The Adaptation Advantage Book Summary - The Adaptation Advantage Book explained in key points
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The Adaptation Advantage summary

Heather E. McGowan Chris Shipley

Let Go, Learn Fast, and Thrive in the Future of Work

4.4 (260 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

In 'The Adaptation Advantage', Heather E. McGowan and Chris Shipley argue that our rapidly changing world requires us to constantly adapt and evolve. They provide tools and examples to help us stay ahead of the curve and succeed in the new economy.

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    The Adaptation Advantage
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    Things are changing fast at the moment – and you’re already adapting.

    Not to freak you out or anything, but if you think things are changing fast now . . . just you wait!

    The rate of change is increasing exponentially. Which means that right now is actually the slowest rate of change you’ll ever experience.

    Here’s just one example of the huge-scale changes that are underway.

    When you think of the biggest populations on Earth, you probably think of China and India. But what about social media populations? 

    There are 2.2 billion Facebook users, compared to China’s 1.34 billion people. And 1.9 billion YouTubers, compared to 1.23 billion Indians. 

    WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger also beat India when it comes to population size. And these are communities that have sprung up over just a few decades.

    And there are other changes too. Demographically, huge shifts are taking place in the Western world in terms of race, religion, gender identity, aging populations. While attitudes towards issues like racism and sexual harassment have changed almost overnight. So it’s hard to imagine where exactly we’ll be in a decade’s time.

    And when it comes to changes in the workplace, there’s, of course, the impact of technology, but that’s been going on for a while now. Computers have been changing the workplace for decades. So have smart digital assistants – like PalmPilot which launched wayback in 1996. 

    And there’s a good reason for this change: machines are genuinely better than humans at routine and well-defined tasks. That is just a fact. 

    But this doesn’t mean we’re about to lose our jobs to robots, in fact, we might say the opposite is true. Think about all the ways that technology already helps you in your work. Most of us use phones or laptops daily, we stay connected with people all over the world. You might use platforms like Upwork or Fiverr to outsource work, platforms that help you break down big tasks into smaller, more manageable units – also known as the atomization of work.

    Meanwhile, tech is also behind the automation of many work processes, from batch-sending emails to automatically updating calendars. We use tech in some cases to enhance human capabilities, a concept called augmentation. Just think of surgical robots helping doctors in ER – or of GPS systems allowing drivers to navigate their city quickly. 

    So, yes – tech is rapidly changing the workplace. But we are accommodating it. And it’s helping us. Thanks to these three A’s - atomization, automation and augmentation - tech is far from stealing our jobs, it’s actually giving us back precious moments which we can re-invest in ourselves; from learning new skills to re-prioritizing romantic relationships. 

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    What is The Adaptation Advantage about?

    The Adaptation Advantage (2020) explores how to navigate the future of work – without worrying about the robots taking over. It provides actionable insights on how to tap into uniquely human attributes like adaptation to excel.

    The Adaptation Advantage Review

    The Adaptation Advantage (2021) explores the importance of adaptability in a rapidly changing world and highlights how individuals and organizations can thrive by embracing change. Here's what makes this book worth reading:

    • With insightful analysis and case studies, it sheds light on how adaptability can lead to long-term success and competitive advantage.
    • The authors provide practical strategies and frameworks that can help readers develop their adaptability skills, making the book actionable and relevant.
    • Through compelling storytelling and thought-provoking examples, the book keeps readers engaged and challenges them to reconsider their approach to change.

    Who should read The Adaptation Advantage?

    • Workers worried about the rise of the machines
    • Managers and business owners seeking new perspectives
    • Futurologists fascinated by what’s coming next

    About the Author

    Heather E. McGowan is a speaker and strategist specializing in the future of work. She’s helped employees and leaders of Fortune 500 companies prepare for and adapt to jobs that don’t yet exist.Chris Shipley is a journalist and technology analyst with more than 30 years of experience. She has consulted hundreds of companies on business modeling and innovation practices.

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    The Adaptation Advantage FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Adaptation Advantage?

    The main message of The Adaptation Advantage is the importance of adaptability in today's rapidly changing world.

    How long does it take to read The Adaptation Advantage?

    The reading time for The Adaptation Advantage varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Adaptation Advantage a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Adaptation Advantage is a valuable read for anyone seeking to thrive in the face of change. It provides practical insights and strategies for harnessing the power of adaptation.

    Who is the author of The Adaptation Advantage?

    The authors of The Adaptation Advantage are Heather E. McGowan and Chris Shipley.

    What to read after The Adaptation Advantage?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Adaptation Advantage, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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