This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

October 31, 2018

The Rising Importance of Resilience

Recently, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Paul G. Stoltz, Founder and CEO of PEAK Learning and New York Times bestselling author of GRIT: The New Science of What it Takes to Persevere, Flourish, Succeed. We were fascinated by his decades of research and findings. With the rising tide of stress and the surging trend of anxiety around the world, equipping people to go beyond coping, and harness the adversity they face is the quest to which Stoltz has dedicated his life.

Rising Global Adversity
Over the past 32 years, PEAK Learning, Stoltz' global research firm, has surveyed more than 1million people across 137 countries, asking them how many adversities big and small, they face just in a typical day. (He defines "adversity" as "frustrations, hassles, problems, disasters, obstacles, headaches, difficulties, and tragedies".) PEAK then asked them to list their adversities. Roughly 27 years ago, the global average was 3. Today, the global average is 32 adversities per day (and growing). An interesting new development is that women have slightly more than men,

Completion Erosion®
Given the increasing incidence of adversities, and relentless battle for our attention, it is not surprising that PEAK also found a declining rate in people getting things done. For 17 years they have been asking two questions:
1. "Out of all the tasks, obligations, and responsibilities you have on your plate, what percentage do you get done, on time and to your satisfaction?"
2. "What percentage of your people's stuff (same list) do they get done on time and to your satisfaction?"

Based on a sample of roughly 500,000 individuals worldwide, those numbers have been consistently and gradually declining. PEAK calls this pattern "Completion Erosion". Imagine the implications for morale, engagement, productivity, enjoyment, effort, and more.

Adversity Quotient defined
Roughly ten years before emotional intelligence (EQ) appeared on the scene, Stoltz introduced the world to his Adversity Quotient (AQ). AQ is a well-respected standard for measuring and strengthening how individuals and their organizations respond to and handle adversity.

Hiring the Rock Stars
In addition, PEAK asked more than 35,000 hiring managers across all sectors. . . "If you were hiring someone today, who would you pick:
A) the modestly low AQ person with the perfect skills and qualifications or
B) the high AQ person who is missing some specific elements?" Almost 99 percent of hiring managers picked B.

The Adversity Forecast
For 30 years, PEAK has been asking people to look out on the horizon of their society, market, or world. . . and tell PEAK whether things are becoming more or less predictable? More stable or unstable? Faster or slower? More or less demanding? More or less rational? Easier or tougher? (and much more) The answers are consistently "more challenging". Moreover, when asked what they think they will say when asked the same question in 10 years, the answer was "the same". So, our global forecast is that we will live in adversity-rich times. We also expect demands for leaders with increasing levels of resilience (AQ) and GRIT.

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