Adaptability and managing complexity is the ability to modify one’s thinking, attitudes, or behaviors to be better suited to current or future environments; and the ability to handle multiple goals, tasks, and inputs while understanding and adhering to constraints of time, resources, and systems (e.g., organisational, technological).
The digital age is inherently complex. In the past, multitasking was called for periodically. In this era of accelerating change, however, multitasking often is a requirement. Such complexity requires individuals to plan, think, design, and manage in new ways – taking into account contingencies, anticipating changes, and understanding interdependencies within systems.
When dealing with change, employees who are adaptable and able to manage complexity are positive about change and recognize the gains that might result from it. Adapt to change quickly and calmly, without idealizing earlier methods and ideas.
When faced with complex problems or multiple goals, those who are adaptable think about problems from multiple perspectives; understand they can be solved using different strategies and can involve more than one solution. Anticipate contingencies and handle them with confidence. Look for and connect problems as they occur, abandon strategies that prove to be ineffective.
Manage multiple goals and set sub-goals in service of larger ones, stay focused under pressure; and keep sight of ‘’the big picture.’’. Use self-management strategies to allocate time and resources, remain organized, and be accountable for meeting goals. Strive towards goals despite obstacles. Understand the components of relevant systems. Reflect on lessons learned from past behaviours, and use these insights to help plan future endeavours.