The Importance of Adaptation During Difficult Times

By: Peter Albano

Twice a year, the Account Management team comes together for our offsite to take a moment of pause from our day-to-day responsibilities to discuss new ideas and some old ones.  Back in January we revisited some of our core values to reinforce our commitment to Peer to Peer Feedback and the best ways to communicate both internally and externally.  We also brought to light and tackled a relatively new idea, the Adaptability Quotient.  I’m sure most of you are familiar with both IQ and EQ.  Here at Unified we strongly embrace and look for individuals that demonstrate a high Emotional Intelligence.  A majority of us here at Unified read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman during our first few weeks joining the team.  The book speaks to why the application of empathy is so important in this world.

So what is Adaptability Quotient?

It’s the next frontier, the measure of how skilled you are in making intentional change in an environment that is evolving at speed.  When we were discussing this new practice back in January, we never could have guessed that it would be so applicable three months later.

Here we are -  our offices are closed across the country, travel to our clients’ offices has been placed on an indefinite hold, and there is new meaning to the shared workspace.  The times that we are in now can be extremely challenging and difficult not just for the world’s workforce but Moms and Dads, students, and essential workers.  However, over the past month I’ve found myself coming back to the topic of Adaptability/AQ and why now more than ever this practice is the way of our future.  Our daily lives have been turned upside down and we need to be adaptable in order to move forward.  Adaptability involves flexibility, curiosity, the ability to pivot, and most importantly, problem-solving. It seems that rather than in the near future, we need to hone these skills now.  The great thing about Adaptability is that it’s not predetermined, which means we are able to learn these skills over time.

Here are some ways that we can focus on improving our adaptability:

  1. Think about the big picture
  2. Self reflect / Self Awareness
  3. Experiment and Learn
  4. Ask different questions
  5. Be open to different perspectives

Some other key ways we can work on our adaptability is to react to unanticipated changes in the marketplace or world and see them as new opportunities instead of obstacles. Experiment with different approaches rather than following your regular routine.  Learn a new skill that you’ve always wanted to master. Welcome adaptation so when you are presented with a challenge you can address it effectively.

In our current state of video conferencing instead of in person meetings, working in isolation rather than with our peers, and facing the unknown, we could control and focus on a few things; one being embracing and adapting to this adversity.

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