Have you heard about AQ?

Most of us know about EQ and IQ. But, what about adaptability quotient?

By MatcHub

We’ve all heard about IQ and EQ for most of our lives. But, have you ever come across AQ? AQ stands for adaptability quotient. In technical terms, it is a scientific measure of how well an individual or organisation copes with the unpredictability of change. 

In this new era, the position and importance of EQ and IQ in the workplace has shifted. Previously, a high IQ was regarded as the prerequisite to excelling at work. However, now, it has a greater significance in hiring processes. Hiring managers identify an intellectual individual through their academic excellence in resumes. On the other hand, we recognise EQ as a valuable skill to facilitate communication and collaboration. Recently, the concept of AQ has emerged as a quality needed to strive in the workspace. 

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Adaptability helps you to succeed. We live in an ever-changing environment confronted with artificial intelligence replacing our jobs, a pandemic and rapid technological improvements. The business environment is prone to fast and frequent change. Employees require the ability to unlearn obsolete skills, focus on relevant strategies and make an effort to be bold. This applies to companies too. Business must be alert to changes in the environment, understand them and produce new business models or strategies to cope. The flexibility and willingness to experiment is necessary. 

According to a 2016 survey,  adaptability is the number one sought after skill by hiring managers in the Asia Pacific. How do they measure it or look out for it in interviews? Deloitte’s human capital consulting leader said that there are no definitive ways to measure AQ. Nevertheless, there are a few ways to gauge one’s AQ. 

One way is to make applicants take psychometric assessments. For example, Hudson uses a test called Business Attitude Questionnaire. The results show how open-minded or change-oriented an individual is. Another method is asking targeted questions during interviews. Hiring managers pose “What if?” questions to get candidates to picture adversities, employ creative thinking and challenge the status quo. Simulations test how one is able to work within constraints to produce a new idea. They look for signs of exploration – the keenness to search new options to replace the old, indicating one’s flexibility to learn and unlearn. These are two ways that Natalie Fratto, a Vice President of Goldman Sachs New York, identifies adaptability in a candidate. Lastly, gamified assessments do the job too. Gamification gives an insight into candidates’ way of thinking and in the process, test their adaptability. Deloitte uses this recruitment method to pick out innovative candidates.

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Upon realising the value of a high AQ, is it possible for one to improve on it? Natalie Fratto believes that it is not a fixed quality. Similar to a muscle, one’s AQ can be trained and developed over time through conscious effort. 

Growth Mindset

Failure is a learning opportunity. It is not the end. Instead, take time to sieve out the key takeaways from this event. Note what you did right, what can be improved on, and what you should have avoided. From there, move fast. Use this valuable information to formulate the next strategy, the next move. Let go of the previous ways so as to pave a road forward. Organisations typically like to stick to their old ways which previously brought them success. But with a changing climate, what used to work does not necessarily mean that it would work again. Hence, attempt to see failures as a valuable lesson. Moreover, it helps you to cope with stress. 

Force yourself to take calculated risks 

Adaptable individuals experiment. They do not fear challenging the status quo and instead, actively seek new options. This leads them to formulating better strategies relevant to current trends. Of course, it is intimidating to try something new while uncertain of its success rate. However, sticking to the old ways will not lead to new opportunities or successes. Therefore, stay curious and be alert to new possibilities. Break out of the norm and take a leap of faith. Nonetheless, ensure to take calculated risks. Not all risks are good ones. Those based on emotions tend to be reckless, so be certain that the step you’re taking is backed up by sufficient evidence and logical thinking. 

Finally, adaptability is particularly pertinent to SMBs. While MNCs have a wide share of the market to stay afloat, startups and SMBs will only keep up if they adapt. By being versatile in their business model, these companies will be able to endure unstable times and eventually succeed. Therefore, always be adaptable and you can look forward to greater achievements ahead! 

Interested in other ways to stand out in interviews? Click here to read more on tips and tricks on getting hired, especially in the FMCG industry. For those who want to succeed in your internship, click here.

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