“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change” – Charles Darwin. I was watching the movie Moneyball last night, and Brad Pitt’s character stresses the need to “adapt or die.” This quote surfaces in all kinds of different contexts and can be bent in many different directions to support various arguments and points of view. In the movie, the Oakland A’s had to adapt to be able to win any games in a sport where money monopolizes all of the talent.
Just like a baseball team, a business must learn to adapt in an ever-changing world. As a personal example, my department just lost a couple of good senior employees. We will have to learn to adapt to our new situation in order to stay successful. Even without turnover, businesses still need to adapt to their environment.
The prevalence of social media in everyone’s lives is a great example of a changing business environment. With the increasing popularity of Facebook pages, blogs, and websites for businesses, companies have to keep up with the demand for valuable content online. They must adapt or die.
Like Darwin’s survival of the fittest applies to the evolution of animals, only the most fit companies survive in the ruthless business world. This is why it is so important to do market research and environmental scanning in order to stay on top of the latest trends in your industry.
Successful adapters aren’t afraid to make some mistakes to reach another level. Failure can be good, otherwise we would never learn. These adapters are able to predict and plan for both losses and successes that come along with experimentation and a bit of risk.