Adaptability Eats Good Ideas for Breakfast

By Andrew Jennings, CCO

coffeCharles Darwin once said; “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, but the most adaptable.” This quote, I feel, has particular significance in business. Adaptability is everything – look at brands like Blackberry, once the powerhouse of handheld communication, but slow to adapt to market demands and new competitors. The speed of change for business is at an all-time high. This requires businesses to be more adaptable, more creative and more strategic than ever to compete in today’s marketplace. Driving sustainable growth has become a challenge for many organizations.

To be a company that can adapt to changing market conditions, changing technology and cultural shifts, it is imperative to continually think in new and different ways, engage in lively debate around new ideas, and make well-informed decisions that produce quantifiable results. So, ideas, good ideas, and lots of good ideas are the fuel for adaptability.

How Your Good Ideas Can Fuel Adaptability

Good ideas must come from a place of creativity. Almost everyone has the ability to be creative, so how can an organization foster creativity, and generate the next big idea?

  1. Have a Vision – A clearly articulated and well-understood vision will ensure the whole organization or team are pulling in the same direction. This results in ideas that are typically well-aligned with the overall objectives.
  2. Culture – A corporate culture dominated by glory seekers and tyrants will stifle even the most creative individual. Ensure the person who initiated a good idea is recognized, and not just the department (or worse still, department head.)

Allow even the most unrealistic ideas to be aired and considered. There is often a golden nugget hidden in there.

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Introduce corporate values that support new ways of thinking. For example, one of our customers has “Fail Forward” as a value. This encourages people to try something new and if it fails, to learn and move on instead of dwelling on what went wrong.

  1. Build / Improve – Very few ideas are great right out of the box. Focus on how to build on an idea, rather than the all too often “That won’t work” response. Sometimes even the most unrealistic ideas can be formed into something workable and occasionally, become truly great.
  2. Avoid Analysis Paralysis – Sometimes an idea surfaces that feels like the right thing to do but there is insufficient data to support it. When this happens, find a way to move forward. Collect data along the way, adjusting the original idea as you go.

Work needs a certain amount of healthy stress. An organization that reduces unnecessary stress will encourage creativity, resulting in better ideas and greater adaptability.  Improved, sustainable results will follow.

Our most Fearless customers embrace change as a business imperative. They proactively engage in fostering a culture of creativity and new ideas. Executives at these companies realize they can’t possibly have all the answers. They rely on their teams to come up with new ideas to make the organization more agile. In turn, they are able to compete and win, in what is widely regarded as the Fourth Industrial Revolution that we are living in.

Let Fearless Thinking fuel your good ideas and give you the adaptability needed for success!