Author:Charpentier, Julia Ann
Position:Book review

Max McKeown (author); ADAPTABILITY; Kogan Page, Ltd. (Nonfiction: Business & Economics) 19.95 ISBN: 9780749465247

Byline: Julia Ann Charpentier

People are resistant to change and often fail to improve bad situations, a phenomenon that Max McKeown explores in Adaptability. This versatile book is officially classified as a business title, but the author's ingenious approach makes it useful in all endeavors, even in correcting a personal outlook that may be self-defeating.

The line drawn between private and professional is frequently blurred, since human conduct is at the controlling hub of business. McKeown has divided his text into three parts with seventeen rules, opening with catchy headings such as "All failure is failure to adapt" and "Stability is a dangerous illusion." His goal is to teach people how to win, rather than stagnate in a desultory competition. This author suggests changing the games and the rules themselves, making the world a better place for everyone.

Using diverse examples, including everything from ancient Greek history to international corporate fiascos and the fascinating activities of ants, McKeown illuminates why people act as they do -- what works, what doesn't work, what holds us back. This enlightening motivational tool helps the individual determine where a problem exists and how to fix it, especially in an organization. Though a header titled, "Swerve and swarm," might make a conservative cringe, the lessons learned from this section could help prevent "an unhealthy gap between need and behavior," or, in other...

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