Understanding your Adaptability Environment: Team Support

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The Adaptability Quotient (AQai) framework is seeking to help you to understand what influences your capacity to adapt and one of the key things is the environment in which you’re operating.

Now you might believe that understanding your environment doesn’t do very much for you. But the truth is that understanding your environment allows you to understand both the opportunity for renegotiating that environment and also to understand what’s happening to the people around you.

When we look at your environment, one of the key things is Team Support.  Within the AQai assessment, Team Support is about the immediate culture in which you’re operating.

High Personal Team Support Score

If your score is high, you will feel your team is a safe place in which you can openly share new ideas, where you can explore new ways of working, where members can openly discuss ideas and opinions and different views are welcomed.  You will believe that you and other team members can bring up challenging issues or problems and you feel able to ask your peers for help when facing difficulties.

AQai distinguishes this from your work environment, which is really what’s going on at the company level.  Whatever the company-wide culture, Team Support identifies what is happening in your immediate team.  A high score will mean that you have a wonderful safe place.  As a result you and your team members will have more capacity to respond successfully to change, whether internal or external.

The Bigger Picture

If you’re a team leader, a manager or an executive leader, then understanding the pattern of Team Support scores for individuals and groups will enable you to take action to improve Team Support.  You can identify where the gaps are across your organisation by team, function and division.  It may be that Team Support for a particular team is very low because there’s one toxic individual who brings it all down.  It may be that there is an individual who scores very low on Team Support because they are being bullied.  It could be the issues are more systemic with a pattern of low Team Support scores.  You may have to consider what you need to do to empower manager and team leaders to shift the culture so that individuals experience higher levels of Team Support.

So What?

But why does Team Support matter as an adaptability measure within the AQai framework?

Adaptability is strongly connected to the capacity your organisation has to innovate and evolve, to recover quickly from mistakes and also to be able to take risks.  If you’re Team Support scores are low, then people will not feel able to innovate, or make mistakes.  They will believe they can’t get help when there are difficulties.  The social capital that is created through strong Team Support enables that team to adapt more readily to outside pressures.  It also means they can support the wider organization in making the changes that are needed.


Within the AQai framework, high Team Support scores are critical.  For you, as an individual, to understand what’s really going on in your team.  For you as a manager to benchmark the quality of the team environment.  For you as a leader to understand how different teams provide different levels of support and whether there’s a systemic problem within your company culture.  Low Team Support will be limiting your ability to innovate, develop new ideas, to address problems and ride out difficulties.



Charles McLachlan is the founder of FuturePerfect and on a mission to transform the future of work and business. The Portfolio Executive programme is a new initiative to help executives build a sustainable and impactful second-half-career. Creating an alternative future takes imagination, design, organisation and many other thinking skills. Charles is happy to lend them to you.