Final summary

The key message in these blinks:

Adaptability is all about looking ahead, reading the signs, and using the prevailing winds to chart your course. Once you’ve mastered that art, you can plan ahead and avoid being caught off guard by sudden changes. That’s especially true in business. The most successful companies consistently demonstrate an ability to change with the times, experiment with new solutions and adapt themselves to customers’ changing desires and needs. 

Actionable advice:

Believe in the impossible.

What stops us adapting? Well, nothing throttles innovation like the belief that some things are simply impossible. Take it from American biologist George Church. He was convinced he could design a machine that could decode the entire human genome. Ignoring the naysayers, Church pressed ahead with his vision and constructed his device. While the procedure initially cost a staggering $3 billion, Church managed to reduce the price to just $5,000 over the years. Today, there’s a real chance that it might become affordable enough to be integrated into routine medical testing, opening up the possibility of all sorts of medical breakthroughs!

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What to read next: Team of Teams, by General Stanley McChrystal with Tantum Collins, David Silverman and Chris Fussell

As you’ve learned in these blinks, organizations thrive when they’re adaptable and able to respond decisively to new risks. Few people know that better than General Stanley McChrystal, a former US Navy SEAL who cut his teeth in high-risk environments, where agility can mean the difference between life and death. 

So if you’ve enjoyed this look at adaptability in action, why not dip into our blinks to Team of Teams, a study of what adaptable teams can do for your business.