About LAS

LAS is an award-winning provider of elearning consultancy, design, development and training services in the UK and internationally. 

Established in 2005 as LearningAge Solutions, we work with some of the best known organisations in the world to boost their performance through the innovative use of learning technologies. Working in partnership with our customers, we draw on proven principles from human behaviour, how people learn and how the brain works to create impactful digital learning solutions with real return on investment.

About Tess Robinson

Photo of Tess Robinson

Tess is a director of LAS. She has worked in a learning environment for over fifteen years. First, as a senior manager in universities, moving into digital learning seven years ago.

Can you learn how to adapt to change?

By Tess Robinson
Posted 16 April 2018

Steven Hawking once (allegedly) said:

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”.

Whereas being intelligent may mean you’re more likely to have the skill to identify gaps between where you are and where you need to be, I disagree that it’s a fundamental requirement to the ability to adapt. With digital transformation disrupting the workplace and complexity and uncertainty from many quarters characterising the environment that organisations operate in in the 21st century, we need to recognise that change is constant and we need to embrace it. If, as this quote says, it’s only the intelligent that have the ability do this, we’d be in deep trouble.

Being able to adapt to a changing world is much more to do with letting go of fear and the old ways of doing things, having a flexible mindset and being immersed in an environment which supports change. It’s hard but it can be learned. Organisational learning, therefore, has a vital role to play in encouraging behaviour change and creating the scaffolding for this change to take place.

1. Allow time and space for people to adjust to the change and learn any new skills they need to make the change a success. It shouldn’t be an add-on to their day-to-day work but, instead an integral part of their day.
2. Invest in resources. Give people the mechanisms to communicate, ask questions and experiment in a safe environment. The best way to do this depends very much on your organisation’s culture and working environment.
3. Focus on opportunities instead of what might go wrong. This can be hard to do if people are not happy about the change and it does need some practice. Storytelling or scenario based learning can help in this.
4. Encourage communication and collaboration. Allow people to learn from peers who are already doing the new tasks or role that they need to get to grips with. A positive mindset can be catching.
5. Make sure the mission is clear and well understood. If everyone is aware of the bigger picture and their role in it, it will be easier to galvanise the team to change.

Change is good. On an individual level, it opens up new opportunities and stops us getting bored. However, on an organisational level it is vital to survival. Whereas it can be stressful and create anxiety, the way that you manage change as an organisation and prepare your people for it, through your learning strategies, can make a huge difference to how well it is embraced.

Contact us 
Sign up for the free Learning eXperience Design course