In a fast-changing world, the ability to adapt quickly to any situation is becoming a vital asset for everyone. Adaptability: The Art of Winning in an Age of Uncertainty by Max McKeown offers many insights in to how you can adapt more successfully using real-life examples.
Environmental disasters, war, failing businesses and rapid technological advances all have an impact on a person’s ability to adapt, some people survive and others do not. Some try to maintain the status quo and others reach for something greater. It all comes down to the choices we make, and our ability to recognise when we need to change what we are doing and do it, preferably in better, smarter ways.
I was on page five of this book when Max McKeown’s words struck a chord in me, when he says: “It’s fairly common for people to know what’s necessary and still not do what it takes.”
He goes on to explain that the outcomes of adaptation, or the lack of it, can be summed up with four words: Collapsing, surviving, thriving and transcending.
My favourite quotes in this book are: “You can think your way to a better future”; “The most successful adaptors are curious” and “Stability is a dangerous illusion”.
Adaptability is well written and well executed. The ideas Max McKeown puts forward are easy to understand. There are mind-blowing examples of individuals and well known companies adapting to and transcending new circumstances, and it is often a small change that has had the biggest impact. He also explores the importance of timing, doing the right thing at the right time, and empowering those around you.
Adaptability is all about looking reality in the face and not shying away from it. It’s about thinking differently and acting differently. It’s about being brave and experimenting, knowing that each mistake you make is an opportunity to learn and keep riding the waves of change, and not an opportunity to give up, or worse stand still knowing full well there’s a better way to do something.
A must-read in a time of uncertainty.
Reviewed by Pam Mcllory