Max McKeown – How to Shape your Future


Max McKeown PMI Synergy 2014

Max McKeown at PMI Synergy 2014

On the 14th of November Max was the last speaker at the PMI UK Chapter Synergy 2014 discussing How to Shape your Future.

Max McKeown works as a strategic adviser for four of the five most admired companies in the world. He is a well-known speaker on subjects including innovation and competitive advantage. His latest book, The Innovation Book: How to Manage Ideas and Execution to Deliver Outstanding Results was published in June 2014 and is the follow-up to The Strategy Book.

Max opened by questioning our assumptions of stability, “Stability is a dangerous illusion, except that it is also the standing assumption.” Change is constant and a project that assumes that its context will remain the same is destined to fail, in his talk Max uses the image of waves to illustrate the choices we have when we are confronted with change.

We can choose to be stranded, we can choose to sink, we can choose to be smashed or we can surf it.

Max expands this to call out members of the work force who resist change or don’t use the resources and people around them to help them catch up with and surf the change.

Max makes some interesting points about culturally ingrained behaviors, “We call the best and the worst of them Best Practice, we say this is a list of the things you must know and this is the way that you must behave. As though those things will never change.” This means that when a situation is high stress we tend to rely on previous behaviors whether those were successful or not causing repeated mistakes.

He goes on to talk about future thinking, market placement and the way we can change the way we react to those changes in a way that will help us chose and manage our futures.

To check out this and more content from PMI Synergy 2014 on the Development package of The PM Channel.

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