AQ and why it matters

June 22, 2020

Written by Brian Kimball

The (Human Capital Management) HCM world has focused quite extensively on the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for successful management, development and support of the workforce. Indeed, companies that fail to understand that EQ is just as important as IQ  – and therefore account for it accordingly in company and organizational culture and ethos – will lag behind those that realize its significance.

There is, however, another quotient that needs to be recognized and understood in the ever-changing world of business. It is not something new, but it is something that has become increasingly relevant in the world in which we now live. A world of rampant and constant change that shows no sign of slowing down.

As such, increasingly our success individually and corporately is going to be significantly impacted by our Adaptability Quotient (i.e., AQ). By how quickly we are able to understand and absorb change and adapt to the constant newness hitting us from every angle.

Not everyone handles change the same. For some it is a source of angst and fear – a bombardment that over time weakens and becomes a problem. For others there is some tolerance and a willingness to change when pushed. And then there are those that welcome change – embrace it, unthreatened as they realize that change means opportunity.

Again – this is not something new. History has shown us that those who can adapt better are more likely to do better than those that cannot or will not. What makes this a topic of discussion for today however, is that we are experiencing change on an unprecedented scale. This “change” is highlighting how important it is to recognize that incorporating AQ into the equation when assessing organizational growth, succession planning, career development, and the ability to thrive in today’s world of business is needed. How adaptable your company is directly relates to the company’s AQ.

Recognizing that adaptability is critical for career and corporate success, it is imperative to assess and measure AQ. Depending on the role within the organization, high AQ as a job requirement will vary, although AQ is relevant across the board to varying degrees. Assessments can help in determining one’s AQ and coaching can help develop AQ as we manage people with an awareness to change and comfort with change.

Adaptability Quotient most certainly matters and understanding how this impacts our success in our careers and in our businesses is a critical undertaking.​ The company with the higher AQ is more likely to succeed as the workforce will be less stressed and frayed around the edges.


The world of Human Capital Management (HCM) is constantly changing. Organizations fight the war on attracting and retaining top talent, while HCM vendors rapidly innovate to meet the need. The result is a seemingly endless array of choices, with no clear fit for your unique business. Are you prepared to start a new HCM technology initiative without an expert by your side?

HRchitect offers you relief from this volatile situation by pairing your company with experts who work alongside your team to build a roadmap for your HCM technologyselect a new or replacement systemimplement and integrate your new HCM technology, provide ongoing support and everything in between.

Brian Kimball

Brian Kimball, EVP of HCM Implementation Service, has over 25 years of expertise in the Human Resources domain including over 20 years in systems development and implementation. Since he started with HRchitect in 2000, Brian has led project management, functional consulting and training responsibilities in over 75 Applicant Tracking system evaluations and implementations. He is well versed in all aspects of the HR domain, including Applicant Tracking, Talent Management, Workforce Management, and the related technologies.

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