks, are soon to be upon us. Rita’s work on helping companies develop early warning indicators of changes, as well as helping create greater agility are extremely relevant here.

Insurance – Who could have foreseen a time when Google would actually go into insurance? What kinds of intermediaries will millennials want to deal with, if they don’t want to work with a broker? How are entrepreneurial firms and the advent of big data likely to transform the landscape? Rita has worked extensively with insurance and reinsurance companies to help them develop a point of view on topics such as these.

Investment Firms – Rita has often been selected by investment firms to help upgrade not only their own talent, but that of their portfolio companies in the areas of strategy and innovation. With the strategic considerations in the energy sector changing rapidly, fresh thinking and new frameworks are needed, badly.

For Meeting and Event Planners – Rita has often appeared as a subject matter expert and keynote speaker at some of the world’s most influential conferences, including the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, the Microsoft CEO Summit, the Drucker Forum and the Yale CEO Summit. She is one of Columbia Business School’s better-known professors and is much in demand for her ability to help conference participants come away from events with fresh thinking.