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Here’s why being adaptable to change is the bedrock of success

SOURCE: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP
Are you a leader who can easily adopt new behaviors that allows you to cope with change?


By U2B Staff 

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An old adage notes that it’s not the strongest species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. And this still rings true today when adapting to change has become a matter of survival. 

Technology is developing at breakneck speed, which means today’s workforce has little choice but to get comfortable with change and ambiguity. 

New technology is constantly being woven into business practices. This digital transformation is changing the way we work, communicate, and do business; failure to adapt means being the architect of your downfall. 

Instead, change necessitates continuous learning and upskilling to ensure we continue to add value to our respective organisations, especially for those in leadership positions.

Some people are naturally more adaptable than others. They may be more receptive to change, can respond to it with a positive attitude, are willing to try and learn new things, and even adjust their working style to meet new demands. 

Conversely, those who are creatures of habits may find that they tend to thrive when following a routine, but their lack of flexibility can serve as a handicap that can come to the detriment of a company or their individual performance.

Ultimately, coping and adapting to change is easier said than done, which is why training in the area is important, especially for those who are managing and overseeing staff across an organisation, in addition to internal and external stakeholders. 

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Training can equip leaders with the tools to facilitate change 

Adapting to change entails unlearning and learning new things, developing new habits, and training yourself to have a new or different way of seeing things to facilitate your growth. 

There are many ways to better equip yourself to adapt to change. Many business schools offer executive education programmes that would help professionals develop the tools to change themselves or facilitate change within an organisation.  

Kellogg Executive Education, for instance, offers Leading Into the Future, which equips candidates with an understanding of key issues that arise during organisational transformation; developing tools for managing challenges, mitigating risk and balancing priorities; and learn new methods for motivating others, engaging teams and leveraging innovation and networks, among others.

INSEAD’s Leading Successful Change programme is meant to help candidates execute change more effectively in their organisation. 

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“You will learn about frameworks and tools that you can apply to lead change effectively; analyse different types of change – crisis, reactionary, anticipatory – and their different dynamics; and examine peoples’ attitudes towards change – from early adopters to hard-core resistors,” it said.

The programme is also designed to help candidates enhance their skills in the area of understanding peoples’ motivations, creating and sustaining a positive momentum for change and building broad networks of support.

Without a doubt, failing to adapt to change or to be open to it, can mean falling behind. As such, leaders must always be in tune with the times and adjust their sails to the winds of change or risk playing catch up rather than becoming a trailblazer in the field.