As the subject line indicates, this month in the CAM Community of Coaches we are focused on coaching for adaptive capacity. That’s nice, but what does “adaptive capacity” mean?
In his book Canoeing the Mountains, Tod Bolsinger describes adaptive capacity this way:
It is the capacity to lead a process of shifting values, habits and behaviors in order to grow and discover solutions to the greatest challenges brought on by a changing world.
Leaders who lead in and through uncertainty absolutely must demonstrate adaptive capacity. Such leaders are willing and able to resist unhealthy reliance on methods and solutions that worked in previous contexts; they embrace the discovery of new solutions for new challenges. As you can probably already tell from Tod’s description, adaptive capacity has a strong intersection with coaching. How so? Here are three ways:
- Adaptive capacity values discovery over delivery. Coaches are much more inclined for generate discovery of new solutions more than delivery of past answers.
- Adaptive capacity values process more than content. Coaches are process experts who can facilitate ways forward instead of getting trapped in their own content expertise.
- Adaptive capacity emphasizes shared wisdom over guru-ism. Okay, I made up the term guru-ism, but hopefully you know what I mean. Coaches are able to draw out the wisdom of others (including groups and teams) and they don’t have a need to be perceived as the smart person or the one with all the answers.
This concept of adaptive capacity is powerful, which is why we are putting our focus here in October within the CAM Community of Coaches. Join us for this month’s webinar on October 8 at 11AM Eastern Time. During the webinar, we will unpack adaptive capacity even more and make connections to you and your coaching. Even if you don’t lead or work with leaders, per se, it will be a helpful webinar that will improve your coaching in these changing and challenging times.