What is Adaptability?
"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything"
- George Bernard Shaw
We live in a VUCA world, a constantly changing world, becoming more unstable by the day, where major and minor changes are becoming more unpredictable - and they are becoming more dramatic and occurring at a faster rate. It's becoming increasingly difficult to discern cause and effect when events unfold in unforeseen ways. It's becoming more challenging to anticipate events or predict how they'll play out; historical forecasts and past experiences are losing relevance and are rarely helpful in projecting the form of things to come. As the path ahead grows increasingly unknown, it's becoming practically impossible to plan for investment, expansion, and growth.
The modern world is more complicated than it has ever been. What are the justifications? What are the consequences? Problems and their consequences are more complex and challenging to comprehend. The various layers are intertwined, making it tough to understand how things are connected. Decisions are reduced to a tangled web of reaction and counter-reaction, making it nearly impossible to choose the single proper path.
"One size fits all" and "best practice" are relics of the past; things are rarely entirely apparent or perfectly determinable in today's environment. Grey is also an option if you don't want everything black and white. The demands on modern organizations and management are more conflicting and paradoxical than ever before, putting our own values to the test. Making judgments demands courage, knowledge, and a willingness to make mistakes in a world where the "what" takes a back seat to the "why?" and "how?"
Therefore, the need for adaptability has never been greater than it is now. The ability for people, teams, and organizations to adapt to changes in their environments, stay relevant and avoid obsolescence is the defining characteristic between success and failure, growth and stagnation, business and bankruptcy. However, an adaptable organization depends on adaptable individuals. Flexible employees who are willing to flex their behaviors adapt to their leaders' directions and embrace accountability towards the necessary change.
1Accessed 17 Dec 2021, https://www.vuca-world.org/
2 Forbes, 3 Sep 2015, Jeff Boss, 14 Signs of an Adaptable Person, Accessed 17 Dec 2021,https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffboss/2015/09/03/14-signs-of-an-adaptable-person/?sh=17be5a316eaf
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