Adaptability is one of those words that get bandied about along with the likes of resilience and flexibility and agility.
There's the more formal definition of adaptability: the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions.
But it's only a word unless you apply it to an experience that has somehow changed you along the way, which brings me to the other definition of adaptability: the capacity to be modified for a new use or purpose.
My adaptive capabilities have changed over the years based on my experiences and the people who I've had the good fortune to collaborate with on initiatives, programs, and projects (good fortune doesn't always mean smooth sailing). High-impact, high-risk situations challenged me in ways that I might not have chosen initially, and although it was great to have partnered with others along the way, stepping up and out of my comfort zone was a choice that I had to make by myself.
So although I started my adaptability journey by learning how to quickly adjust to new conditions, over the years I've refined my adaptability personality to include the "capacity to be modified for a new use or purpose", in this case, the ability to open myself up to the possibilities of creative solutions and my potential for taking the right risks, at the right time, for the right reasons: trusting myself to be both informed and responsible. By having both of these components in place I allow innovation to flow in my life--professionally and personally.
What is your adaptability personality? Are you a problem-solver, a risktaker, a change agent, navigator, survivor or explorer? Consider the adaptability personality types in this infographic and how I've paired them--would you agree that these types create a balanced approach to challenges? If not, what would you suggest? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments box below.
Download the adaptability infographic