An adaptive mindset is the only effective approach to dealing with constant uncertainty in the world of work. Learn why this is critical when applying it to a range of issues you encounter at work.
- Change is all around you, in the news, in the technology you use, in the way entire industries are becoming disrupted. But as workers, we don't always adapt to those changes as quickly as we could. Now that may have been acceptable in earlier times, when change was slower. But today, adapting to change is a critical skill set that all workers need to learn right now, today. In fact, as a manager, you're probably working in an organization that's subject to dramatic change, whether it's because your field is being disrupted, or because your organization is going through a major transition, such as a merger, acquisition, upsizing or downsizing.
Even if you think you're in an industry that isn't changing dramatically, there's no guarantee that there won't be a sudden change soon. In the early 1990s, few people predicted that industries like media and entertainment would become so rapidly disrupted. So don't think that you're immune. As industries, technologies, and the very nature of work changes, it's inevitable that the rules of managing work are changing as well. Now imagine that you're guiding a boat down a relatively placid stream, with only the occasional ripple to make you sit up and take notice.
Now suppose that suddenly you find yourself in a rapids with water churning all around you, and with constant twists and turns, and the now roaring river, I mean you can't see what's ahead of you. Contrast the skill set required to steer that fast-moving boat versus the skills needed to guide through placid waters. It's a totally different context for guiding to a successful result. Keeping your head while the waters are roiling around you requires a new managerial skill set, so you can achieve the best possible results in chaotic times and continually adapt to the completely new challenges of the rapids around the next bend in the river.
In the old days, we mapped out our plans for navigating the future with five and ten-year plans and phone book sized instruction manuals, but those days are gone. Managers need to be far more adaptive in the way they approach their work and in the way they prepare their workers for an uncertain future. Managers need to learn a completely new set of strategies for guiding their teams through those uncertain waters. I call this an adaptive mindset. It's the only effective approach for dealing with constant uncertainty.
You can learn this mindset and you can learn how to apply it to the range of problems that you're going to encounter in your work.
- Characteristics of adaptive workers
- How to be an adaptive manager
- Honing self-management skills
- Developing proactive workers
- Importance of goals in adaptive work
- Developing and supporting remote workers
- Empowering adaptive workers to solve problems
- Collaboration and adaptive teams