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How Can You Become An Adaptive Leader (With A Game Plan)?

Before the pandemic, agility was a foundation of success. But now, the world is a very different place. Leaders face new challenges from insular silos to hybrid work and climate change. And the rapid rate of change means leaders can no longer wait for more and more data before making decisions to move.

Adaptive businesses now outpace agile ones. An adaptive business initiates change; an agile business reacts to it. Operational flexibility is more important than speed.

Research shows that remote and hybrid work has improved intra-team collaboration however reduced inter-team collaboration, making it easier to be agile and harder to adapt.

The burning question is, "how do leaders continually adapt and update their plans as the world rapidly changes around them?"

What’s your game plan?

A game plan is a carefully thought-out strategy or course of action, as in politics, business, or one’s personal affairs¹. 

Having an agile game plan is essential for success. However, being an adaptive game planner is essential for sustainable success over the long term.

The goal of an adaptive leader or game planner is to consider all the options and create alignment on what is necessary to deliver their strategy.

Consider the Einstein quote, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”

How long do you spend thinking about the problem?

Adaptive leaders use an innovative mindset and active discovery to look beyond the actual question. In other words, adaptive leaders ask, “what is the question that is most important to answer” not “what is the best tool, template or model to use”. 

For example, employees working in a high-rise office building may complain that the lifts are slow and ask: 

How can we get a faster lift? 
The solution would likely be expensive, disruptive and likely to be rejected.

But is that the right question to answer? By reframing the question, solutions become possible:

How can we change our habits and spread lift use across the day to avoid bottle-necks? 
Staggered work hours and lunch breaks, encouraging the use of stairs for lower floors, or having communal supplies on multiple floors are all practical solutions that are more likely to be adopted. 

By reframing the question, we can identify and solve challenges through a well-thought-out course of action, developing skills for sustainable success.

Where do you start?

Making change happen starts with a people-first approach. Explore tools and resources for innovation, healthy collaboration and thriving teams. 

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