Tuesday Tip: Practical advice on building adaptive intelligence

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Tuesday Tips

Following on from Keith’s newsletter article last week that looked at how to develop greater adaptive capacity in your team we thought it would be useful to use today’s Tuesday Tip to provide you with a practical action item to move yourself and your team forward with building the capacity for adaptive intelligence. 

Building adaptive intelligence:

We hear a great deal of talk about the organisational need to be flexible, nimble, quick, agile and responsive… in other words, to be ‘adaptive’. The capacity for adaptability might be the single most important attribute for your organisation’s survival in a world of constant change and disruption. Intentionally developing the capacity for adaptability is the leader’s responsibility. An important one at that!

The Solution:

There are several fundamental aspects to adaptive intelligence but one of these ‘essentials’ is the ability to question assumptions. The influential philosopher, Bertrand Russell said, “In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

It is the ability to question business assumptions from operational aspects of your business through to structural assumptions; from internal aspects of your organisational culture to external factors that impact on your market. It might even extend to your assumptions concerning your entire business model.

In the quest to be future-fit assumptions big and small need to be challenged – which assumptions are challenged is like the choice of lifting a 5kg weight or a 20kg weight as part of the exercise regime.

So, list five aspects of your business that ‘you have taken for granted’ and over your next five leadership / management meetings spend 15 minutes challenging the assumption (what it is you have taken for granted).

I would suggest spreading it out over several meetings as this is about developing a ‘way of thinking’ rather than simply ticking a list.

Challenging five things you take for granted will contribute to building the core capacity of adaptive intelligence. Doing so on a regular basis will develop that fitness to the point that when it really matters – you and your team will be ready…you will be (future) fit!


TomorrowToday’s Tips on Tuesdays are weekly emails that offer short practical tips on how you as a leader or organisation can succeed in this fast changing world. Topics include leadership, understanding different generations, parenting, adapting to change, technology that helps you and anything else our team think will help you make this world we work in a better one for all, including crowd control. You can subscribe here.

Drop us an email to book leadership expert Keith Coats, author of today’s Tuesday Tip, to present at one of your upcoming conferences or team meeting.

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