Experiment Your Way To Flourishing

November 19, 2021

Experiment Your Way To Flourishing

Before we dive into the topic, I want to share with you that I have realised a major milestone in my business but equally in my life. As I’ve achieved something that I never dreamt of and it’s come off the back of experimentation and intentionally adapting. Off the back of being true to who I am and practicing what I preach and teach.

Allow me the indulgence of sharing in the hope that it might inspire you to experiment your way to flourishing.

The beginning of the experiment to flourishing

Four years ago, I became frustrated with consistently observing how organisations prioritised productivity at the expense of the wellbeing and the  untapped potential of their people.

After stumbling upon a Harvard Business Review article that referenced an Adaptability Quotient and how it was the next competitive advantage for business, I found myself curious.

What role could adaptability play in bridging the balance between unlocking human potential and amplifying wellbeing?

As I scoured academic literature, I was surprised to discover a consistent theme when it came to organisational research on adaptability. The lens in which it was viewed as a lever to enabling high performance did not consider the potential impact on, or the role of wellbeing. I wondered, what if we could make adaptability more intentional, more human-centric and as a by-product unlock what truly healthy high performance looks like.

Renowned forefather of positive psychology Martin Seligman, has a term for this. He calls it flourishing and defines it as “finding fulfilment in our lives, accomplishing meaningful and worthwhile tasks and connecting with others on a deeper level".

With courage in my back pocket, I boldly asked six organisational leaders in their respective fields (Microsoft, Deloitte, KPMG, National Australia Bank and Mercer, Carey Grammar) to experiment with me. It was an experiment with a single intention: to create an intentional adaptability skillset that enabled flourishing.

Fast forward to November 2021 and the world’s first Intentional Adaptability Quotient has been validated as a psychological psychometric tool.

What does this mean? It means that the IAQ assessment (which you can access for free via hackinghappy.co) and the educational framework that I have created is scientifically proven to measure and amplify one's change of readiness and life satisfaction. 

What is it that makes IAQ© (Intentional Adaptability Quotient) so unique?

So what is IAQ©?

It’s a concept grounded in the theory of positive psychology. Positive psychology is defined as “the science of optimal human functioning".It aims to discover and promote the factors that enable individuals and communities to thrive.

Your intentional adaptability quotient is the measure of how skilled you are in making intentional change in complex and uncertain environments that are evolving at speed… and damn, don’t we find ourselves one of those right now.

It is unique because:

  • No other adaptability construct makes the importance of intention in adapting explicit nor the influence it has on one’s motivation to perform.
  • The evidence demonstrates that IAQ can predict meaningful and impactful outcomes including change readiness and life satisfaction which speaks to my original intention of creating a means to unlock potential whilst in parallel amplifying wellbeing.
  • The research places experimentation at the core of building one's IAQ, giving willing practitioners (you perhaps?) permission to experiment their way to healthy high performance.

Whilst this scientific validation of IAQ is a major milestone, in many ways, it is just the beginning. The potential impact of this tool and its ability to shape a healthier high-performance future across industries like Leadership Development, Education, and Mental Health is untapped. 

What is next for the IAQ?

When the paper validating IAQ landed on my desk. I shared my moment with a couple of friends. One of whom said to me so what's your 5 year plan? Where are you going to take this?

I felt a wave of "oh shit". I never thought I would experiment my way to creating a world first psychometric that could truly change how we lead, educate or live our lives.

Yet in that moment, I also realised that it was experimentation that led me here, so it will be experimentation that lights up the path on where to next. 

As I’ve said for a while now, it's the action that breeds clarity.

I reminded myself that it's totally ok if only the next two steps on the staircase to what next are illuminated. Then I jumped in front of my whiteboard (yes I keep one in my living room), I turned my phone off, put on some beats and mapped out my next experiment.



Stay tuned on that front.

Final thoughts

I share this story in the hope that if you’re sitting with a change that you long for, a change that you are afraid to step in because it feels so huge that you don’t know where to start, I want you to know that that’s exactly why you should start.

You don’t have to know what all the steps are, you don’t have to take them all in the next month and in reality the steps you think you should take will likely change as you do on your journey.  And all of this is completely normal and ok.

Because flourishing, a full and happy life is not a destination, it's a practice, a journey, and leaning into it one step at a time is where the magic is found.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can use intentional adaptability to unlock your potential whilst amplifying your wellbeing you can take the free hackinghappy assessment or learn more about IAQ here.

You can also grab a copy of my book Hacking Happiness which is a navigation tool for you to bring this science to life in a way that makes sense for you.

Want more?

Listen to episode 50 of my podcast where I share some of the findings from the research paper validating IAQ so that you can learn more about how to use it flourish!


HackingHappy.co is on a mission to teach 10 million humans how to intentionally adapt by 2025 in order to future proof happiness. We are devoted to supporting you in creating the space, self-belief and the courage to realise the happiness you deserve. Want more happy in each day? Take your free Hacking Happy Assessment here.