Adaptability is Our Superpower in the Never Normal with Greg Verdino

Learning how to unlearn tradition can lead to transformative success.

Even before the pandemic, technology was transforming our jobs, our work, and our workplaces. The journey has been fascinating while incredibly challenging.

But then all SHIFT let loose in March 2020, and the pandemic shattered the norms of the traditional workplace. Work from anywhere exploded and workplaces without borders became normal Physical proximity to jobs and even physical presence became optional. The rules about how we work, when we work, and where we work were almost instantly rewritten.

As Alvin Toffler described in his epic book Future Shock, the future arrived prematurely and, many employees two years later are finding it difficult to adjust to the new norm of perpetual disruption and uncertainty. Dreams of returning to normal are fading and that is freaking terrifying for many people.

Look no further, than the millions of people who are struggling with alarming rates of stress, burnout, and mental illness. The deluge of irrelevant and misinformation, our human addiction to certainty and the lack of adapt abilities to grow and thrive in an era of never normal only serve to exacerbate and accelerate our inability to function productively and harmoniously in this never normal future.

Does this describe your life and work? Then you are in the right place. Grab those earbuds and press play.

You’ll hear from Greg Verdino, an entrepreneur and our guide today into the never normal. This podcast conversation delves into the era of the never normal and the skills required to function and thrive in this new and evolving paradigm.

The New Normal Wlll Be Never Normal

What is the new normal, and how did we get here? Well, first we need to ask ourselves–what is normal?

According to Greg Verdino, the norm is the ‘false sense that everything is okay … Consequently, an attempt at evolution into a new norm results in an “intense state of discomfort.”

Normal is defined as conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern. By that definition, the last 2 years has been anything but normal which is likely why so many people long to get back to normal or move onto a new normal. But what if the new normal is never normal?

Dr. Laura is a founder of Vocal Impact Productions. She has trained and coached executives at IBM, US Department of Commerce, Women against Abuse, as well as politicians, business owners and non-profit leaders from all around the world. She has spoken at thousands of conferences, including Special Business Women of California Conference & Pennsylvania Conference for Women.

Who is Greg Verdino?

As a global keynote speaker, entrepreneur, author, and leading authority on digital transformation, Greg Verdino has been shaped by 30 years of working on the frontlines of change.

He is the founder of The Alpha Collective, a premium community that helps executives unlock the value and opportunities in the business of Web3–the next iteration of the internet and the next disruptive driver of business transformation. Greg is also a partner in VERDINO, a consultancy that helps technology companies engage buyers and drive demand through powerful brand stories and compelling content marketing.

The Irony of Normal

There never really has ever been a normal. We as a society have been changing forever. One of the most popular quotes about change can be traced to Heraclitus, way back in the 5th century B.C. – “Change is the only only constant in life.” If we accept change is inevitable, then it’s also as likely that human resistance to change is inevitable and normal. Humans it seems are just hard-wired to cling to the status quo. But as our lives become more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA), it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the inevitable, making adaptability our human superpower.

Disruption – Where Companies are Failing

“You can invest in technology, but you can’t just buy a culture.”

What holds more weight — being technologically sound or having a solid culture? “Both are,” says Verdino, but he places his bet on culture.

He also describes the main differences between digitization vs digital transformation.

To put it simply, digitization is doing similar things differently, especially with the use of technology. It is the ability to be adaptable when needed. Digital transformation is about testing out different options, not just doing the same things differently. He offers listeners tangible examples of both and insights they can take back to their organizations.

To listen to the

Everything You Need to Know About Web3

“Web-3 can change the way we carry our record of experiences, how employees are evaluated, and more.”

The concept of Web3 can get really complex, and many have questions like what is web3 and what does this mean for HR departments? 

Web3 is basically re-decentralizing the internet. Greg goes over the differences between Web1 and Web2, and how blockchain, NFTs, and other elements fit into web3.

But Web3 isn’t just for the geeks and digital savvy. He suggests Web3 will disrupt HR too, offering use cases like creating public records of contributions to the organization, background checks, identity verifications, and more. He also talks about how the youngest generations are already embracing web3 as a model, and what we can learn from them.

Curious about how Web3 will impact your future?

Adaptability – How Do You Measure It?

Greg believes adaptability requires the use of personal tools that measure progress. He highlighted the AQai which is based on the ACE model (Ability, Character, Environment). But he cautions us. Like with other testing, workers become obsessed with achieving the benchmarks at the expense of genuinely learning.

Greg believes using a practical roadmap is the best way to feed the information loop and transform it into the new normal. One of the ten Adapt Manifesto principles he follows maintains that new workers become students of change, which involves unlearning, diligence, and mental resilience. 

What does it mean to be a student of change? If you don’t understand how the world and marketplace around you are changing – you have little chance for survival in the Never Normal. Businesses and their leaders, specifically HR professionals, must become better at adaptability. To help guide the change journey, Greg believes in the power of benchmarking and follows the practices and values of the Adapt Manifesto.

Ready to become a student of change?

What Successful Leadership Looks Like

Each corporation eventually finds itself in a place where they need to do something differently and they start to realize it’s time for a new direction. However, strategy too often ignores that the people who implement the change need to change too. It is how people handle change that will determine future success or failure. 

Greg has worked with many large, well–known organizations and has seen what successful digital transformation looks like firsthand. He shares his first-hand experience with what leadership in these companies did to future-proof their businesses including honing in on productivity, challenging assumptions, unlearning tradition, and more. 

Curious to learn what successful transformation looks like? 

More to Listen for

[6:22] “Normal is always a false normal, the sense that things were relatively stable.”

[7:01] “The fact that change has been exponential has lulled us into a false sense of normal.”

[7:35] “What is normal? The false sense that everything is okay.”

[7:41] “What is never normal? Essentially, the reality is that we are not returning to the status quo.”

[13:59] “Digital transformation is reimagining the organization and positioning it differently to do the different things, not just the same things differently.”

[22:18] “There is a whole generation of new workers embracing Web3 as a model. It’s almost like gig workers on steroids, where they are building their own day job across 5 or 6 or 10 Web3 projects. Some are working for cash, others for crypto and tokens.”

[33:11] “One of the ten principles is to be a student of change, building an information flow and a personal library.”