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Adaptable companies do the very hard work of discovering what their business is really about. The answer to that question is in most cases elusive or counterintuitive.
If you ask an average car-making company for instance, what its business is about, they will probably tell you: -“making and selling cars, DUH!” And they will be missing the whole point. This is that they are probably in the business of moving things from point A to point B, so as to tell a different story. This story could open the compass to a whole new array of activities that can range from skateboards to teleportation machines (and thus, this puts themselves in a pro-adaptability attitude instead of a reactive and harmful one.)
Let’s take an example of an adaptable organization: Google. If you ask them the very same question, their answer will not be something like “our business is about providing an internet search engine”. Instead, they will cite their exciting purpose: “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
A similar outcome you may get from Virgin. They are not in the music business, nor in the airline business, or space-flights, or mobile telecommunication, but (probably) in the business of designing and delivering awesome customer experience.