How EQ and IQ are quickly being replaced by AQ

It’s common knowledge that you need more than IQ to thrive in modern workplaces, with businesses for the last twenty years assessing for EQ in the hiring process. However, many business leaders now find that IQ and EQ are not enough, and in the future, the need for AQ (Adaptability Quotient) will be a crucial factor of career success. With Covid-19 highlighting how quickly industries may need to adapt in the future, adaptability looks to be a key determiner in future success. 

So what exactly is AQ? AQ is your capacity to learn, change, and adapt. That also includes your ability to unlearn old ways of doing things and embrace innovation. In many ways, this goes against human nature. After all, historically sticking to what we know has proved successful and kept us alive from an evolutionary viewpoint. 

Technology has changed the landscape drastically, and many jobs are now obsolete, having been replaced by automation and machines. Advancement in technology is nothing new, and machines have been replacing jobs since the invention of the Gutenberg Printing Press. 

Why this is an issue now compared to previous generations is the rapid pace of technological advancement. McKinsey Global Institute estimates that up to 800 million jobs could be lost due to automation by 2030*. 

Right now, Covid-19 has impacted the way we do business and, in the process, thrown many assumptions of how we work into doubt. Businesses that showed flexibility, innovation, and creativity, with leadership adapting swiftly, are thriving, while others that hesitated and resisted change are now struggling to stay afloat. When reinvention becomes a necessity, resilient leaders can find growth opportunities. It’s also become increasingly clear that worldwide there is a new normal of doing business. Workplaces that quickly set up contingency plans and activated resources for fast adaption are leading the way. 

Many thought leaders have been actively cultivating an adaptive workplace with the knowledge that few industries would be immune from interruptions in the future. Workplaces that encourage and celebrate resilience and grit through continuous learning foster a culture of growth, resilience, and innovation.

Although Covid-19 took many people by surprise, business leaders have now well and truly learned how quickly they might need to adapt in the future. With virtually no industry immune from some form of automation, the need to be ready to change, dare I say pivot, and innovate, should be front of mind for business leaders moving forward. 

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