Alex T. Steffen: Pioneer and Master of Adaptive Intelligence

05. September 2022 – Katharina Schlangenotto

Alex T. Steffen is a top keynote speaker and speaks and writes in his books about what awaits professionals and executives in the near future. Adaptive Intelligence is the buzzword for the expert on digital transformation, new work and leadership.

Adaptive intelligence shapes the future we want

So what does adaptive intelligence actually mean? One attempted definition is that it is the ability to learn something from one’s environment, to adapt to the environment, and to develop new strategies to adapt to change. Alex T. Steffen also deals, logically, with the topic of agility, which has not just been announced in companies since yesterday, and with which managers often still struggle. After all, it’s not so easy to continually adapt processes and teams to the ever-faster pace of change. There is no end to this, only a beginning.

Alex T. Steffen asks what skills managers of the future will need. What does the New Work and the future of work look like? How can it be dealt with, how can constant adaptation and change be used in such a way that companies and people benefit from it in the best possible way?

Alex T. Steffen: The pioneer in you – accelerating change processes as a modern manager

Alex T. Steffen likes to talk about the “pioneer spirit”, this mentality of the eternal discoverer, who even in adulthood walks through the world with astonished child’s eyes and does not let himself be frightened by situations he has never experienced before.

His latest book “The Pioneer in You: How to Accelerate Change Processes and Become a Modern Leader through Adaptive Intelligence (AQ) – incl. Competence Analysis” deals with the question of how companies can make themselves fit for the future. Alex T. Steffen says: “Behind every successful transformation there is a pioneer. Instead of complex change projects that are difficult to coordinate, the CEOs and managers of pioneering companies rely on adaptive intelligence (AQ). That’s because pioneers enliven change processes with their agile mindset.”

But how does someone get this agile mindset now? Can it be learned? Can anyone acquire it?

Agile mindset can be learned

In his keynotes, he decodes the psychology of pioneers and answers the question of learnability with a resounding yes. If you know the six learnable core competencies that you need to become a pioneer yourself, you are already well prepared for the future. As with all new skills to be learned, the formula for success is clear: practice makes perfect. Simply knowing the core competencies is rarely enough. Rather, it’s a matter of applying them, over and over again, until they become second nature. Who says change is easy? But with the right mindset that needs to be trained, it gets easier. 

On his Instagram account, the management strategist, best-selling author, top management thought leader and TEDx speaker posted a wooden sign somewhere under palm trees that read, “Enjoy the little things, one day you look back and realize they were the big things.”

How do I want to feel today?

Alex T. Steffens wants to shake things up and raise awareness for gallantly avoiding the “mindset traps”. Why do we give ourselves that to look at news that worries us, maybe even scares us, why do we look at how great others are on social media and go straight into comparison? Why do we feel we have to judge others? Under the same post, he asks, “How do I want to feel today?” His tipp: It’s best to ask yourself this question every morning.

Let’s try it out. There is a pioneer in each of us. The future can and must be human. Especially that of the leaders of tomorrow.

Alex T. Steffen

Management Strategist, Expert on digitalisation, modern leadership & adaptive intelligence (AQ)