What’s in it for me? An analysis of adaptability in action.

What do Allied defense departments battling Nazi Germany in the Second World War, the creators of the iconic Mini Cooper, and Starbucks have in common? In one word, it’s adaptability – the ability to change with the times and piggyback on technological and social innovation to achieve success. 

Adaptability is a skill that’s becoming indispensable in today’s frenetic world of business. Markets and consumer tastes are fickle, and nothing is as likely to land you in hot water as complacency. That’s something business strategist Max McKeown knows a thing or two about from his work with clients like Microsoft and Sony, who’ve mastered the art of anticipating the future and changing course accordingly. 

But don’t just take his word for it. In these blinks, we’ll analyze adaptability in action everywhere from a small Italian village battling post-financial crisis austerity measures, to the boardroom of a multinational coffee chain and the post-war British car industry. 

Along the way, you’ll find out 

  • why Ford turned down a US government bailout proposal in 2008;
  • how Netflix almost came unstuck by pushing adaptability too hard; and 
  • why it sometimes takes a radical to do the right thing.