Rating

7

Qualities

  • Innovative

Recommendation

Organizational success and failure can be reduced to one thing, or so argues management consultant Max McKeown in his scientific and cultural look at adaptability around the globe and through the ages. If groups can’t change and adapt appropriately, they can’t succeed. McKeown offers case studies from companies you know, such as Starbucks, providing insight into familiar story lines. Some of his other examples aren’t as famous but are just as compelling: He looks at civil war in Liberia, computer game development and Italian bureaucracy to flesh out his 17 rules (which would be just as good without those few swear words) for adapting and, thus, succeeding. McKeown’s rules are eye-catching, but they don’t always connect smoothly to the stories or to a plan of action. As such, some of the book works better as a history of adaptability than as a manual for acquiring that skill. Still, an eager reader can tease out techniques and ideas for becoming more adaptable, and McKeown offers warm, inspirational tales that provide general road maps for successful adaptation. getAbstract believes leaders of companies small or large looking to motivate their employees or themselves will find value here.

Summary

Three Steps Toward Adapting to Win

Success relies on adaptation. But adjusting to change or adapting your perspectives and methods isn’t enough to guarantee success. Simply surviving won’t do the job either. Adaptation requires flexibility and much more. So how do companies and people embrace adaptability? How can more people win? Look to the “science of adaptation,” along with culture and technology, to learn what moves people to adapt successfully. Change can be deliberate or not, successful or not; it may work for a group or not, and make people happier or not. Regardless of the results, purposeful adaptation follows three steps: seeing the need to adapt, figuring out how to change and making the necessary modifications. Taking all three steps requires work, attention and creative thinking, but the reward is that you can avoid collapse, assure survival and thrive successfully, perhaps even transcending your visions of what winning could mean. Follow these 17 rules to adapt:

1. “Play Your Own Game”

Success isn’t rigid. Winning comes in countless modes. You might need to grow – or shrink – to win, but you must personalize your success. This part of adaptability...

About the Author

Management consultant and coach Max McKeown is a popular speaker and the author of The Strategy Book, Unshrink and The Truth About Innovation.


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