Report Highlights Importance of Adaptability Quotient for Business Survival

What is Your Small Business Adaptability Quotient? What Can You Do to Raise It?

A new study released by Advantage|ForbesBooks, is putting a spotlight on Adaptability Quotient (AQ), a concept many businesses may not be aware of.

Titled “Adapt or Die: Why Corporate Giants Failed, How to Make Sure You Don’t,” it offers insights into how the AQ of a company plays a critical role in its long-term survivability. And the concepts the study recommends doesn’t only apply to large enterprises.

In today’s digital, connected and global ecosystem, small businesses also have to adapt if they want to succeed. And no matter what your size, the paper says companies have to cultivate a culture of adaptability with a fundamental strategic shift to make it happen.

What is Adaptability Quotient?

At the business level, the report defines AQ as, “The ability to adjust course, product, service, and strategy in response to unanticipated changes in the market.”

So Why are not More Businesses Aware of It?

Even though the Harvard Business Review said it was “the new competitive advantage” in 2011 and the Fast Company claims it is “the key to the future of work,” not many people or businesses are familiar with it.

This may be because AQ doesn’t yet have an established metric to gauge it and there are only a handful of experts, according to the study.

Takeaways From the Study

The major takeaways from the study are: “Don’t develop a product that hinges on the static positioning of a dynamic/changing audience; be permanently alert when you assess your competition; get a different pair of eyes on your product or services; adapt even if it means stealing from your competitors.”


The study concludes by saying, “Competitive reality is uncertain,” however, it goes on to say “What remains certain is the indispensability of a high AQ in the fight to keep pace with a changing environment.”

For small businesses, it is easier to quickly change and adopt the latest technology, solutions and systems. And in today’s digital ecosystem it is much easier than ever to make this possible. But as the Advantage|ForbesBooks study points out, you have to position your entire organization to respond to the inevitable changes you will be facing.

You can download the report here (PDF).

Image: Advantage|ForbesBooks

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Michael Guta

Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

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