Adaptability: The Art of Winning in an Age of Uncertainty

Max McKeown


This revolutionary new book harnesses the essence of human survival – the ability to adapt – to help people succeed in business and all other aspects of life.

Through natural selection, humans have adapted unconsciously to their environment. Strategy and innovation expert, Max McKeown, draws on millions of years of evolution to create a practical and strategic set of rules which take adaption from an involuntary coping strategy to a deliberate winning strategy.

To show how adaptability works McKeown looks at a rich set of examples, problems and situations. He includes the 15-year old geneticist working from his basement, and the Italian town that said no to seemingly inevitable change. Along the way, he visits the adaptation of Western technology to the social structures of sub-Saharan Africa and explores how quantum games may solve the world's trickiest problems. He looks inside global corporations like Starbucks, Netflix and McDonald's to see how they flirt with extinction, create internal barriers to adaptation, and adapt to transcend their situation.

Adaptability proves that innovation is important but not enough. Strategy, branding, marketing and operations are all useful, but insufficient. And highlights that the ability to adapt smarter and faster than the situation changes is what makes the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win. 

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