Aggressively pursuing Adaptive Intelligence: This might just be the most important thing you do!

By Keith Coats

The Problem:

Having the capacity to adapt to whatever comes next is essential. It is as important for individuals as it is for entire organisations and the basic DNA of ‘how to be adaptive’ in both instances, is the same. Problem is that not many of us are intentionally and consistently building the capacity of adaptive intelligence and our failure to do so could lead to catastrophic results. It is a little like wanting to be physically fit, hoping that we are but doing nothing to ensure that in fact we are fit.

The Solution:

So how can we go about developing greater adaptive intelligence?

There are four elements that make up what we mean by ‘adaptive intelligence’. These four elements we refer to as the, ‘ ‘DNA’ of Adaptive intelligence. Understanding the DNA of adaptability allows us to be intentional in developing the capacity to be adaptive. This is good news and by being deliberate in our pursuit of adaptability we are developing an essential life / organisational skill.

Below are the four elements and with each one a question for your consideration:

#1. Learning to live with change and uncertainty

Question: What is your ‘threshold’ (be that personally or organisationally) for change?

#2. Embrace different types of knowledge for learning
Question: How can you ‘mix up’ the means whereby you / the organisation learn?

#3. Nurture diversity for resilience
Question: How diverse is your circle of friends / team and how can you enhance that diversity?

#4. Create opportunity for self-organisation
Question: In what area/s might you ‘do less’ and allow others to self-organise?

Of course these four elements invite far deeper reflection and engagement however, simply knowing what they are is an important and significant first step forward. They are the ‘exercises’ that if done, will unlock the fitness (adaptability) that you will require. They could be great discussion points with your team – take one per meeting and really delve into what it means in your context. Identify actions that can be done as you pursue the particular point and then track what happens over time.

Reference: Gunderson & Holling: The four elements discussed where sourced from their research into the adaptability of coral reefs in the Pacific.

Free webinar - The DNA of Adaptive Intelligence

Join Keith Coats (author of today's tip) as he hosts a free webinar, this Wednesday 8th August as he spends an hour helping us better understand 'The DNA of Adaptive Intelligence' and how to be ready for what comes next.

This webinar will explore the ‘DNA of adaptive intelligence’. Everyone is telling us that both individuals and organisations need ‘to be adaptive’ but what does this actually mean?

Evolutionary biology teaches us that it is not the strongest or fittest (and to that we could add those with the biggest market share or deepest pockets) that will survive but rather, those who are most adaptive.

This webinar will explore the four key elements of adaptive intelligence and provide practical insights as to how we can build this capacity at both a personal and organisational level.

There can be no more important topic in bridging today and tomorrow.