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Approaching A Great Divide

Alan Andersen

Within the last few weeks, I’ve had three respective clients from very different industries pose a question that I’ll paraphrase…

“What core competency does our business need to be a driving force a decade from now?”

This is an imperative question! The reality is that we are about to cross a tipping point. That is unless we have already crossed that divide.

Wait, Alan. What divide are you referring to?

I’m glad you asked. Think about this…

What was important 100 years ago?  A person’s Intelligence Quotient.  An employer would hire someone based on the perception of his or her IQ. Fast-forward 70 years.

What was important 30 years ago? A person’s Emotional Quotient. Thanks in large part to Daniel Goleman’s research; businesses across the globe began to pay attention and invest training dollars towards employees EQ or Emotional Intelligence. In other words, organizations began asking, "Are our Leaders, Managers or Entry-level employees understanding their feelings, the emotions of their colleagues and ultimately co-existing in a respectfully productive manner?"

The Divide

Now, let's address "the divide" by asking... 

What will be the all-important question moving forward? "Do ALL of our employees have a high degree of the Collaborative Quotient?"

Organizations would be wise to focus on what Collaborative Intelligence or CQ should look like within their unique culture. Why? Primarily because we've seen how quickly business is changing and much more the world at large. And we know that change will only increase in speed.

Okay, I think I'm starting to get it, but help me understand why this CQ is so imperative to address?


Three factors to consider:

  1. Information is ubiquitous. You can learn nearly anything on YouTube,, Khan Academy, and the list goes on. Not to mention, most of this information is available for free and applies to business.

  2. You can outsource anything. If you wanted to, you could outsource just about all of your responsibilities. Now, this does not mean outsourcing everything is a good idea. Nonetheless, it is possible and increasingly so.

  3. Business will be the essence of competition. Companies who do not optimize will be hard pressed to stay relevant. Individuals and organizations would be wise to begin seriously considering how to equip and train all employees to increase in their CQ capacity.

I know this may sound crazy. And to be clear, we aren't recommending your organization overlook IQ or EQ, however, you must emphasize employee CQ. This collaborative endeavor is at the expense of pouring unnecessary energy into asking secondary questions first. Questions like what operating system will the company use, what hardware will each employee need, and so on.

Focus first on attracting the right people and then competitive professional development for existing team members before its too late. Be sure to hire people who have an ability to collaborate well with others that are unlike themselves! That may become the key ingredient in your differentiating factor. Once you have the right people, then have a committee to get the right gear or equipment.

Where to start

Simply begin emphasizing the importance of IQ, EQ, and CQ, especially in the day to day operations. This will likely keep your organization ahead of the curve and your team members highly engaged.

If you want to become well versed in Collaborative Intelligence today, begin with this book. You'll thank us for it... Well, you won't thank us. You'll thank Dr. Markova, but you know what I mean.

Keep in mind that the cornerstone of CQ is not Behavior Change alone, but rather it is about Behavior Change AND World View Transformation. Because if you want to remain relevant, viable, and able to be productive with others your view of the world must continue to grow with the world in real time.

Pulling for you!

Alan Andersen

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