MACPA’s Business Learning Institute Hosts Top Business Thinker to Help CPAs Find Competitive Edge in 2014

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Rita McGrath, recently named as the sixth most influential business thinker in the world comes to Maryland on January 30, 2014 at the BWI Airport Hilton Hotel from 9:00 am-1:00 pm.

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Rita McGrath says, “For too long the business world has been obsessed with the notion of building a sustainable competitive advantage… But it’s now rare for a company to maintain a truly lasting advantage.”

The Business Learning Institute (BLI) today announced a special live and virtual event designed to help CPAs and C-suite executives learn and apply the latest strategic thinking in a rapidly changing and complex world.

On January 30, 2014 at the BWI Airport Hotel in Maryland, BLI will host Rita McGrath in a special four-hour program from 9:00 am-1:00pm titled, The End of Competitive Advantage. The program will feature McGrath followed by a panel of CPAs (CEO, CFO, managing partner, global company CFO) and a working session for participants to create their “2014 Competitive Edge Playbook.” All participants will receive a copy of McGrath’s latest book, The End of Competitive Advantage – How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business; she will be available to sign copies in the morning.

Kicking off BLI’s quarterly thought-leadership series, Rita McGrath was just named the sixth most influential business thinker in the world by Thinkers50. McGrath was also named “one of the top 25 smartest women to follow on Twitter” by FastCompany Magazine. She is Associate Professor of Management at Columbia Business School and has been featured in Harvard Business Review several times.

BLI has worked with McGrath to develop a webcast series that covers the key to a competitive edge in a “transient advantage” economy. Forthcoming webcasts in the series will feature topics around the top five critical competencies for CPAs researched by the Business Learning Institute (Leadership, Communication, Strategic Thinking, Collaboration, and being Technologically Adept).

“The slow/no-growth economy since the Great Recession of 2008 has created significant challenges for many businesses and CPA firms. This new normal requires CPAs and business executives to think differently. That is why we are excited to bring a world-class business thinker like Rita McGrath to Maryland,” said Tom Hood, co-founder and CEO of the Business Learning Institute.

McGrath makes the case that, “Strategy is stuck. For too long the business world has been obsessed with the notion of building a sustainable competitive advantage… But it’s now rare for a company to maintain a truly lasting advantage. Competitors and customers have become too unpredictable, and industries too amorphous. Stability, not change, is the state that is most dangerous in highly dynamic competitive environments. It's typical for leaders to deny there is an issue until far too late, at which point there is an ‘all hands on deck’ full-blown crisis."

The program covers Rita’s latest thinking about strategy and how to implement such strategy at an organization or for clients. Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to the End of Competitive Advantage
  • Discovery-Driven Planning
  • Business Model Competition & Disruptive Innovation
  • Living with Complexity and positive Disengagement

“Our research from town halls, managing partner and CFO roundtables confirms that uncertainty, complexity and keeping up with the rate of change are major issues facing CPAs,” said Tom Hood, CEO. “This program is designed to help them develop and expand their strategic thinking skills to help them lead their organizations and advise their clients better in this hyper-competitive and rapidly changing marketplace.”

Registration details for the live and virtual events can be found here:

About the Business Learning Institute
The Business Learning Institute (BLI) is the leading provider of customized, competency-based curriculum and education for the Finance and Accounting Profession. Founded in 1999 by the Maryland Association of CPAs, BLI is an innovation and learning center facilitating the development and sharing of competencies and strategic knowledge required for leadership in today's rapidly changing business environment.

For more information, please visit Follow BLI on YouTube (, Twitter @BLIonline, and Slideshare

About the Maryland Association of CPAs
The MACPA exists to provide the resources and services that CPAs need to excel in their profession. The Baltimore Business Journal and Washington Business Journal have named the MACPA as one of the top five largest networking organizations in Baltimore and D.C. for each of the past five years.

Contact: Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA: tom(at)macpa(dot)org / 443-632-2301

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Bill Sheridan
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