• Donald Davis

Velocity is Equal to Adaptability Times Capability

Updated: Nov 6


One of my previous colleagues said to me once that a group of people that we worked with were “all thrust and no vector”. This meant that they looked like they were extremely busy without actually getting anywhere.


Mathematically, Velocity is a vector quantity that measures displacement or change in position over a change in time. Working on something that has zero change in position over time can be a challenge for anyone.


This past week I have had the opportunity to focus on a couple of organizations that have seen significant challenges as they have grown. What has happened over time is that the organizations have started to slow in their ability to respond to their customers and so they are seeing a slowing of their velocity. I would say that this often happens and in business the math is just a bit different. A business’s capability multiplied by its adaptability to change is what will in the end determine the overall velocity.


In one particular case the business has grown so fast that the leader needed to find a different physical location for his business. This shift in locations came with some additional baggage in maintenance and overall business inefficiencies that are causing him current cash flow and overall performance problems.


What do we do about it in business when our business slows down?



Adaptability Factors

Most companies that are growing have adaptable people. Where I have seen negative impacts are when an organization gets so set in its ways that “the old way is the only way” becomes the mantra.


To change this, the leaders need to allow teams to come up with new ideas, and solutions in meetings or brainstorming sessions and then allow them to implement the ideas for improvements. Sometimes, having small nimble teams to solve problems is the only way to come up with the solutions to big problems but the organization also has to be comfortable with letting them implement and control.


Some businesses invest in training for their team to develop and improve their critical thinking skills, and to be more equipped for some changes in the environment.


Critical Thinking Skills


In order to be successful in today's rapidly changing business world, it is essential to have strong critical thinking skills. It is a vital need to adapt to fast-paced changes in the business, with the ability to think critically, you will be able to analyze information and make sound decisions quickly.


If you can develop strong Critical Thinking Skills, you will be well-positioned to adapt to the fast-paced changes in the business. By using these skills, you will be able to make sound decisions quickly and effectively, which can give you a competitive edge.


So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve in today's business world, start honing your Critical Thinking Skills!


Capability (Noun)

Capability is a measure of someone's or something's potential. It's the ability to do something, and it's often used in business. When companies are trying to decide if they should hire someone, they'll look at that person's Capability to see if the person has the potential to do the job well. Capability is also important in other areas of life, like when you're trying a new activity. It can help you understand your potential and how much effort you need to put into something to be successful. Capability Noun is an important tool for helping us make decisions about our lives.



As the business landscape continues to change in the system at a rapid pace for example, in technology, it's critical that employees have strong critical thinking skills in order to keep up efficiency. By learning how to think critically, employees can be flexible to new processes or situations and make sound responsive decisions that will benefit the company as a whole and expected.


Unfortunately, many people aren't taught how to think critically. As a result, they may find themselves struggling when confronted with changes or challenges at work.






If you're not sure how to improve your own critical thinking skills, there are a few key things you can do:


1. Pay attention to your own thought process. When you're presented with a problem or challenge, take a step back and examine your own thought process. Are you immediately jumping to a solution? Or are you taking the time to analyze the situation and consider all your options? If you find yourself jumping to conclusions, it's important to slow down and force yourself to think through the problem more carefully.


2. Be open-minded. One of the biggest obstacles to critical thinking is closed-mindedness. If you're not willing to consider new ideas and accept new information or different ways of doing things, you'll never be able to think critically. It's important to keep an open mind and be willing to try new things.



3. Practice active listening. When someone else is presenting an idea or trying to explain something, it's important that you practice active listening. This means really paying attention and trying to understand what they're saying, rather than just waiting for your turn to speak. Active listening will help you gather all the new information you need to make a sound decision.


4. Ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask questions when you're trying to understand something. Asking questions shows that you're engaged and interested in learning more. It also allows you to get clarification on points that may be unclear so that's the time for you to adjust.


5. Take your time. Rushing into a decision is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. When you take your time and think things through carefully, have more time to research and you're much more likely to make a sound decision that you won't regret later.


By following these tips, you can start to improve your critical thinking skills and become better equipped to handle changes in the workplace. With strong critical thinking skills, you'll be able to adapt to any situation and make decisions that will benefit your career.


Crucial Skill Set (Cognitive, Social, Personal)


A crucial skill set is a set of skills that are essential for success in any field. They can be divided into three main categories: cognitive skills, social skills, and personal skills.


Cognitive skills are the ability to think logically and solve problems. They include things like critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making.


Social skills are the ability to interact with others effectively. They include communication, teamwork, and leadership.


Personal skills are those related to your individual character traits. They include things like self-motivation, time management, and stress management.


While there is no definitive list of Crucial Skills, these are some of the most important ones that employers look for in candidates. If you can hone these skills, you'll be well on your way to handling more projects and responsibilities and being successful in any field.

Capability Factors

A critical analysis of the factors impacting the business' velocity often will lead us back to what is needed to improve the situation. In most cases it comes back to the basics, the standard operating procedures of the business and the metrics we use to measure the success.


I would start with the following analysis:

  1. Do you have clearly defined roles? Can your people clearly describe their impact in the organization? Do people have the autonomy to make decisions?

  2. Do you have the ability to be preventative in anything that can go wrong? (for example, preventative maintenance on your equipment)

  3. Are your people trained and growing? Being able to maintain velocity means that your people have the capability to meet whatever comes their way.

  4. Is the work always visible (even when it is a work in progress)? Are there established methods for monitoring?

  5. Is the organization moving slower because of a lack of being able to adapt to the growth you have seen?

  6. Are the tools or technology holding the organization back?


As organizations grow, maintaining velocity is often critical to remain competitive. I would encourage anyone who feels that they are not moving fast enough to first look at the capability of your organization and second your adaptability.


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