Look at your desk. Is your stapler, or tape dispenser, or favourite pen in a particular place? Do you like having the stapler lined up a certain way? Some people prefer having their 'desk tools' organised and in the same spot every time. While your adaptability is more than just your stapler, maybe it's time to see how adaptable you are. 

When you attend a board meeting or sit down at lunch, does everyone seem to sit in the same places? Do you have a favourite seat, and do you feel a little put out when it's already taken? Humans are creatures of habit, but fortunately, we have the great capacity for change.

Let's Never Revisit The Stifling Rules Of The Industrial Age

The Industrial Age of the past had a rigid style of leadership. Managers and bosses had ultimate power, and work conditions were often miserable for labourers. Strict rules were in place, and everyone knew exactly what was expected of them. Speaking out or expressing a dissenting opinion was not allowed. 

Change was slow in this period, partially because of the stifling control the managers and owners and bosses exerted. But gradually, workers started to demand a greater say in their work, and managers were forced to adapt. 

In today’s world, it's important to be able to adapt to business conditions, especially as technology zooms along. We have to be careful not to get too comfortable with our habits.

Saying that 'you always did it this way' brings you dangerously close to the thinking of the past Industrial leaders. Challenge the status quo and expect yourself to be better each day. Listen to new ideas. Move things around. This adaptability will improve your professional life as well as your personal life. 

Adaptability is not just about change, it's about how we change ourselves to fit into new circumstances or a new environment. Don't have the fearful 'can I keep up' thoughts, but rather a sense of adventure and curiosity. Businesses must learn to adapt and respond quickly to be most effective in the Imagination Age. 

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for.
We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

How Adaptability Relates To Agility

Adaptability is one of four pillars under the competency of Agility in the i4 Neuroleader Model. Developing your ability to be flexible and your capacity to modify the course of action when facing ambiguous situations are at the core of adapting to changing conditions at work and in life.

The i4 Neuroleader Program will teach you how to challenge your brain to create new neural pathways and become more agile in this fast paced world.

5 Tips For Adaptability  

  1. Step outside your comfort zone
  2. Be an early adopter
  3. Move your furniture around or reorganise your office space
  4. Interact with younger generations
  5. Allow others to implement their ideas and see what happens  

Humans are meant to change and evolve. It's hard-wired in our DNA to adapt to our surroundings. While habits are comforting, they can also keep us in narrowly-defined roles.

Step out of your comfort zone and move that stapler. Take a new route to work, and be more open to new ideas. Even small steps can lead to great changes. 

Originally posted on: 7 September 2017
Last updated on: 18 February 2024

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Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.

Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.

Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership

In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.

Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

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