The recent announcements of layoffs, hiring freezes, and rescinded job offers, coupled with inflation and a looming recession, are just the latest events that have rocked our sense of control. Losing the security blanket of control leaves us feeling vulnerable and helpless. It's at odds with being happy and grounded since science tells us we need to feel a sense of control in our work and lives.
The rate of complexity and daily change we're experiencing now has surpassed our ability to understand it. The most important thing to do when all looks grim and bleak in the world is to Control and change what we can. Embrace and adapt to what we can't." This is why this current time is "The Adaptive Age."
With so many uncontrollable events, organizations that remain aligned in their values and purpose [control & change] while treating their people as assets rather than an expense [embrace & adapt] will be able to bounce back and rebuild more quickly. The key is to bring adaptiveness and humanity to work. When we do this, we can scale meaningful impact by measuring what matters to all, not just the few in this Adaptive Age.
So, what do organizations need to endure the Adaptive Age?
At DH, we use the Greenhouse Model, which is rooted in what it means to be scientifically happy and authentically whole, to build sustainable lives that make a greater impact. It consists of the three levers [control, progress, connectedness] that increase happiness within yourself and your organization and the four greenhouse conditions necessary for growth and impact [alignment, belonging, accountability, and commitment].
Giving your people autonomy over their work and trusting them to make decisions because they are the ones that know their roles and responsibilities best. Control can be as simple as allowing your team flexibility in their schedules and where work gets done [remotely or in the office].
A feeling of moving forward and working towards achievable goals can elevate burnout while providing a greater sense of accomplishment. Progress makes your team feel more productive and engaged.
Meaningful relationships make up the most sustainable form of happiness, second only to purpose. People work harder for people they feel a connection to and a friendship with.
Company cultures that embed these levers are better equipped to evaluate and adapt.
The four additional greenhouse conditions organizations need to endure in the Adaptive Age are:
This happens when the collective purpose, values, and behaviors [PVB] are understood by the entire organization so that your team can align their own PVBs to them.
This happens when everyone feels welcomed; trust is high, and people are free to be curious without judgment. Belonging takes place when a sense of security, inclusivity, and equity can be felt by all. When people feel valued, connected, and true to their authentic selves.
This happens in workplace cultures where people are held to their shared PVBs.
Most important, at the executive level. There is a sense of individual and shared ownership of what's best for the organization. People know they can learn and grow when mistakes or missteps happen.
This happens when everyone from the CEO to front liners is invested in the culture and long-term growth. The entire organization commits to working together [not against] to reach a shared purpose.
It is only through change and adaptation that we can learn and grow. Of course, change and adapting are scary. When we embrace the levers of happiness and the greenhouse conditions, we are able to create organizations that will not only endure the Adaptive Age but will thrive in it.