How to Embrace Change in the Digital World

Posted 2yr(s) ago Reading Time: A few minutes

New technologies, automation and a globally connected world are rapidly changing the business landscape and challenging traditional career paths.

The skillsets of today might prove insufficient tomorrow.

And the only way workers will be able to keep up with technological breakthroughs and shifting expectations is to embrace change and learn to be more adaptable.

How are you planning to boost your adaptability skills?

Read on to discover a few tips to get you started!

A strategic skill of the future

In today’s workplace, adaptability is a critical skill that helps workers cope with change and remain relevant in a business environment that is constantly being reshaped by emerging technologies.

Experts predict that the future of work will rely on collaboration and flexibility, and that a significant part of the active workforce will be made of freelancers. The focus will be on the value of the work carried out, and not on the hours spent on tasks.

Therefore, individuals who are able to redefine themselves and to quickly pick up new skills will be the ones most likely to succeed in their jobs and on behalf of their organizations.

Improving your adaptability skills

Humans are hard-wired to adapt to changing situations and environments, and some can effortlessly thrive in the face of disruption. But others might find themselves a little bit lost and might instinctively resist change, often missing out on new opportunities.

The good news is that if you put your mind to it, you can rewire your brain to avoid resorting to mental scripts, and teach it to process information while allowing for different responses and perspectives.

Let’s find out what you can do in order to change your mindset and become more adaptable both at work and at home.

1. Open yourself to new possibilities

Try to stay open to new possibilities by becoming more aware of your own mental models that determine how you react in certain situations and by challenging habits and old ways of handling things.

Push yourself to ask different questions than the ones that you usually ask. Asking the usual questions will not lead to finding new ideas.

Instead, try thinking along these lines: “What is most unusual in this situation?” and “What piece of information am I ignoring because I don’t like what it points to?”

2. Step out of your comfort zone

Look for opportunities to try new things! Start small with learning a new language, trying a new type of food or starting a project in your community or with a group of friends.

And don’t shy away from new challenges at work. Say "yes" to new responsibilities and tasks, even if you don’t know how to execute them.

Ask a co-worker for help and actively listen to their input. They might help you gain a new perspective and open your eyes towards new methods, procedures and ways of doing things.

3. Be willing to experiment and learn

Find time to learn new things - and new ways of thinking.

If you’re not “the creative type”, learn to play a musical instrument or try your hand at painting.

If you have the soul of an artist, but get confused when you hear somebody saying “blockchain”, “machine learning” or “human-centred design”, find yourself some reliable sources and read up.

And remember to practice being spontaneous: make last-minute plans or step in to replace a colleague that can no longer speak at a conference, for example.

4. Adopt a growth mindset

Even though it’s natural to resist change to some degree, try to build up your adaptability by keeping an open mind and staying curious about everything that goes on around you.

Always think about the bigger picture and the things you stand to gain by adapting to change.

Remember that how you frame the problem will determine how you react, so make an effort to listen to alternative ideas, to come up with creative ways to solve problems and to embrace the unpredictable.