Please enter your keyword:

Sign up to our newsletter

Adaptability Is More Than Just Change

September 07, 2017 Nicole Lyons

Look at your desk. Is your stapler, or tape dispenser, or favourite pen in a particular place? Do you like having the stapler lined up a certain way? Some people prefer having their 'desk tools' organised and in the same spot every time. While your adaptability is more than just your stapler, maybe it's time to see how adaptable you are. 

FB-Adaptability Is More Than Just Change.jpg

When you attend a board meeting or sit down at lunch, does everyone seem to sit in the same places? Do you have a favourite seat, and do you feel a little put out when it's already taken? Humans are creatures of habit, but fortunately, we have the great capacity for change.

Let's never revisit the stifling rules
of the Industrial Age

The Industrial Age of the past had a rigid style of leadership. Managers and bosses had ultimate power, and work conditions were often miserable for labourers. Strict rules were in place, and everyone knew exactly what was expected of them. Speaking out or expressing a dissenting opinion was not allowed. 

Change was slow in this period, partially because of the stifling control the managers and owners and bosses exerted. But gradually, workers started to demand a greater say in their work, and managers were forced to adapt. 

In today’s world, it's important to be able to adapt to business conditions, especially as technology zooms along. We have to be careful not to get too comfortable with our habits.

Saying that 'you always did it this way' brings you dangerously close to the thinking of the past Industrial leaders. Challenge the status quo and expect yourself to be better each day. Listen to new ideas. Move things around. This adaptability will improve your professional life as well as your personal life. 

Adaptability is not just about change, it's about how we change ourselves to fit into new circumstances or a new environment. Don't have the fearful 'can I keep up' thoughts, but rather a sense of adventure and curiosity. Businesses must learn to adapt and respond quickly to be most effective in the Imagination Age. 

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for.
We are the change that we seek. 

Barack Obama

How Adaptability relates to Agility

Adaptability is one of four pillars under the competency of Agility in the i4 Neuroleader Model. Developing your ability to be flexible and your capacity to modify the course of action when facing ambiguous situations are at the core of adapting to changing conditions at work and in life.

The i4 Neuroleader Program will teach you how to challenge your brain to create new neural pathways and become more agile in this fast paced world.

5 Tips for Adaptability  

  1. Step outside your comfort zone
  2. Be an early adopter
  3. Move your furniture around or reorganise your office space
  4. Interact with younger generations
  5. Allow others to implement their ideas and see what happens  


Humans are meant to change and evolve. It's hard-wired in our DNA to adapt to our surroundings. While habits are comforting, they can also keep us in narrowly-defined roles.

Step out of your comfort zone and move that stapler. Take a new route to work, and be more open to new ideas. Even small steps can lead to great changes. Challenge your Adaptability  Ever wondered how to be more adaptable than what you are today? New advances  from different scientific fields are helping us better understand how our  brains and bodies function and the incredible impact they have on the way we  lead.  Learn how our i4 Neuroleader Program can help develop your personal leadership. Download Program Guide

Nicole Lyons

Nicole Lyons

Nicole is the About my Brain Institute's researcher and blogger. As a writer and science educator she is passionate about sharing scientific knowledge to refute ignorance and misconceptions. Nicole is also a devoted wife and mother to three children, two cats, a dog and frog.