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New Normal Competencies (Series): Adaptability and Flexibility

Prepared by: Maria Liz V. Fresnido | May 21, 2020


 “The only thing constant in life is change”


From the era of dinosaurs and cavemen to the era of today’s modern society, Heraclitus’ famous quote holds true. The only thing constant between then and now is change. It is ever-present in every aspect of the world. The millions of species existing in today’s world all evolved according to their environment­–to overcome its dangers and survive. Over the course of decades, each species gradually developed traits that save itself from extinction. Chameleons show a perfect display of camouflage skills in order to avoid danger. Galapagos finches[2], which were observed by Charles Darwin[3] himself, adapted different beak shapes in order to better capture their food. Even us humans have evolved and adapted and are continuously doing so in order to live better lives. Cavemen sought out shelter and later on invented hunting tools and fire until our ancestors eventually figured out how to live a domesticated life. Until this day and age, there are constant new technological innovations that help us improve how we live. What started as simple inventions now evolved to high-tech gadgets and applications that make living our lives easier.

With that in mind, let us take into context the rapid change happening all over the world at the moment. The spreading virus that has caused a pandemic and worldwide panic has disrupted the norms of our daily lives, whether it is attending school, going to work, or simply going out for a cup of coffee. Millions of jobs and companies are greatly affected by the pandemic, especially those which require employees physically operating in their actual work environments. Given facts and statistics collected show that this seemingly temporary situation could possibly turn into a permanent reality. Even if this wasn’t the case, it will still be awhile before the whole world fully recovers from the whole situation.

Fortunately, it is possible for one to be able to survive the impending change by taking a leaf out of nature’s book. Adaptability and flexibility are vital job competencies in order to keep up with the times. According to the PMC Training[4], these competencies are our will to adapt to constantly changing circumstances. This includes engaging in continuous learning, applying new knowledge, skills, and abilities to your work, juggling multiple demands, taking on additional roles outside your core duties, and coming up with fresh ideas and innovative approaches in the midst of facing new challenges and handling change. An example would be for a company to focus on the internet aspect of their business by handling all transactions and/or meetings on an online platform, making use of social media to reach customers or clients, and modifying their services to what their customers or clients need.

To be able to easily adapt and be flexible, one’s mindset must be altered as well. One can be able to respond positively to change by having a ‘can-do’ attitude. Use challenges as your drive to give a better work output. Have your own initiative and create opportunities for yourself or for the company. To tackle these new challenges, it helps to have a set goal/s for oneself or for your employees. Confront demands little by little by first gauging what actions are best for the company, moving forward. Determine which method would generate more success, what new skills or knowledge would have to be acquired, and fully assess the situation you are in. Once you know and organize what your market’s demands are and how to meet it, you should be able to progress seamlessly from there. Above all, always maintain one’s composure and face new situations with ambiguity and determination.






[1] Retrieved from https://crossroadsantigua.org/the-only-constant-in-life-is-change-heraclitus/

[2] Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2008/12/evolutionexampl/

[3] Charles Robert Darwin is a naturalist, geologist, and biologist known for his theory of evolution.

[4] Retrieved from https://pmctraining.com/site/develop-your-core-competencies/adaptibility-flexibility-competency/