Check it out what you will find on this article about Adaptability Quotient:
- What Does Adaptability Quotient Mean?
- Creating a Culture of Adaptation in Your Company
- A few ways to prepare your organization for change
- A Team that Perpetually Learns is Always Ready For Change
First it was intelligence quotient. Then emotional quotient became all the rage. And if you have been keeping up with online trends, then you must be aware that adaptability is the new ‘it’ thing that will make or break companies. While adaptability quotient can seem like a passing fad, we wager this one is something that you need to take seriously.
A species ability to evolve and change with changing natural conditions is what ultimately dictates whether it survives or goes extinct. And we have some really incredible examples of adaptation at work in nature. Kangaroo rats for instance can survive entirely without drinking water while Alaskan wood frogs can stop their hearts at will in winter and simply thaw back to life during spring. Indeed, life always finds a way out!
As it turns out, there is a lot that we can learn from the natural way of things here and the latest emphasis on adaptation indeed is only just father Darwin having the last laugh. Like intelligence, adaptability is a skill that you can learn and become better at. Here’s how…
What Does Adaptability Quotient Mean?
The term Adaptability Quotient first appeared in Forbes Book’s white paper – Adapt or Die which defines AQ as the ability to adjust course, product, service and strategy in response to unanticipated changes in the marketplace.
Says tech investor Natallie Fratto in a TED Talk – “We’re entering a future where IQ and EQ both matter far less than how fast you’re able to adapt. Adaptability itself is a form of intelligence, and each of us has the capacity to become more adaptable. Think of it like a muscle… It’s got to be exercised.”
The white paper posits that businesses often crumble under their own weight in the face of technological advancement and heightened customer expectations for better speed, relevance, quality and accuracy. Companies that refused to acknowledge market change and adapt their business models to evolving consumer demands is what ultimately killed them.
For the record, AQ hasn’t quite achieved the same stature as IQ and EQ just yet. As such, it also sometimes refers Adversity Quotient which while seemingly similar is quite different from how we are using it.
Creating a Culture of Adaptation in Your Company
By far the biggest obstacle to instituting adaptability quotient in your company is the natural aversion to change that almost everyone has. People like the safety of a predictable routine and when asked to step outside of it, are bound to respond with either fear or revulsion.
But, there’s opportunity hiding in uncertainty as well. So, while most people will respond to change with hostility, they can be trained to see it in a more positive light. The first order of business is therefore ensuring that the idea of the inevitability of change is molded into a company’s employee development initiative.
The key question that you need to answer each person’s WIIFM, or, what’s in it for me? When confronted with change, the first question that anyone will ask is how will this change affect me? Will it make my life harder or easier? Will I still have a job when the new measures are instituted?
A few ways to prepare your organization for change
Make trend monitoring a priority
While change is famous for coming unannounced, more often than not there will be signs way in advance, provided you listen. Looking for online sources such as news and Google Trends are great way to stay up-to-date.
In addition, consider following thought leaders in your field. Many times they will share information that points to a new direction that the industry is either taking or is about to take. Your network can also help you get good quality information. LinkedIn and Facebook groups in your industry will likely discuss issues of consequence so consider following them if you are not already.
Encourage what-if scenarios
While typically understood as panic-attack and anxiety trigger, (controlled) what-if thinking can help you envision all the different ways in which your business can be threatened. Brainstorming alternative scenarios and situations can help you come up with a better future proof product or service. Ask your team members to come up with as many what-if situations as they can with respect to their work and ask them to share their ideas during team meetings.
Start from the top
A company’s employees are only as ready for change as their management is. Each department’s manager will inevitably be confronted with questions regarding a changed direction or strategy. They not only need to exhibit confidence, but should be prepared to answer all the team member’s inquiries.
Consider asking all managers to assess how prepared for change their teams are. Why is the change happening? Is it absolutely necessary? How will the new direction look like? What benefits can we expect? How long will it take? Answering questions such as these will help increase your company’s adaptability quotient.
Address the hard questions
Tuning a company’s adaptability quotient will mostly seem like a cultural thing, but it will affect your finances, operational procedures and management style as well. Effective leadership changes with situations and constantly tries to adapt itself. A certain degree of financial buoyancy management nimbleness and structural fluidity needs to be ingrained into the fabric of your organization in order to make it weather, adapt and respond to changes in a timely fashion.
Modern organizations are moving to agile work methodologies, devops and horizontal/flat management hierarchies precisely because these are most adaptable. By keeping roles fluid, people and resources can be dynamically assigned to new projects and then reassigned to their old roles when the challenge has been addressed.
Arm your teams with the tools needed for change
Part of the reason why teams fail to adapt is because they are limited by the tools they have. When you’re using a combination of different email clients, spreadsheets and documents in different formats, getting a clear picture is going to become really hard, making responding to change that much harder. Such antiquated work practices fall flat in the face of increasing digital disruption.
Modern cloud based productivity tools such as Runrun.it are preferred today because they help collate all different documents and messaging under one roof so that information can be retrieved fast. They are also well suited to a remote teams as they can access the software from any location.
A Team that Perpetually Learns is Always Ready For Change
A good adaptability quotient requires constantly learning, taking a step back and asking what are we really dealing with here? Accurate solutions are possible only when we’ve had a chance to properly diagnose the problem. In a fast paced world such as our own, we often tend to rush in with poorly thought out actions resulting in the problem always persisting.
So while slow and easy might seem like the way forward, the reality is that change is now happening faster than ever. Skills are going obsolete in months rather than years, automation is becoming ubiquitous in every industry and more people moving to a nomadic way of life where they work with many clients simultaneously. To survive in the modern market, a company needs to work on its adaptability quotient so that it can navigate such an elaborate labyrinth of working styles, expectations and technological change.
Runrun.it is a cloud based productivity tool that helps companies create, delegate and track tasks with incredible ease. Our intuitive time and task tracking tools are built from the ground up for remote teams that need to work on different time zones. Don’t take our word for it, though. We offer a free trial so, go ahead and give it a whirl!