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The Adaptation Advantage
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Table of Contents

Foreword xiv Introduction xix Breaking with Identity to Seize the Adaptation Advantage xix So What's Changing? xx How Did We Get Here? xxi How Big is the Challenge? xxii The Adaptability Gap xxv Amid Rapid Change, Keep Calm and Adapt On xxvi So What's in This Book? xviii Who is This Book For? xxix Notes xxx Part I: Adapting at the Speed of Change 1 1 The World is Fast: Technology is Changing Everything and Planting Opportunity Everywhere 3 Wait a Second 3 Technological Climate Change 5 Environmental Climate Change 8 Climate Change of the Market 10 The Force of Three Amplifying and Interlocking Climate Changes 12 Notes 15 2 The Only Things Moving Faster Than Technology are Cultural and Social Norms 17 Shifting Ground Beneath Our Feet 17 From Linear and Local to Exponential and Global 19 Race 20 Religion 22 Age 23 Family 25 Gender Identity 25 Truth and Trust 26 Consent and Power Shifts 28 Death of Distance Reshapes Human Relationships 30 So, Who are You? Occupational Identity and Expertise 30 Notes 32 3 You're Already Adapting and Not Even Noticing 35 We've Already Begun to Outsource Our Memory 35 People Aren't Horses 37 Atomization, Automation, and Augmentation 38 Atomization in Action 39 Automation in Action 39 Augmentation in Action 41 Putting Atomization, Automation, and Augmentation Together 41 Notes 46 4 Getting Comfortable with Adaptation: The Slowest Rate of Change is Happening Now 47 The Power of Pause 47 From Scalable Efficiency to Scalable Learning 48 From Stocks to Flows of Knowledge 53 From Learning to Work to Working to Learn Continuously 54 Identifying Patterns to Build Bridges 56 Notes 60 Part II: Letting Go and Learning Fast to Thrive 63 5 What Do You Do for a Living? The Question That Traps Us in the Past 65 The Questions That Limit Our Identity 65 The Identity Trap 71 How Identity is Formed 71 Narratives Can Trap Us in the Past and Limit Our Future 73 Gender, Narratives, and Identity 73 The Confidence Gap 74 Identity is Never Done 77 An Occupational Identity Crisis Isn't Limited to Job Loss 78 Notes 80 6 Finding the Courage to Let Go of Occupational Identity 83 What Does the Parable of the Three Stonecutters Have to Do with You? 83 The Day 1 Mindset: You are a Prototype; Start with Why 85 How Job Loss Can Be a Gain 89 Modeling Vulnerability: We Share Our Hard Lessons 91 What Do You Do Now? 95 Notes 95 7 Learning Fast: Why an Agile Learning Mindset is Essential 97 Learn Fast-What Does That Even Mean? 97 What Do We Mean by Learning? First-, Second-, and Third-Generation Learning Organizations 98 The S-Curve of Learning: Explore, Experiment, Execute, Expand 99 The Curse of Expertise: The Challenge of Unlearning 102 The Iceberg: The Substance Beneath the Surface 102 Identity: The Core of the Adaptive Mind 103 The Agile Learning Mindset 104 The Enablers: Uniquely Human Skills 108 Why We Need the Agile Mindset: The Broken Education-to-Work Pipeline 111 ABL: Always Be Learning 114 Notes 114 8 Rise of the Humans: Developing Your Creativity, Empathy, and Other Uniquely Human Capabilities 117 Play is the Way Forward 117 The Uniqueness of the Human Drive to Learn and Create 119 The Predictive Markets Declare Future Skills Favor Humans 122 Understanding Uniquely Human Skills 127 Chasing STEM at Our Peril 128 The Skills Battleground: Humans Need Apply 132 The Return on Being Human 133 Return on Humans for All Jobs: The Special Power of Empathy 134 Evolving Beyond Shareholder Value: The Purpose of a Company 135 To Maximize Human Potential, Place the Human in the Center 137 Notes 139 Part III: Leading People and Organizations in the Evolution of Work 143 9 Leading in Continuous Change: Modeling Vulnerability, Learning from Failure, and Providing the Psychological Safety that Builds Trusting Teams 145 You are at the Wheel 146 Leadership, Power, Cookies, and Chickens 146 What Makes a Modern Leader? 153 Transformational Leadership 167 Transformational Leadership and Change Management Models 168 Leading with Fear: The Burning Platform 170 Putting It All Together 173 Notes 173 10 The Adaptive Organization: Creating the Capacity to Change at the Speed of Technology, Market, and Social Evolution 175 What Should We Measure? 175 The Power of the Culture and Capacity Focus 177 Culture at the Core 177 Capacity: Culture's Partner 184 Capability and Context: The Scissors Metaphor 186 In Accelerated Change, Focus on the Inputs Rather Than the Outputs 187 Becoming a Learning Company 190 Notes 193 11 Capability is King: Looking Beyond the Resume to Design Your Adaptive Team 195 No More Little Boxes 195 The Job Description is History 197 Job Descriptions Become Traps 198 Fire Your Job Description 200 Hire for Cultural Alignment 205 Hire Adults and Let Them Do Their Jobs 208 Turn the Right People into Great Teams 209 Embrace Cognitive Diversity 212 Get Comfortable with Failure 214 Live in a State of Continuous Learning 215 Manage a Multigenerational Workforce 216 How Do We Get from Here to There? 217 The New Leadership Imperative 218 Notes 219 12 Getting Ready to Seize Your Adaptation Advantage 221 Notes 223 Additional Resources 225 Books 225 Videos 226 Acknowledgments 227 About the Authors 229 Index 231

About the Author

HEATHER E. MCGOWAN (www.heathermcgowan.com) is an in-demand, internationally known speaker and Future of Work Strategist. She assists corporate clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies in rethinking their business models, teams, and organizational structures to become resilient in changing markets. CHRIS SHIPLEY (www.cshipley.com) spent thirty years entrenched in the technology industry as a journalist and technology analyst, observing and predicting business and social transformations brought about by digital innovation. She advises companies on positioning, business modeling, and innovation practices, and serves on the boards of several startups and advisory panels.

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