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Out of Print--Limited Availability.

Adaptability: The Art of Winning in an Age of Uncertainty [Digital]

Max McKeown
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Out of Print--Limited Availability.

Edition: e-document (Learn more)
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Editorial Reviews


"This is a book of our times and the call for adaptability could not be clearer or more urgent. Whether we can respond with clarity and purposefulness is up to us but Mckeown's book gives many clues and clear and helpful examples of those who have succeeded (and failed) to do exactly that. I came away from reading this with a sense of both urgency and hopefulness; and without doubt a more certain view that I can, and must, create more opportunities at work to adapt to the enormous changes facing our industry and economy. I love the idea of 'learning fast'!" George Kelsey, Chief of Innovation at The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Book Description

Survival rules for the real world of business --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Digital
  • Publisher: Kogan Page (February 25, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1280495065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1280495069
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond "adapt or die" June 28, 2012
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change." Charles Darwin

Max McKeown presents his material within a three-part framework that focuses on these strategic objectives: How to recognize the need to adapt? (Chapters 1-6), How to understand necessary adaptation? (Chapters 12-17), and How to adapt as necessary? (Chapters 12-17). As Abraham Maslow suggests with his "Hierarchy of Needs" (usually portrayed in the form of a pyramid), man must first survive before giving thought to security; and only when secure can man consider "self-actualization" (i.e. personal fulfillment). McKeown's primary objective in this book is to help his reader to understand when, how, and why to adapt "faster and smarter than the [given] situation changes." He accepts Darwin's concept of natural selection but asserts, "Adapt or die is not the only choice. In the future, you can try to maintain what you already have, or you can attempt to transcend the constraints of your situation. We're part of a long chain of adaptive moves. Each move has changed the circumstances of our ancestors, until we arrived." How to learn how to adapt?

In response to that question, McKeown provides an abundance of information, insights, and counsel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great examples of adapting and not adapting October 4, 2012
Great book on understand change and how it may challenge you on many levels. Timely and true examples of adapting and not adapting in recent history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strategic explanation of winning by adapting September 18, 2012
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond "Adapt of Die" May 21, 2012
I read a ton of business books and most are either lacking in substance or lacking in steps to go from point A to point B. Honestly, the writing style of Adaptability threw me at first, but once I got into it, the excess number of examples were not a problem. Max seriously did his research for this. He draws on some interesting historical situations to prove his points. Rule #2 (Embrace unconventional wisdom) reminded me of my father, a rogue entrepreneur. He always said to never listen to those who said it can't be done but to those who said what if we could.

All-in-all a great book and one that sparked more thinking for sure, Adaptability is almost a lost art that should be taught in school at young age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeping You Motivated May 17, 2012
By ChrisG
Format:Kindle Edition
When you run your own company, or you're responsible for leading people and/or motivating, it's important to keep yourself in a positive mental state.

In order to keep positive, one of my chosen tactics is to read motivating/energetic books. And I have read hundreds of books - quick reads such as the E-Myth and various coaching books by John Wooden and such, and longer reads on psychology and emotions. Max's book is one of those quick motivating reads that can help keep mental momentum.

Max uses analogies and common examples to make points. Having been in business now for almost 2 decades, it's not stuff I haven't seen before but I have found that I need to read similar material from different sources to keep my ideal engine fresh.

I think this book could do that for you and help keep you in the right frame of mind and keep you energetic about ideas and execution in a world of rapid change.
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