Super-Flexibility for Real-Time Adaptation: Perspectives from Silicon Valley

by Homa Bahrami, Stuart Evans



Real-time adaptation is crucial in today’s unpredictable world. A plethora of revision triggers force organizations to adapt to a fluid reality. This article suggests that leaders need to develop the capacity for real-time adaptation since it is impossible to anticipate and plan for every eventuality. Super-flexibility is one way to achieve real-time adaptation. The term is an umbrella concept that encompasses agility and versatility, as well as resilience and robustness. In a practical sense, it is a dialectical capacity of withstanding turbulence, like a camel surviving in desert conditions, while transforming, like a chameleon changing its color. Based on the second edition of the book Super-Flexibility for Knowledge Enterprises (Springer, 2010) and distilling the authors’ experience in Silicon Valley, this article describes the conceptual foundations of super-flexibility, and presents five action principles for becoming super-flexible.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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