What’s the Adaptability Quotient and Why is it Important?
Step aside IQ and EQ, there’s a new quotient in town.
For years, it’s been believed that one’s intelligence quotient (IQ) is the sole predictor of one’s success in life, but it turns out this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, according to Amin Toufani, beyond the first two years of the job IQ isn’t a predictor of success.
And this isn’t the only research to show IQs limited correlation to employee success, other articles such as Does IQ Really Predict Job Performance? By Ken Richardson and Sarah H. Norgate also warn about the consequences of assuming IQ can accurately predict employee performance.
After years of similar findings, IQ was all but thrown out the window and quickly replaced by the new and improved quotient, emotional intelligence (EQ).
EQ is defined as a person’s ability to understand people and work cooperatively with others.
Finally, there was a way to equate for the ‘people side’ of business and EQ became particularly useful in guiding leadership and employee development in the workplace.
While EQ boomed in the 90s and 2000s it still missed the mark in understanding what made some employees more successful in their jobs than others.
Enter adaptability quotient (AQ), the way of the future.
While IQ and EQ are still important factors of employee growth, they don’t act as an accurate indicator of overall performance—especially in today’s exponential economy.
As technology continues to redefine the way we work faster than we could ever imagine, the skills we need to succeed in today’s job market continue to evolve at an equally accelerated rate.
In this fast paced world it’s no longer enough to assume that the professional skills that you learn at the beginning of your career will last you well throughout your entire career.
Instead professional skills will become obsolete faster than ever before and employees must continuously develop their work competencies.
As a result, our AQ will soon become a primary predictor of career success and that’s why we need to start talking about it NOW.
AQ will soon become a primary predictor of career success.”
In this article, I discuss what AQ is and why it matters to you. You will learn why AQ is important for individuals, teams, and within your startup’s business strategy.
Table of Contents:
What is AQ?
While AQ is still considered a form of intelligence it differs from EQ and IQ.
Since AQ is the new kid on the block there is still no universally agreed upon definition of it which can make it very difficult when trying to understand just exactly what it is.
The general consensus is that it’s used to measure performance in the workplace and assess individual potential.
Amin Toufani defines AQ as the ability to realize optimal outcomes based on recent or future change.
Thornley and Slater define it as measuring the abilities, characteristics, and environmental factors which impact the successful behaviours and actions of people and organizations to effectively respond to uncertainty, new information, or changed circumstances.
The common theme found among both definitions is that AQ generally refers to one’s ability to respond to change.
The ability to change your thoughts and behaviours in a productive way in your response to change is the defining factor of AQ.
To understand how adaptable you are take this small quiz. 👀
This ability to adapt to change can be applied beyond an individual level as well.
Continue reading to learn why adaptability matters within a team setting, a leadership setting, and within your startup’s business strategy. 👇
Why Adaptability Matters in Your Team
The fact that our environment is constantly changing around us is not only true at the individual level, but at the team level as well.
In fact, having an adaptable team is a key identifying factor in having an overall high performing team because of their increased capabilities and improved team culture.
Teams that are able to change to the environmental demands of the market are better able to leverage their business ahead of the competition.
They do this in two ways:
1. By identifying new competition early on in the market.
2. By having a better understanding of the market and what target customers need and want.
Additionally, teams with greater team adaptability also have improved team culture which naturally increases team performance.
Teams with greater adaptability know that they can rely on each other despite any unforeseen circumstance and this gives them a greater sense of trust and psychological safety.
Through this greater sense of trust and safety each team member is able to perform to the best of their ability which influences the entire team as a whole.
Why Adaptability Matters in Leadership
You can’t have an adaptable team without first being an adaptable leader.
In fact, it has been shown that leaders with higher adaptability quotients also have teams with higher overall AQ.
This is because people have a tendency to repeat the same behaviours that they observe.
… What can I say, “monkey see, monkey do.” 🤷
When you act as an adaptable leader you not only set a good example for the rest of your team, but you’re better able to coach them in their own individual journeys of adaptability.
👉 To learn how you can better support your team check out my Youtube Video Coaching Skills For Manager to Coach Their Teams Better | Fahd Alhattab
When you understand something at a higher level it makes it easier to teach to others.
Why Adaptability Matters for Business Strategy
If your business is unable to adapt to change it will quickly fail and become obsolete.
That’s why it’s essential to have a business strategy that embraces change rather than one that assumes stability.
Businesses must learn how to be disruptive.
By adding adaptability into your business strategy, you will proactively respond to and predict change.
The ability to predict change puts your business ahead of the competition by building new products and becoming market leaders. That’s how you develop a winning business strategy.
This article has shown you that AQ is here to stay and something you need to care about. You want your startup to endure the new landscape of the technological age. By increasing your ability to adapt to change in your team, your leadership, and your business strategy you put your business in the driving seat.