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Adaptive Capacity Series (intensive)

The World Economic Forum cited adaptive capacity as the no. 1 fundamental meta-competency required by professionals to succeed in the future of work and the challenges it will bring. Join Distinguished UTS Professor Robert Wood, as he unpacks a lifetime of research into showcasing the skills that distinguish those who engage with challenges, work through the problems they pose, and extract value from experiences, from others.



About this course

Adaptive capacity underpins a range of crucial skills required by professionals in the future of work – including:

  1. Analytical thinking
  2. Complex decision making
  3. Constructive team dynamics
  4. Effective learning of new technical skills
  5. Inclusive leadership
  6. Innovation
  7. Ethical decision making
  8. Responses to change, disruption and crises.

It is not surprising that adaptive capacity was named the number one meta-competency required by professionals to succeed in the future of work (World Economic Forum). During this short course, you will be provided with invaluable insight and knowledge in this field, to prepare you for the future of work.

Course structure

This course will be delivered face-to-face over two full-days at the UTS City Campus. It will include four modules – one for each of the four, core meta-competencies that comprise adaptive capacity. You will also be given the opportunity to complete a personal adaptive quotient (PAQ) assessment as pre-work for the course, with debriefing of your PAQ provided during the program.

Personal adaptive quotient (PAQ)

Based on the lifelong research of Professor Robert Wood and developed in conjunction with the research team at the UTS Futures Academy, the PAQ is an assessment tool designed specifically to measure your level of adaptive capacity and associated competencies. This tool assesses the core meta-competencies required to learn, apply technical skills to team environments, cope with disruption to the status quo and extract value from experience. In short, it acts as a measure of success for the future of work.

After completing the PAQ, you will receive detailed feedback of your results compared to control groups, along with recommendations for on-the-job development and a personalised development planning document.

Module 1 - Adaptive leadership

  • Understand your current leadership style through an adaptive capacity lens, including present strengths and areas for development.

Module 2 - Mindsets and motivations

  • Mindsets underpin judgement and influence or bias your individual engagement with tasks and feedback. Combined with motivational factors such as commitment and perspective, self-appraisal, continuous learning and continuous improvement, they provide the fundamental skills needed to extract value from experience and learning.

Module 3 - Structured thinking and planning

  • Contemporary processes and tools for structured thinking and planning in the context of problem solving and strategic communication.

Module 4 - Constructive challenge: the critical teaming skill

  • Team processes that can be used to effectively clarify positions and/or reveal gaps in the understanding of issues. These are critical for inclusive decision making.

Learning outcomes

This course will enable participants to:

  • Understand the application of gain-frame, growth and proactivity mindsets for adaptive challenges
  • Develop a toolkit for problem solving
  • Realise effective self-leadership based on integrity and trust, as a foundation for adaptive leadership
  • Manage processes of creative conflict and apply effective constructive challenge in team scenarios.


Discount codes are available for the following:

  • 10% discount for UTS staff, students and alumni
  • 15% discount for 3 or more enrolments from the same organisation.

If you are eligible for any of the discounts above, you will need to obtain a discount code BEFORE you sign up to this course.

Please email with your UTS staff, student or alumni number or provide details of your group enrolment. Once verified, you will be supplied with a voucher code to apply to your cart.

Please note that discounts cannot be combined. A limit of one discount applies per person per course session.

Who is this course for?

This short course is suitable for (but not limited to):

- Leaders, managers and professionals working through post-COVID disruption

- Team leaders who have teams going through organisational change, technological transformation, process innovation and other major challenges

- High-potential leaders on the fast track who are poised and motivated to take on significant managerial responsibility in their organisation

- Mid-level executives — from any size company or industry

- Individuals who are eager, engaged and inspired to make a positive impact in their organisation and are looking to turbo charge their leadership skills.


As part of your enrolment, you will be provided with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. If you have particular dietary requirements, please ensure you confirm these with our staff prior to attending your course, so that we can arrange for our caterers to provide you with delicious alternatives. Please send all dietary requirements to



27 May




2 days

Meet the experts

Distinguished Professor Robert Wood

Distinguished Professor Robert Wood
Director of UTS Futures Academy

Robert (Bob) is a world leading researcher in problem solving and learning, unconscious bias, cognitive functions, leadership and diversity. He is interested in human brain plasticity and the malleable features of personality and intelligence, the highs and lows of ethical decision making in very senior leaders and creating and delivering programs in organisations that enhance cultural and gender diversity.

Bob has designed, developed and delivered programs for senior managers and provided advice to many Australian and overseas corporations, including Westpac, Santos, PwC, Westfield, Newmont Mining, Saudi Aramco, Dow Chemical, Telstra, P&O Ports, Australian Defence Force and the Hong Kong Government during the transition back to Chinese rule. He is a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management, the American Psychological Association (Division 14) and a Fellow and Executive Board member of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the International Association of Applied Psychology.       

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Associate Professor Natalia Nikolova

Associate Professor Natalia Nikolova
Program Director, UTS Futures Academy and Director of Advanced MBA

Natalia is the Director of UTS Advanced MBA. She has a PhD in economic and political sciences from the University of Cologne, Germany, where she was formerly a senior lecturer. Before joining UTS, she was a visiting researcher at the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Natalia’s research focuses on professional services, project-based organisations and innovation. She was a facilitator in the fields of business strategy, management consulting, design thinking, change management and leadership, through her work in UTS' EMBA, MBA and UTS' innovative transdisciplinary programs. She has a strong reputation in designing innovative learning experiences that prepare students for the future of work. Her work in this area has been recognised through an Australian Government Learning & Teaching Citation, a UTS Learning & Teaching Award and a UTS Learning & Teaching Citation. She has facilitated over 100 student consulting projects completed in our EMBA, MBA and BTi programs, with significant value created for clients, students and the University.     


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Book a session

Thu 27 May 2021 -
Fri 28 May 2021
Expert: Distinguished Professor Robert Wood, Associate Professor Natalia Nikolova
  • UTS City Campus | Enrolled participants will be given specific venue locations closer to the start date.
  • On-campus
  • 2 sessions, 14 hours total

Catering is provided for this course. If you have any dietary requirements, please email

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