Adaptation — The Key to Survival

In Britain, we’re obsessed by the weather and the need for adaptation to it, and the last few months make it easy to understand why. From a big freeze at the beginning of March to heat-waves in May — interrupted briefly by storms and flooding — the weather always keeps us guessing.

We’re constantly having to adapt to the weather, even if it’s only planning what to wear. But perhaps that’s a good thing. Both in life and in business, adaptation is the key to survival.

Adapt to Survive

Ability to adapt is the single most important factor for the survival of a species in nature. The history of life on earth is littered with species that died out because the situation they were perfectly fitted for changed, and they weren’t able to adapt.

Sometimes this has been because the climate or the environment altered, but it can also be due to a new factor on the scene. The dodo, for instance, had the misfortune to be hunted to extinction before it had time to learn fear of humans.

Humans are no different, and we’re facing many challenges today that may require us to adapt quickly, if we’re not destined to go the way of the dodo.

Adapt to Thrive

Adaptation isn’t always about a life-and-death struggle — it can also determine how much success we have in life. We rarely have any idea when we wake in the morning what kind of situations we’ll be hit with during the day — any more than we know what kind of weather to expect.

Nowhere is this more true than in business. The biographies of successful entrepreneurs are full of opportunities that came from some totally unexpected quarter. Perhaps they were asked to do something that wasn’t their speciality. Some business owners would simply have said “No, sorry, I don’t do that” and continued on a mediocre course. It’s those willing to take a change and learn a new skill who are usually the successes.

This is especially important in the modern business environment. Of course, we’re faced almost daily with new types of technology. We have to attempt to judge which are going to be relevant and then try to learn how to use them.

In an even broader sense, though, we’re facing an ever-changing landscape of what it means to run a business. From the liberation of business from the office to the possibilities of the tiniest SME operating globally, the business scene is in constant flux. And it will be the entrepreneurs who can adapt to the new ways who’ll come out on top.


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