11 Practical Ways to Create a Culture of Adaptability

Members of Young Entrepreneur Council discuss how to build a company culture that can successfully handle any issue, mistake or challenge that arises.

Published on Jun. 29, 2022
11 Practical Ways to Create a Culture of Adaptability
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Headshots of contributing YEC members
Top row, from left: Daria Gonzalez, Shu Saito, Nick Venditti, Ismael Wrixen. Middle row, from left: Mary Harcourt, Salvador Ordorica, Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Stephanie Wells. Bottom row, from left: Baruch Labunski, John Brackett, Josh Kohlbach.

Businesses thrive when leaders and their teams are able to quickly pivot and change direction if necessary. Trends change frequently and problems often arise unexpectedly. When this happens, successful companies make the changes needed to rise above the challenge.

Not everyone is naturally adaptable, though, so leaders must cultivate adaptability within themselves and their teams to achieve their goals. Below, 11 Young Entrepreneur Council members share some practical ways leaders can help build cultures of adaptability for their own companies.

11 Practical Ways to Create a Culture of Adaptability

  1. Hire self-starters.
  2. Have the right resources in place.
  3. Teach your team to embrace change.
  4. Lead by example.
  5. Encourage collaboration.
  6. Allow for employee suggestions.
  7. Encourage team members to take on challenges.
  8. Foster an accepting work culture.
  9. Develop a backup plan.
  10. Work change into your daily routine.
  11. Prioritize learning and development.

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1. Hire Self-Starters

One aspect of building a culture of adaptability is hiring self-starting, entrepreneurial talent and then encouraging this trait in your employees every day. Not everyone has to be a go-getter, but your internal entrepreneurs have to become hubs for other employees who trust them to lead. — Daria GonzalezWunderdogs


2. Have the Right Resources in Place

I make sure my teams have plenty of resources. I want my employees to feel that they have all the tools they need to meet any unexpected challenge. For example, we overstaff intentionally at all times because we don’t know what we might need in the near future. — Shu SaitoAll Filters


3. Teach Your Team to Embrace Change

Encourage every member of your team to embrace change. Adaptability thrives on how effectively you can respond to situations changing quickly. If your team is too committed to the original plan or too fixated on everything going the way they intended, they will sabotage their own ability to adapt. Embrace change! It can prove exciting and even rewarding. — Nick VendittiStitchGolf


4. Lead by Example

A businesss culture starts with its leaders, so those leaders must be outwardly comfortable with change and uncertainty. By demonstrating that you are flexible and adaptable in the face of change, your employees will be inspired to respond similarly. — Ismael WrixenFE International


5. Encourage Collaboration

Build a team that understands hurdles are just part of the game. A period of change isn’t the time to stress out and shut down; its a time to draw close as a team, work together and lay out a plan for how you will adapt. At our company, we openly talk about issues that have come up so the entire team can be involved in finding the solution. This breeds a team that is committed and feels valued. — Mary HarcourtCosmoGlo


6. Allow for Employee Suggestions

Allowing employees to offer insights or ideas in a comfortable environment and giving space for improvisation where appropriate can help breed more confident and agile employees able to better respond to changing demands in a complex work environment. Small, empowering steps can help build ones confidence up in a big way, and confidence is critical when taking on any challenge. — Salvador OrdoricaThe Spanish Group LLC


7. Encourage Team Members to Take on Challenges

Companies need to create a culture of adaptability. This will help employees to feel more confident in the face of change, and it will also help them to be more creative. This culture starts with the leadership team. Leaders should be able to model this behavior, and they should also encourage their employees to take on new challenges, even if theyre uncomfortable. — Kristin Kimberly MarquetMarquet Media, LLC


8. Foster an Accepting Work Culture

Leading by example is the best way to be the change you want to see. Create a safe place for your team where they can share their ideas, implement them and then potentially fail. When a leader creates space for their team to innovate without blame, this creates an environment where adaptability is welcomed. — Stephanie WellsFormidable Forms


9. Develop a Backup Plan

Im a big believer in plan B strategies. Sometimes, you even end up using plan C and plan D strategies. Having backup strategies for possible events in your head, and sometimes on paper, helps ease stress. A lot of strife occurs because things suddenly are out of our control. When you have backup strategies in place, things are back under your control, which eases stress. — Baruch LabunskiRank Secure


10. Work Change Into Your Daily Routine

You can encourage your team to embrace challenges and adapt to change by explaining less-impactful changes during your weekly or monthly meetings. We have an entire section of our meeting dedicated to new updates and changes. By making change a normal part of our flow, my team is rarely surprised by last-minute adjustments and unforeseen circumstances. — John BrackettSmash Balloon LLC


11. Prioritize Learning and Development

Every business needs a strategy to continue growing and achieving its goals, and one of them is to be adaptable to the changing needs of the business. The best way to create a culture of adaptability is to prioritize learning and development for the team. Help your team diversify their skills by encouraging them to cross-train each other. This approach boosts adaptability and prepares them to cope with challenges easily. — Josh KohlbachWholesale Suite

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