Adaptive Quotient – The New Measure of Success

Once, IQ and EQ are considered important to our success. But today, as technology redefines how we work, the skills we need to thrive are evolving too. Enter Adaptability Quotient or AQ, a subjective set of qualities loosely defined as the ability to adapt and flourish in an environment of fast and frequent change.

“As workplaces evolve, is it enough to be smart? In the new knowledge-based economy, IQ will be the minimum entry requirement, but AQ, the capacity to adapt, will be your key to success over time.”

AQ is not just the capacity to absorb new information, but the ability to work out what is relevant, to unlearn obsolete knowledge, overcome challenges, and to make a conscious effort to change. AQ involves flexibility, curiosity, courage, resilience, and problem-solving skills too.

Even prior to the COVID-19 situation worldwide, we have seen rapid rise of AI-powered, Machine Learning driven technologies that have vastly changed how many jobs are done.  Any roles that involve spotting patterns in data –lawyers reviewing legal documents or doctors making a patient diagnosis, for example – are easy to automate. This is because an algorithm can do these tasks faster and more accurately than a human. According to a 2019 IBM study, this disruption will continue – over the next few years, more than 120 million people in the world’s 12 largest economies may need to be reskilled because of automation. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this figure many times over.

With this new global pandemic, we will see an even larger scale displacement of current job roles, fuelled by the wide adoption of remote-working requirement and further acceleration of Machine-aided technologies. To avoid obsolescence, knowledge workers need to develop new skills like creativity to solve new problems, develop empathy to communicate better, and using human intuition to supplement insight from machines.

Every profession will require adaptability and flexibility, from banking to the arts. Say you are an accountant. Your IQ gets you through the examinations to become qualified, then your EQ helps you connect with an interviewer, land a job, and develop relationships with clients and colleagues. Then, when systems change or aspects of work are automated, you need AQ to accommodate this innovation and adapt to new ways of performing your role.

What does this mean for parents?

With this new set of challenges of the knowledge economy and rapidly evolving workplace requirement, parents need to realize that the current education system we have in place is no longer sufficient to prepare our children for tomorrow’s career challenges. 

No other time in our modern history has one’s ability to learn and adapt been more important than in our current era of constantly shifting requirements. Having good academic scores and performance will no longer guarantee that our children will be able to survive, let alone thrive in the new economy.

Therefore, to prepare our children for the uncertain futures of the machine era, we need to groom and train our children in building up on the following areas:

  • A strong mental resilience and fortitude to embrace stress and failures
  • A healthy, growth mindset to enjoy and overcome obstacles
  • Glowing confidence and motivation to take on any learning challenges

The future we see now is full of uncertainties, but the one thing we do know is that the workplaces of the future will operate differently. We may not all be comfortable with the pace of change – but we all can prepare, by starting this process of rethinking how we really learn. This is what GRIP Adaptive Learner™ Program is all about.

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