The unseen adaptive capacity of people

  • that problems were simple or complicated, but if you analyzed the parts enough, you could solve them.
  • that events were discrete and disconnected from other events.
  • that organizations were static and didn’t like change.
  • that organizations were inert and machine-like.
  • that people didn’t adapt to change unless forced.
  • problems mutate and don’t stand still. Solving problems today also means adapting solutions and best practices to fit what is changing.
  • that events and actions are all connected and the way we solve a problem today generates the agenda of problems we have tomorrow.
  • that organizations are constantly changing and dynamic — we just don’t see it.
  • that organizations are living systems and bring all the challenges and complexities (and emotions) that life entails.
  • that people adapt all the time, but we don’t always acknowledge how often and how well we adapt.
  • Why am I resisting this challenge when I easily adapt to others?
  • What is interfering with our organization’s ability to adapt?
  • What if we celebrated how well we adapt instead of focusing on what we are struggling with?



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Dr. Kathleen Allen

Dr. Kathleen Allen


Dr. Allen has written and presented widely on topics related to leadership, human development, and organizational development.