The Adaptation Advantage: Let Go, Learn Fast, and Thrive in the Future of Work

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John Wiley & Sons, Apr 14, 2020 - Business & Economics - 272 pages

A guide for individuals and organizations navigating the complex and ambiguous Future of Work

Foreword by New York Times columnist and best-selling author Thomas L. Friedman

Technology is changing work as we know it. Cultural norms are undergoing tectonic shifts. A global pandemic proves that we are inextricably connected whether we choose to be or not. So much change, so quickly, is disorienting. It's undermining our sense of identity and challenging our ability to adapt. But where so many see these changes as threatening, Heather McGowan and Chris Shipley see the opportunity to open the flood gates of human potential—if we can change the way we think about work and leadership. They have dedicated the last 5 years to understanding how technical, business, and cultural shifts affecting the workplace have brought us to this crossroads, The result is a powerful and practical guide to the future of work for leaders and employees. The future can be better, but only if we let go of our attachment to our traditional (and disappearing) ideas about careers, and what a "good job" looks like.

Blending wisdom from interviews with hundreds of executives, The Adaptation Advantage explains the profound changes happening in the world of work and posits the solution: new ways to think about careers that detach our sense of pride and personal identity from our job title, and connect it to our sense of purpose. Activating purpose, the authors suggest, will inherently motivate learning, engagement, empowerment, and lead to new forms of pride and identity throughout the workforce. Only when we let go of our rigid career identities can we embrace and appreciate the joys of learning and adapting to new realities—and help our organizations do the same.

Of course, making this transition is hard. It requires leaders who can attract and motivate cognitively diverse teams fueled by a strong sense of purpose in an environment of psychological safety—despite fierce competition and external pressures. Adapting to the future of work has always called for strong leadership. Now, as a pandemic disrupts so many aspects of work, adapting is a leadership imperative. The Adaptation Advantage is an essential guide to help leaders meet that challenge.

 

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Contents

The Only Things Moving Faster Than Technology Are Cultural
17
Youre Already Adapting and Not Even Noticing
35
Augmentation in Action
41
The Slowest Rate
47
From stocks to Flows of Knowledge
53
notes
60
The Identity trap
71
Finding the Courage to Let Go of Occupational Identity
83
Modeling Vulnerability Learning
145
What Makes a Modern Leader?
153
transformational Leadership
167
Putting It All together
173
Cultures Partner
184
Becoming a Learning Company
190
The Job Description Is History
197
Hire for Cultural Alignment
205

How Job Loss Can Be a Gain
89
What Do You Do now?
95
The Challenge of Unlearning
102
Uniquely Human skills
108
Always Be Learning
114
The Predictive Markets Declare Future skills Favor Humans
122
Chasing steM at our Peril
128
The special Power of empathy
134
Leading People and Organizations in
137
embrace Cognitive Diversity
212
Getting Ready to Seize Your Adaptation Advantage
221
notes
225
xiv
231
143
234
xviii
237
5
238
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

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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