The Adaptation Advantage is possibly the best book I have read in 2020 and will be on the top of my best reads list at the end of the year. The authors McGowan and Shipley present a framework for digesting the complexities of the Future of Work. They start by suggesting that we understand our “why” before we decompose the strategies of how to solve challenges in our future. They suggest that it’s easy to peer into the rearview mirror and repeat our past, but that technology-driven change is driving us so fast that we will need more agile and predictive skills to transform to our desired future.
Chapters 1-9 laid the foundation but Chapters 10-12 created, for me, an epiphany. The epiphany painted a vision of the synergy of culture, capacity, and creativity. How culture is our why and capacity is our growth and creativity is our renewal. The final chapters make a compelling argument for why diverse multi-cultural, multi-generational, multi-discipline, and cognitively divergent teams are needed.. Why it is important to believe that we, as humanity, can solve the complex problems that will face us as long as we stay adaptable, curious, and are willing to fail while continuously working to learn.
How do we develop a global workforce that pivots and adapts to changes as fast as the transformations occur? We must learn to mine for opportunity by being flexible using tools we have in our tool kits. Or we may need to pivot by abandoning old tools and skills that no longer serve us for newer ones more suitable for our future. There are those that will become astute at adding value but the real winners in the future will be those that create value from new innovations that expound on our culture, our purpose, our reason for our tribal existence. We need to create within humanity a talent pool of believers in our purpose that listen, think, learn, adapt, change, grow, and repeat the continuous learning cycle. We need diverse and divergent thinking teams to lead that talent pool into an ever-changing world where mankind and machines co-exist – and thrive.
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