The Adaptation Advantage

The Adaptation Advantage

Let Go, Learn Fast, and Thrive in the Future of Work

Wiley, 2020 more...

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Future of work experts Heather E. McGowan and Chris Shipley argue that while technology may be the engine for massive change, humans remain in the driver’s seat. Only people have the “organic cognition” required for creativity, collaboration and adaptation. Acknowledging a new era of unprecedented uncertainty, McGowan and Shipley posit a future in which humans share knowledge and build meaningful workplace cultures.


Technology is transforming the world of work faster than ever.

The world is undergoing three “climate changes” – in the environment, in the market and in technology – which are forcing people to become more adept at adapting. Jobs change so quickly that your current job may not exist in 18 to 24 months. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty believes that artificial intelligence (AI) will likely transform 100 percent of jobs in 10 years. The world is on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which cyber and biological systems will combine to create a completely digital economy. Change is now happening faster than ever in human history. As New York Times writer Thomas Friedman puts it: “Later is over.” To avert catastrophe for the next generation, humans must adapt, now.

Market climate change is on the horizon. Currency, collaboration and contracts, among other transactions, will all become digital and move at the speed of light.

The three climate changes will reshape ethics, community, geopolitics, politics, work and education. A “left” and “right” political choice will give way to governments that are responsive...

About the Authors

Heather E. McGowan and Chris Shipley are leading voices in the Future of Work movement and have been collaborating on the nature of work, culture and innovation since 2015.

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