The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a lot about the need to stay flexible and ready to adapt to change. The companies that thrived during the quarantines and lockdowns were those that could adapt their businesses into an online ordering and delivery type of operation.
In hindsight, this may have seemed like a ‘no-brainer’ of a decision, but at the time it became apparent that certain drastic steps would have to be taken to ensure a brand’s survival; you can be sure there were some sleepless nights before and after companies made the switch. And many of the most successful brands who made that switch had managers who had been trained in adaptive leadership.
This leadership model is simply a systematic approach to adapting to changes in the workplace, recognising trends in the market and making the most of them, or keeping a team of colleagues firmly focused on a common goal. The model has three main determining factors that are used in making the decisions that represent adaptive leadership.
Experimentation and Intelligent Risks
No company can grow without taking a risk on an untried product, system, or innovation. It’s what differentiates one company from another and sets the better companies apart. But experimenting is also a risky undertaking. You have to have trained managers that can look at the cost versus the benefits from an objective viewpoint, and ensure that the results align with the company’s goals.
You also have to have managers that can learn from the mistakes encountered along the way and make use of them. Adaptive managers know that experimentation is always valuable in concept. But making it pay off in practice takes leadership.
Crucial vs. Expendable
Adaptive managers and leaders know that anytime a brand is growing, they’re in a continuous state of upheaval. Managers can’t afford to be sentimental about a process that’s comfortable if it’s also impeding growth and expansion.
The ability to judge the crucial versus the expendable spans the entire scope of your brand’s operations. While a factory’s operation may be easy to judge based on the time and costs saved, it can be more difficult to judge the value of jettisoning a supplier that has been with you for a long time. A manager who has been trained to be adaptive and analytical in their approach to this process can objectively make value judgments for the benefit of the company’s future.
Focused and Disciplined Assessment
Having taken the plunge into an era of experimentation, it’s now time to assess and integrate these new facets of your brand’s operations. Adaptive managers know that’s it’s important to be able to make any adjustment to these new facets to ensure they help lead the brand toward its goals.
By having a team trained in adaptive leadership, your brand will be in a much better position to respond to all the challenges in the years to come.
If you’re interested in learning more about a custom leadership education for your organisation, please contact the Center for Asia Leadership at our Kuala Lumpur office.