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Updated: Oct 20, 2022

Your company’s AQ (Adaptability Quotient) is now considered to be its primary predictor of success. According to Harvard Business Review, AQ provides the true “new competitive advantage”. In business as in nature, it is the most adaptable to change that survives. This is obvious from the lessons of Blackberry, Yahoo, MySpace, AOL, Kodak, ToysRus, Blockbuster, & many others. Adaptability is the ability of an entity or organism to alter itself or its responses to changed circumstances or environments. Adaptability shows you can learn from experience to survive & ultimately thrive. 2018 McKinsey research shows that adaptive/agile organizations achieve greater customer centricity, faster time to market, higher revenue growth, lower costs, & a more engaged workforce, making them the top 20 percent of their sectors. The FastCompany article referenced above says AQ is the prevalent success factor over emotional intelligence, intellectual intelligence or digital intelligence as leaders try to cope with the ever-accelerating, disruptive change their organizations & industries are undergoing.

We have developed an assessment tool intended to provide a quantifiable metric of organizational adaptability or AQ. It is based on extensive secondary research & first-hand experience in the key characteristics of successful organizational growth transformation. It builds around 5 dimensions of organizational adaptability & measures key functions which facilitate agility & adaptability within each dimension:

  1. ADAPTIVE STRATEGY Being purpose-driven with a compelling “WHY” & core values that give you a stable foundation from which to build agile, adaptive sustainably ESG-conscious strategies to achieve your vision

  2. ADAPTIVE STRUCTURE – Consciously designing the organizational structure to accommodate, facilitate & support a rapid response to change

  3. ADAPTIVE PROCESS - Systems & processes that enable the organization to decide, act, learn & adapt quickly & effectively

  4. ADAPTIVE PEOPLE & CULTURE – Leadership, driven by purpose & a keen survival instinct, that inspires people to engage & empowers them to operate collaboratively

  5. ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION – Having an entrepreneurial approach to innovation, learning & using new technologies to do things better

This assessment will provide a quantified value for AQ. The specific number from this assessment is not overly significant in & of itself, it is a relative number & its significance is in the organization’s strengths & weaknesses & how it changes over time. Also, how it compares to others in your industry. The expectation is that the highest AQ scores will correspond with the leading, fastest-growing, most sustainably successful companies in most sectors.

The best use of this tool is as value-added input to better inform strategic planning. It is intended to be prescriptive & provide a current reality assessment of what best practice ideas & strategies the organization is using to adapt, improve & grow. This is an individual perception assessment. The questions are simple & self-evident of the characteristics of adaptability. Therefore, it is crucial that in completing the assessment you avoid scoring the “right” answers & focus on your perception of where the organization truly stands today; relative to the statements. It is only through brutal self-honesty that you can gain the insights needed to plan & execute building a highly adaptive organization that can thrive in a world of change. It can be said, you can’t control the waves on the ocean, but you can learn to surf. Going forward, your organization must learn to surf the waves of change to grow & thrive.

This ability to change is critical for businesses that are going to be transitioning ownership. Empowering the leadership & culture in your business to be highly adaptive can make your business much more sale ready & attractive to strategic buyers who will pay you a premium.

Below is a sample of the Organizational AQ assessment which you are welcome to download. If you'd like to test out the AQ assessment contact us & we'll get you set up to use it.

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