Adaptability is being pragmatic to current situations and being nimble enough to leverage every opportunity. This is because business and life is unpredictable and perfect situations are rare. So adaptability is the flexibility to deploy whatever resources which are currently available to achieve the overall purpose. The environment in which one operates will always present obstacles but it will also present prospects which can be converted to generate the momentum to move forward. It does however require adapting to the environment while maintaining your overall vision.

One such example of adaptability are fishermen in Japan and China who find themselves in deep water conditions which makes it very challenging to use conventional fishing methods like nets or lines. So these fishermen developed Cormorant fishing. It is a practice developed by fishermen in these countries, who have adapted to difficult deep-water conditions by training Cormorant birds to do their fishing for them. Cormorant birds are large, long-necked sea birds that weigh about 4 kilos (about 8.8 pounds). These birds are expert swimmers, can dive naturally up to 35 meters deep under water, and can stay under water for up to 75 seconds. Cormorants really are experts at catching fish underwater for food.

Asian fishermen long ago noticed the unique traits of the Cormorant and developed it into Cormorant fishing. The technique of Cormorant fishing or Ukai in Japanese, is done by tying a string around the cormorant bird’s neck so that it can only swallow small fish for its own food. The Cormorant is then released to the water to fish. When it catches large fish, it cannot swallow them and the fishermen pick these large fish out of the bird’s throat as their own catch. Through this process, the fishermen have adapted to their environment and use naturally occurring birds to catch the fish they sell to earn a living. So, look closely around you, what do you see? How can adaptability help you leverage your environment and gain some momentum? Think about it.

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