Earlier this year we discussed the importance and benefit of having a Growth Mindset and now we are exploring the related 4IR skill-ability which is your Adaptability Quotient.
A growth mindset is essential for developing greater flexibility and adaptability including other AQ traits such as … being open to new possibility, asking questions that explore beyond the given surface level, willing to unlearn and resist making decisions based on past experience and actively seeking out new experiences.
Essentially we are talking about your ability to pivot and launch quickly from a new mindset whilst functioning in uncertain circumstances. Perhaps we should be calling this a mind-flex rather than mindset? Neuroscience calls it neuro plasticity and as we move exponentially into the 4IR, certainty and the known are increasingly becoming the fixed mindsets of the past.
This AQ blog is going to take a slightly different angle in large part influenced by my natural curiosity in human behaviour and by recent discussions held at a Discovery business event in Sandton. I have made sure to also include some very well researched articles below, fully explaining what AQ is and how to develop more of it. The links also include New York-based Goldman Sachs vice-president, Natalie Fratto’s, popular TED Talk on the topic.
Back to the Discovery event where the speakers that night were all luminaries from Fintech and the Behaviour Sciences. The main theme centered on the ‘convergence of advancing technology and the social sciences’, which roughly translates as the study of technology on the human species and how this impacts our behaviour and the evolution of modern society.
The is fascinating especially when you consider how our brain is still ‘hard wired instinctually (fight-flight) and how we are not coping that well, mentally and physically, with the rapid changes brought on by technology. For example, one key survival tactic we developed along with language, is our ability to collaborate and from there we developed shared meaning ie cultural, social, religious. But we all know how the world over, humanity is at unrest and at odds on so many levels.
Homo Sapiens survived as the dominant species on planet earth in large part due a specific unique ability, despite Neanderthals larger size and brain mass. Our success as a species is due to our imagination …all the personal organisational and personal experts are saying it is essential we cultivate and utilise this ability to develop AQ. Einstein captured this unique trait well when he famously said “Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
As to the impact technology is having on some of our behaviour, we must look briefly at the past where we were driven by the need to live for as long as possible and to procreate so as to ensure the species continued. In 2019 we are more technically connected than ever with 5G about to take that to an exponential level, but socially we are more alone and separated which is not congruent with our inherent need to connect, procreate and collaborate so we connect technologically via Facebook and Tinder. What impact this will have, is having is still in the making but already EQ seems to be less prevalent with the younger generation as this essential life skill is passed on by human face to face contact. We see this in our corporate engagements and the increasing interest to develop EQ amongst staff. Our ever popular Beyond Thinking program has scores of people sharing the disconnect at work. I will share more next month on how this 3 day program includes the development of AQ.
Where to with all this? it seems we are being required to mutate faster as a species and AQ is essential for this if you want to live a life of purpose and meaning in a world of exponential change.
If you want to know more about our evolution and the impact of technology on us, then I highly recommend Homo Deus, a brief history of tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari. Also available on Audible.
As always it starts with You, and if I may ask, who is this You today?
ADDITIONAL AQ RESOURCES
Natalie Fratto’s TED talk on the subject of AQ.
As a refresher, the Growth Mindset, was explored earlier in the year in my blog and Colin’s vlog