The entire world and everything in it moves at a faster pace today than at any point in our history. From business to culture to fashion, we are hurtling forward at a breakneck speed that leaves the unprepared by the wayside. Those quick to adapt, though, are surging ahead.
Learning how to adapt is an essential skill that allows business leaders to make good decisions and be able to address complex problems in real time. However, in order to do so, we must be able to look at things from a distanced perspective and make rational choices. Here is how you can join them by engaging your adaptive side.
Learn to Learn. No change occurs without preceding indicators of what is to come. While most of us see them with 20/20 hindsight, an adaptive mindset recognizes that the signs are always there, waiting to be interpreted correctly. Learn to observe the prevailing environment for telltale changes in factors of the greatest importance for your company.
Cross-Learn. Adaptive learning is all about connecting the dots. A multi-skilled individual can see dots that are invisible to those only adept at a single specialty. Develop a personal multi-tiered knowledge base by working with different teams throughout your career. Extract the essentials from each experience and seek out opportunities to apply them.
Spread the Word. A single adaptive individual can be a catalyst that leads to a team of adaptive individuals and then to a company of them. The key is to espouse an adaptive mindset and apply it in a way that makes others sit up and notice. Engage the curious, share your insight, and show them what they stand to gain.
Listen. Two heads are better than one for ideas. It is not enough to have an adaptive mindset across your team—the magic only happens when it becomes a fountainhead of new concepts and revolutionary ways to do familiar things. Develop a culture of listening and create a feedback loop that reinforces your shared vision.
Leverage Technology. Technology tends to drive progress in every field. Familiarize yourself with the technology that currently affects, and could impact, your industry. Find creative ways to use the tech that already exists. Follow the news in related fields and speak to experts on the cutting edge to get a better understanding of what is to come. Remember, though, that technology is merely the medium; people are the force behind real change.
Possibility Before Certainty. Adaptiveness is all about agility. It centers on making the right assumptions based on reliable facts applied intelligently to the current circumstances. There are no guarantees without a crystal ball but gut instinct based on knowledge and experience is the next best thing. Trust your gut.
Would you like to learn more about how mindset impacts your ability to be an effective leader? Read my article How Your Mindset Shapes Your Attitude.