Adaptability in Uncertain Times

In today’s uncertain economy, and ever-changing workplaces, certainty is more difficult to achieve – and less useful – than ever before. Embracing uncertainty, and loving it, will bring you closer to living and working in the present, more adaptable and resilient.

  • Uncertainty is a potentially positive state and a ‘source of possibilities’ for investigation.

Being comfortable with uncertainty helps shift your over-thinking – or not thinking – into an explorative mindset that imagines alternatives.

Your adaptability quotient or AQ – is different to IQ and EQ. It is not IQ, how well you know facts or EQ, how you manage your feelings. It is how well you use these to adapt to change.

Adaptability can be learned and it can be determined by your ability to respond to the following three things.

  1. What if?

Can you imagine multiple possibilities and create simulations of future scenarios?

  1. Active unlearning

To unlearn patterns of thinking, do you apply a beginner’s mindset to new challenges?

  1. Focus on exploration

Will you avoid doing what you’ve always done that won’t always work in the multiple versions of the future?

Finally, these will all help you to –

  1. Embrace uncertainties

Try thinking of uncertainty as an opportunity, rather than a problem or barrier.

When we focus on certainty, based on what has come before, we are less able to adapt to change. We live in a rapidly changing world and in life, business, corporations and government and we are being forced to adapt to change.

Uncertainty is the bedrock of living creatively, innovatively and being adaptable and resilient. “I can handle what comes my way” is a mantra that reminds us that we can take in information and situations fully, and respond appropriately with growing confidence.

Each day we encounter experiences, even in the most mundane of tasks. Open-mindedness allows us to recognise differences and surprises –each of which offer the chance to adapt and respond more in the moment.

Exercising adaptability can take a while, and simulation speeds this process up. Through learning in-practice with roleplaying scenarios, the learning experience is visceral and fast-forwards our adaptability quotient.

For information of how Roleplay Australia can utilise roleplaying and simulation for you and your group, contact us.


For more see:

1 Hart, W., Tullett, A.M., Shreves, W.B. & Fetterman, Z. 2015, ‘Fueling doubt and openness: experiencing the unconscious, constructed nature of perception induces uncertainty and openness to change’, Cognition no. 137, pp. 1-8.

2 Natalie Fratto’s excellent TED talk.