Adaptability is a requirement for human survival. The ability to adapt smarter or faster than the situation is what allowed the species to survive and flourish. In his new book, Adaptability: The Art of Winning in An Age of Uncertainty, Max McKeown argues that adaptability is an equal requirement for corporate survival. As the pace of change quickens, many companies find themselves unable to keep up. McKeown uses several case studies to illustrate his thesis: Blockbuster’s inability to adapt to consumer demands, which led to being outpaced by Netflix. Border’s inability to see the way online retailing forced a change in business models led to closing its doors and admitting defeat by Amazon.
McKeown argues that an executive can develop a plan; the truly great leaders know how to react to new events and new possibilities. But this kind of adaptability doesn’t happen naturally. McKeown explains how organizations can increase their ability to see the need to adapt, understand what adaptation is needed and lead their organization through the transformation. There are many books on strategy, one even written by McKeown, but Adaptability is different. In Adaptability, McKeown explains why the science of strategic planning might just give way to the art of reacting…or adapting.