CoachX Conversations: Rita McGrath on Creating a Permissionless Organization

January 4, 2023 - 12:00pm to 12:30pm

To thrive in complex and uncertain situations, we know that organizations do best when those at the ‘edges’ – who are close to customers and markets – can make decisions independently.  A few organizations are figuring out how to do this by creating ‘permissionless’ structures, in which teams can self-manage, which speeds up responsiveness and boosts their ability to serve customers well. We’ll chat about this new research which is described in a Harvard Business Review article just out this month!


Rita McGrath is a best-selling author, a sought-after advisor and speaker, and a longtime professor at Columbia Business School. Rita is one of the world’s top experts on strategy and innovation and is consistently ranked among the top 10 management thinkers in the world, including the #1 award for strategy by Thinkers50.  McGrath’s recent book on strategic inflection points is Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019). Rita is the author of four other books, including the best-selling The End of Competitive Advantage (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013).

Since the onset of the pandemic, Rita has created workshops, strategy sessions and keynotes, applying her tools and frameworks to strategy under high levels of uncertainty to specific issues organizations are facing. As Rui Barbas, the Chief Strategy Officer for Nestle USA said, “You were incredibly insightful and, despite the virtual setting, there was lots of engagement and comments from leaders sharing eye-opening observations and building on your examples throughout. You delivered the inspiration and illustration desired and it was exactly the right focus and challenge for this team. Appreciate your time throughout the process to align on content and delivery. The future-focus theme was the perfect close to our leadership summit.”

Rita’s work is focused on creating unique insights. She has also founded Valize a companion company, dedicated to turning those insights into actionable capability.  You can find out more about Valize at

McGrath received her Ph.D. from the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and has degrees with honors from Barnard College and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. She is active on all the main social media platforms, such as Twitter @rgmcgrath. For more information, visit

Rita’s other books:

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Photo of Rita McGrath