Adaptability: The Art of Winning in an Age of Uncertainty
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.
committed to one way of thinking surrounded by those who appear equally fixed in their patterns of behaviour. Von Neumann showed how easy it was for fairly minor preferences for living among people like us can lead to radically segregated communities. These preferences can grow more dangerous in time as the mutual interests of segregated groups appear to diverge. When it seems natural for one group to prosper at the expense of another’s failure, great injustices can happen. Those playing a
concept that was now in 300 stores. By 2010, there were more than 1,300 locations globally. At headquarters in Illinois, the focus was on expansion through new stores. Where this proved difficult senior managers turned their attention to an acquisitions binge. In a year, they snapped up a bankrupt eatery chain for $173 million, bought into Pret A Manger, and bought three chains of coffee shops, pizza joints, and Mexican restaurants. In a couple more years, all but Pret had been sold again. It’s
world’s easiest making system, they are demonstrating revolutionary ambition. When they shout about the personal factory movement, they have introduced an idea that will not die even if they failed. Ponoko is a clever idea woven together with long-term human trends. We like to build. We like to find products that enhance our lives and solve our problems. Ponoko fulfils both needs. It’s hard to overstate their ambition. They want to make it possible for someone to turn their idea into a real-life
Hand in Basketball: Fallacy or Adaptive Thinking?’ Bruce D. Burns, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, 2003/2004. 8 ‘4G Glasses’, Jim Frederick, Time Magazine, 25 November 2002. 9 ‘Hong Kong’s Poorest Living in Coffin Homes’, Benjamin Gottlieb and Kristie Hang, 26 July 2011, cnn.com 10 ‘Hong Kong’s Pre-Eminent Social Housing Pioneer Honoured in the UK’, 28 June 2011, www.dur.ac.uk 11 ‘Penthouse Slums: The Rooftop Shanty Towns of Hong Kong’. Available at:
because they include a number of scientists who have asked questions that directly relate to mine. Intriguingly they are often working in isolation from each other. They have asked their questions from within their scientific speciality and do not appear aware of findings from elsewhere. This book brings some of those theories together, across disciplines, for the first time. It combines those discoveries with my own independent insights. If you want to dig deeper into those academic fields use