Mar 31, 2020
We have learned from evolution that the ability to adapt to new environments quickly is the hallmark of sustained progress and continued survival. There are some companies and individuals that will get stronger from this experience and others who will suffer the fate of natural selection to soon be forgotten.
So how do we adapt?
Well, for so long corporate America has championed the ‘specialist’. This is the routined expert that can squeeze as much efficiency out of their practised line of work. They are good at what they do and the quality of their performance is very black and white. Their motivation is extrinsic. They have targets that they need to hit. But they are not adaptable. They struggle to adjust in times of change.
This is why more and more companies are now recognizing how important it is to have adaptive experts. An adaptive expert can operate in the same domain as a routine expert but their cognitive disposition and motivation is completely inverted. Being an adaptive expert is a way of thinking rather than a way of doing. They practice top-down processing, looking for patterns and concepts rather feeding off information as the routine expert does. They are given autonomy and have a purpose to find mastery in their domain. This gives them a much broader capacity for growth and self-fulfillment.
I have had the opportunity to work with over 700 professionals and have seen the impact of converting a routine expert into an adaptive expert. They completely change how they view themselves. It is as if the blinkers have been removed and now they have full vision. The first step to transform a routine expert is to train their cognitive skills.
Our cognitive skills are the foundation that our working mind sits upon. At The Bowery Common we begin with the 5 fundamentals;
Attention & Focus
Have you ever thought of these 5 things as skills? For most of our lives we have been told what to learn but when was the last time somebody taught you how to learn? Teachers don’t teach this to kids and it is rarely covered in corporate trainings. Yet, your cognitive skills are a very clear indicator of your capacity to learn new things. It is so obvious that it is often hard to see.
I only learned how important cognitive skills are after a number of months teaching speed reading and memory workshops to corporate clients. I know the impact of these skills because they have transformed my life. But for most of the people that I would teach they would double their reading speed or improve their memory and then quickly regress back to their past self. That was because they had no foundational knowledge of how the brain learns or no sense of belief in their brains capacity to grow and reach new levels of performance. Without knowing how to grow your brain it is simply impossible to expect the performance of knowledge workers to increase. Most companies are just leaving it up to chance.
This is an opportunity to train yourself and your team to be resilient as we move into a new economy. Change brings faster results than chance.