The world is changing at an incredible rate and technology is advancing faster than ever before. In such a dynamic environment, it is important to be prepared to continuously learn and re-learn. Why and how to adapt to constant change and still feel comfortable – let’s talk to an expert.



One of the founders of the theory of adaptive intelligence, Robert Sternberg, professor of psychology at the University of Oklahoma, defines adaptability as the ability of the mind to change in response to current environmental demands.

Simply put, adaptability is a set of skills that help you navigate new environments quickly and without stress. These include flexibility, a positive attitude, the ability to analyse a situation and come up with new solutions.

Why adaptability is so important

Decades ago, the paradigm of education was limited to the traditional scheme: schooling at school, then entering university and, finally, employment in the chosen profession with a smooth progression through the career ladder.

But this concept has changed and the time of ‘one knowledge’ is irrevocably gone. Now true learning goes beyond the mere acquisition of information. As the American philosopher and sociologist Alvin Toffler wrote in his 1970 book Future Shock, illiterates in the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.

There is no doubt: it is not easy to give up what has governed our lives for so long

However, if we want to keep up with the present and readily face the future, we have no alternative but to embrace change and adapt to what is happening around us.

This is important not only in everyday life, but also in business communications and career development. Even today, employers are increasingly focusing on soft skills when hiring employees, which means that adaptability can open the door to new career opportunities. According to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, in the near future people will make up to 12 career transitions in their lifetime.

In order to change the field of activity, a person will have to retrain and master new competences

This is complex, often emotional work. A short course or a series of online modules may be enough to impart the information needed to develop new knowledge, but too little to change habitual behaviour. Genuine learning involves a literal process of transforming ways of thinking, developing new habits, heuristics and biases. Therefore, while learning to unlearn, it is crucial to keep one’s eye on the ultimate goal of personal and professional growth.

How to develop adaptive intelligence

Combining skills is the ideal formula for adaptive intelligence

Harry Coulton, researcher and founder of the American company Adaptive Intelligence Consulting, believes that the concept of adaptive intelligence combines the skills of emotional, mental and positive intelligence.

The development and combination of these skills helps us to think flexibly, communicate effectively, solve non-standard tasks and open up to changes more easily – to face them more courageously and even initiate them ourselves.

To increase your adaptability, start developing…

Find your optimal learning style

Learning can take any form in the way information is perceived:

Bringing change into your life is something you can do right now.

Top 5 universal tips to help you get started:

To successfully engage in the movement of the modern world, free yourself from old attitudes and patterns. The key to all possibilities lies within ourselves, in our openness to challenge – our willingness to let go of what we think we know. And to re-explore what we need to know.