Expert Analysis

AQ (Adaptability Quotient): The New Form of IQ or EQ In the Edge of “Future of Work”

The Problem

The future is faster than what we believe and hence everything changes faster than ever before. This convergence is speeding up at an exponential level which radically impacts current business environment.

In an age of continuous technological advancement, the next Facebook, Uber or Alibaba that transforms their industry could be just around the corner.

Research shows that the average tenure for S&P 500 companies is gradually falling. In 1964 average tenure was 33 years. The average tenure is expected to have around 12 years by 2027. It is clearly predicted that almost fifty percent of current companies listed in S&P 500 will not be part of the list in upcoming 10 to 20 years.

The conclusion is clear: unless organizations embrace adaptability as one of the cultural value and hence convert it into organizational behavioral norms, there will be no available place for them in the VUCA world.


The Discussion Point: Why Adaptability Matters?

The required condition existing in the future world is quickly adapt for new advancements. Encouraging, empowering and fostering employees to increase their adaptability might be drastic transformation initiative at the organizational level.

Adaptability quotient (AQ) which is a way of measurement to understand ability to adapt and thrive in a fast-changing environment becomes leading criteria for organizations during hiring, promoting and firing processes. Meanwhile AQ has been recognized is the most important element in “Future of Work” and new type of competitive advantage. The report clearly articulates that AQ becomes as important as IQ and EQ. According to study conducted in UK, 91 percent of human capital executives seek to recruit employees who has a capability to cope with volatility and uncertainty.

As we all are aware of that drastic change in working environment will happen in near future. For Instance, WEF reported that, 35 percent of employees in the near future might be unemployed as long as they do not re-skill and adapt themselves to new conditions.



I would believe that adaptability starts with the ability of reasoning. Asking “why” question before getting into an action is the key. Understanding the rationale behind any changes and disruptions might foster to become an adaptive person. Nowadays, I observe that generation – Z neglects reasoning and directly jumps into tactical part which is an answer of “how” question.

With my best humble opinion, “why” question should be highly prioritized, and its facts should be encapsulated by generation – Z as they will dominate the playground of the “Future of Work”.

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