What is PEAK Adaptability?
The reality we are all facing now is that a greater percentage of our lives have been greatly affected by one single thing, the adversity that this pandemic brought about. A great reset button has been forced upon by many, especially those who lead and manage people and organizations. Leaders have a moral mandate to equip their people (whether they may be people within their organization or society) to transcend the limitations of the laws of nature. This is exactly what PEAK Adaptability is about in the words and explanation of Dr. Paul Stoltz, when he opened his session on Reaching PEAK Adaptability.
There are still various unanswered questions on how we can move forward together with the uncertain but this doesn’t necessarily mean it should end up in the worst way. In the words of Dr. Paul, he believes and sees that there is still so much potential on the upside. But how do we get there? This is where his emerging discipline comes in and that is upshifting from reactive or compliant to radical adaptability (PEAK adaptability).
What is radical or PEAK Adaptability?
Let’s start by taking a look at the different types of adaptability to have a better understanding of this discipline. First, we have reactive adaptability which leaves individuals with a mindset of being compliant or just going along and willingly doing what is necessary.
Second to this is where we see most leaders and organizations are and that is active adaptability which brings out the strategic aspect of individuals most especially in deciding the when, what and how of things.
Next, we introduce a proactive type of adaptability which sparks one’s ability to seek and create a new reality. This is most present in organizations and leaders who have innovated and shifted their ways of thinking to achieve something even better, or in Dr. Paul’s and PEAK Learning's language, everbetter.
Lastly, we take a look at what’s at the top and that is PEAK or what we often call radical adaptability. By definition, this is one’s ability to respond, embrace and optimize masterfully, decisively, and relentlessly. This type is not just a new concept that emerged during the pandemic and is something innate in outstanding leaders that we have to this date. This adaptability is the highest form that can help individuals unleash levels of possibilities, outcomes, and innovation that create competitive immunity.
Now the concepts have been defined, the next questions might be, how do we shift from one level to another? Can we reach radical adaptability in an instant? Do we have to reroute to be able to reach this highest level?
To get there, this is where Dr. Paul and PEAK Learning’s Flywheel comes in.
Reaching PEAK Adaptability through the Flywheel Model
When we think of the flywheel we need to have a certain type of energy to keep it moving. Based on the methodology that Dr. Paul and his team developed and analyzed, they were able to create three main parts of the flywheel:
- Responding Masterfully: This is the Adversity Quotient aspect that helps us respond masterfully when adversity strikes. To understand this better, leaders most often reflect on this question: On a scale of 1-10 when adversity strikes, how effectively do your people respond the moment it hits?
- Rerouting Decisively: Dr. Paul would describe this as the mash up of AQ and GRIT 2.0 which touches on the first part of the wheel together with additional concepts like smart grit, growth mindset, and seeking fresh perspectives to help leaders and individuals get to where they plan to be better and faster.
- Optimizing Relentlessly: This is relentlessly optimizing the mantra of becoming ‘everbetter’. This aspect of the flywheel is all about aiming for what we call, strategic imperfection which focuses on setting goals each day and continuously improving from there. Most leaders often reflect on this by asking themselves the following questions each day:
- How can I be an everbetter person today?
- How can I make a better contribution today for my organization or for the people I lead?
- How can I have an everbetter impact as an individual and on the people around me including my organization and society?
- How can my organization make an everbetter impact on a greater community?
Based on global research, companies would usually give a rating of 5 or 6 on average in the first part of the flywheel and to be able to move one or two levels up, this is where the practice of Grisilient Leadership, Adversity Quotient and GRIT comes into play together with this new discipline of radical or PEAK Adaptability.
As this flywheel keeps on spinning, leaders can upshift themselves and reach a higher level of adaptability each step of the way. For a more in-depth understanding of this discipline and methodology, access Dr. Paul’s session on PEAK Adaptability for free.