There’s not a workplace in existence today which disregards adaptability. The best ones consistently promote dynamic, creative working cultures designed to catalyse positive change.
Hiring managers, too, prize adaptability as one of the most desirable traits a prospective candidate could possess.
Simply put, stagnation is anathema to 21st century working cultures. Those who are complacent simply set themselves up to fall behind fast by failing to adapt.
Count yourself out of that group: take up SSA Academy’s WSQ course on adapting to change, and check yourself against the 6 best practices of the highly adaptable. Are you doing enough to ride the flow of change?
The single most important asset a highly adaptable person owns is a forward-thinking mentality.
They aren’t just looking at what’s ahead of them; they’re always making sure they have what it takes to get there. That means having a mind that’s habituated to searching for opportunities for growth.
Failures aren’t failures; they’re successes in finding out what’s counterproductive to growth. There’s no time to ruminate or obsess about what could have been.
Constructive criticism is more than welcome; without it, it’s impossible to fine-tune yourself and keep raising your standards.
Learning new skills isn’t a task reserved for those at the bottom rungs of the corporate ladder; it’s an avenue towards higher competencies and performances.
The point is that the growth mindset comes down to the power of habit. It’s a matter of actively rewiring yourself to seek growth instead of stagnation.
Black Panther’s Shuri said it best: “Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.”
Settling for what’s always worked best isn’t what’s going to put you ahead of the curve: innovation and experimentation will.
The trial-and-error process that that entails might seem costly in the beginning, but it’s nowhere near as costly as staying put with the hope that doing the same things in the same ways will somehow churn out better results faster.
And since change starts from the self, experimenting with personal productivity techniques is a good way to start. Here’s some that’ll help you out.
Expecting to experiment once or twice before coming upon the magic solution is just as unrealistic as it sounds, yet that’s what most people do when they fear failure.
Because of how paralysing the fear of failure is, it’s much easier to convince yourself you tried your best after a few attempts and throw in the towel instead of keeping at it. It even helps to preserve your self-perception as a relatively competent person.
Experimentation, though, isn’t about preserving the ego. It’s about having the resilience to keep trying and keep adapting until you find what you’re looking for.
The most adaptable among us don’t have a unique gene that renders them immune to fearing failure. They’ve just attuned themselves to disregard it in the interest of progress.
Having the emotional intelligence to switch from one viewpoint to another is just as crucial to adaptability as developing the mental resilience for it.
Whether you’re working as a team on a comprehensive marketing plan to reach your target audiences or individually to write copy that speaks to people regardless of gender, race, or age, you need to be able to take yourself out of the equation in order to fully inhabit the shoes of the other person.
That requires the cultivation of empathy, an open mind, and the willingness and ability to listen without judgment.
You’re ready to try something new. You’ve done all your research, covered all the bases and narrowed it down to one particular option that keeps standing out to you no matter how many times you survey the possibilities.
It’s tempting to jump in with all your eggs in one basket, but it isn’t viable either, considering how the first try isn’t normally fruitful.
Adaptability is the science of trying new things, and like any science, it requires efficiency in execution and the minimisation of risk.
Adaptable people make sure they have a few alternatives in mind each time they try something new, to save themselves the trouble of going back and forth between the drawing board and the field, and to spread out their risks.