White Paper: Adaptability

Blog on White Paper – ACGV (2020). Adaptability: Definition ,Assessment and Development

The first White Paper produced by the Assessment Center Global Village (ACGV) is about Adaptability. Adaptability in dealing with our world has become critical. Although Adaptability has been on lists of assessment center dimensions, leadership competencies, and managerial attributes for decades, its importance became heightened with globalization
in business affairs and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite being an important dimension, there is not a clear understanding of what is meant with the concept of Adaptability. The purpose of this white paper is to consolidate insights about Adaptability from a world-wide group
of talent management experts experienced in the Assessment Center method, and in behavioral assessment and development more generally. The White Paper covers three topics:
- Definitions of Adaptability, focusing on its behavioral components, and also including other personal characteristics.
- Behavioral Assessment of Adaptability, and also other techniques.
- Developing Adaptable Behaviors, and other competencies related to Adaptability.

Adaptability Defined
Adaptability has been defined as: Recognizes that challenges have changed in the volatile, uncertain, chaotic, or ambiguous (VUCA) environment; modifies own reactive and active behaviors to initiate actions that have positive effects; encourages and prepares organizations, employees, and others to make behavioral changes.

Assessing Adaptability
Two or more sequential behavioral assessments are needed to evaluate the competency Adaptability to make behavioral changes to a changing environment. Two types of comparisons of an individual's behavior provide an assessment of Adaptability. The White Paper describes the two ways in which this can take place.

To observe behavioral changes related to Adaptability, changes in the situation can be made within a simulation exercise in a single day or across days. The simulation exercises can be In-baskets / boxes, role plays, leaderless group discussions, or case study exercises.

Considering the multiple components of Adaptability, it is helpful to have:
- assessment of other behavioral competencies as well and
- different types of methods beyond behavioral assessment.

Developing Adaptability
The Developmental Assessment Center (DAC) method provides a model for promoting change in behaviors demonstrating Adaptability. A similar method is called the Coaching Development Center (CDC). The individual demonstrates behavior, receives feedback and coaching, and then demonstrates behavior a second time with the same or similar challenge.

Assessment and feedback of personality questionnaires, tests of personal values and interests, and situational judgment interviews or questionnaires can also be helpful for the individual to understand and enhance his/her Adaptability.

Concluding Remarks
The ACGV is keenly aware that change in a complex dimension such as Adaptability is not easy. However, while deep-seated core personality traits may remain relatively stable, adults can learn to display new behaviors demonstrating various aspects of sensing needs for change, exploring options for action, initiating changes, and encouraging others to explore and demonstrate change.

Access to the White Paper: Adaptability
Access the complete White Paper at: https://acgv.group/materials/articles/adaptability-definition-assessment-development