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About Everything Wiki » Business » What is adaptive thinking and why should entrepreneurs develop it

What is adaptive thinking and why should entrepreneurs develop it

29 May 2023, 13:55, parser
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What is this type of thinking

Adaptive thinking is the ability to assess the available facts and circumstances and change something in your behavior strategy in order to thrive in these circumstances. This type of thinking can also be defined as the ability to seize the moment, learn from failure and change course to move on. You could even say that this is a key skill for leaders. It allows you to make good decisions and deal with complex problems.

Adaptive thinking develops 5 Principles to Guide Adaptive Leadership / Harvard Business Review of four components:

  1. The ability to anticipate likely future needs, trends and opportunities.
  2. The ability to formulate these needs so that the team understands them.
  3. Adaptation to new conditions, which leads to constant training and adjustment of their actions.
  4. Transparency of decision-making and openness to feedback.

What is the use of adaptive thinking

Nothing lasts forever. Times change, and companies change with them. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be able to adapt. This skill is especially valuable during crises, when the situation becomes uncertain and changeable, there is not enough information, and you need to react quickly.

To make the right decision in a difficult period, you need the ability to "move away" from the circumstances in which you find yourself and look at everything from afar. The author of the book "Leadership " Ronald Heifetz calls it "to go up to the balcony and look at the dancers from above." This technique helps to create a distance between you and the situation and understand what is happening outside of your usual field of vision.

The problem is that creating this distance in a crisis situation often seems impossible. When you face new difficulties every day, you are completely immersed in the struggle with them and you don't see anything else. But just then it is especially important not to rely on old approaches, but to look for new ways.

How to develop adaptive thinking

1. Be both a participant and an observer

As Heifetz says, leadership is the art of improvisation. An entrepreneur needs to constantly return from the "balcony" to the "dance floor" and back, month after month, year after year. Because one day the action plan you have chosen may work, and another day you may discover unforeseen consequences of your decisions and you will have to rebuild.

Periodically stop and look around. Watch and listen. If you focus too much on your past strategies, you will miss the chance to innovate.

2. Constantly evaluate the results of your actions

This will give you the opportunity, if necessary, to adjust your steps, which is the basis of adaptive thinking. For example, during the coronavirus pandemic, many switched to remote work, respectively, the conditions and needs of employees have changed. In such a situation, it is more important than ever to monitor how they react to new approaches to work, and to adjust depending on the results of observation.

By regularly evaluating your actions and their results, you adapt faster to changing conditions.

3. Admit your mistakes and learn from them

In difficult times, many people want to take the blame for the company's difficulties and shift it to someone else. Do not give in to this desire and admit your own mistakes. If you believe that mistakes reflect only a lack of experience, and not a lack of abilities, they will not stop you, but will become an opportunity for you to grow and become better.

In any case, you will make mistakes while you are looking for new ways of development. This is not a reason to close yourself and others. Remind yourself of this. Be open, answer questions, admit that you are wrong, ask for forgiveness — all these are not indicators of weakness. These are tools that will help you become better and earn trust.

4. Build trust in the team

Talk openly with team members about which of the selected methods work and which do not. This is the secret of successful cooperation, which at the same time will help to identify ways to solve complex problems.

Don't be afraid to admit that some of your decisions turned out to be imperfect. Frankness creates A.C. Edmondson. Psychological Safety and Learning Behavior in Teams / Administrative Science Quarterly a psychologically safe environment, which is vital for an effective response to a crisis. In such an environment, employees know that in the workplace it is possible to express ideas, ask questions, share worries and admit mistakes. And they know that their contribution is appreciated.

It is by listening to other people's points of view that you will be able to create the distance that is needed to see the situation from the outside.

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