Adaptability – it’s arguably one of the most important skills you can have because it helps you be able to thrive in any situation. You’ve probably heard these kinds of sentiments expressed many times before to the point that they’re almost cheesy, but you have to be able to adapt and change to your environment and everything that happens in both your little corner of the world and the world at large. That’s a lesson a lot of people and businesses had to learn the hard way in 2020 as the whole world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, and we did an episode of our podcast Embrace the Suck dedicated to adaptability way back in quarantine times.

While experience might be the best teacher, you certainly don’t want to be totally unprepared whenever you’re in a situation where you have to adapt and change, and the stories discussed in that podcast episode certainly aren’t just applicable to pandemic life. Here, we’ll be going over some of those stories, how you can adapt to find an advantage no matter the circumstances, and how to adapt quicker.

As Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” This same sentiment can be applied to people, businesses, and other organizations. Pandemic or not, there will always be change in the world, and where you find yourself physically, emotionally, and economically in these scenarios will depend on how well you’re able to adapt.

When it comes to adaptability, the OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) is something you should consider using in your life when you’re faced with difficult decisions. It’s a four-step approach to decision-making that helps you filter information put it in context, and quickly make the best and most appropriate decision.

  • Observe: Observe the situation and gain an understanding of what is going on, what you want, and what it will take to get it.
  • Orient: Understand what all your options are and that they will change the longer you wait to make a decision.
  • Decide: Choose your course of action.
  • Act: Put your choice into practice.

After acting, you’ll want to observe what happened, starting the cycle over again. Practicing these four steps will help you get better at adaptability and, eventually, help you adapt quicker. The OODA loop was developed by an Air Force pilot and engineer named John Boyd, and while it has roots in the military, it’s certainly applicable to your daily life.

Learning how to effectively adapt and change is something that all individuals and organizations can benefit from, and adaptability is just one of the many skills we teach in our corporate and athletic training programs. Contact us to learn more, and listen to more of our podcasts on SoundCloud!

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The APG Team