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Importance of Adaptability in Times of Change
Although the full impact of COVID-19 is yet to be determined, it certainly has affected both the global economy and our everyday lives. The three biggest areas of disruption that we’ve seen as a result of the pandemic are: the changes we’ve seen with the initial outbreak, the suspension of business and school operations and the recession that resulted from them. And the three areas that helped save the day were remote work, online education, and e-commerce. These technologies were already ascending before COVID-19 happened. It was more about adopting existing technologies and being agile in the face of challenges that were most important rather than embracing them once the pandemic started.
The truth is that adaptability was an important survival skill even before the pandemic, given all the changes in the economy that were requiring people to shift jobs, move to different countries or switch schools ever so often. The idea that we believed everything was going to be stable was unreasonable. The future was never certain — unexpected shifts are always around the corner, whether in personal life or in business.
It’s vital to understand that companies don't fail because of changes in the environment, but rather because their leaders are unprepared to deal with said change. Adapting to change is what keeps us relevant and at the forefront of competitive edge. Most businesses can survive if they are able to learn quickly and adjust their models to new realities.
Here are three best practices on how business leaders can adapt to change:
1. Focus on what you can control
Adaptability is required first and foremost when circumstances change. It’s easy to get attached to certain outcomes, especially when they’ve been planned long in advance. But we can’t predict the future. Being attached to something might hurt productivity as nothing is fixed and static. Non-attachment doesn’t mean giving up on goals — it means focusing on what you can control. It’s more about having a goal and consistently working towards it.
There are many things we can’t and never will be able to control. So, why focus on them? Why allow them to take your energy and mindshare? Creating a clear picture of what you want and then going after it is a much better strategy.
2. Develop mental toughness
Mental toughness is a skill we all can build. Even though developing new habits and working in new ways is always uncomfortable, we can train ourselves to respond better to change.
We have to recognize that we won’t get it right every time. The more comfortable we get with poor outcomes, the more we can learn from them. Many of us are reeling from more cancellations and suspensions, but we can’t let ourselves stay bogged down by our feeling of disappointment. Instead, we should focus on accepting new reality, learning from it as much as we can, and keep moving forward. Whether you want to survive a global pandemic or reach the next phase in your career, it’s hard to overestimate the importance of adaptability.
3. Embrace low-code development
Transformational change will continue to accelerate in the new decade and beyond. It’s easy to stay focused on the crisis that’s in front of us. But the opportunity cost of not adapting for the next one is real, even if you can’t see it. This is where the flexibility of low-code comes in. The most important capability for any organization to invest in right now, is the ability to adapt and innovate quickly.
Low-code development platforms allow for transformations that are fast, which enables users to meet their requirements better and be at an advantage in meeting deadlines and project goals. Low-code platforms make it much easier to keep up with market changes and stay up-to-date on industry developments and trends.
When you're adaptable, anxiety about the future can drastically reduce, allowing you to react to pressing issues more wisely. When you anticipate changes and adjust your attitude and expectations accordingly, changes don't need to disorient you, they become just another expected part of life. Focusing on what you can control as well as developing mental toughness and embracing low-code, are good ways to improve your adaptability skills.