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By Chris Savage

It’s useful to have solid dollops of IQ and emotional intelligence. But to survive and thrive today, you need a double helping of CQ. How do you rate?

I’ve been searching for the critical ingredient we must have to protect and build careers and value propositions in ‘disrupted times’ (Yes I know- ‘disrupted’ is an over-used word, but so be it.) This mindset has to be part of our DNA – as businesses and professionals – if we are to avoid the extinction events accelerating around us. Then a management consultant gave me the answer. Her business has nailed it. To keep relevant and at the edge, every one of us has to build this non-negotiable trait:

CQ: Change Intelligence

I love that. CQ. Well done Blue Seed Consulting.

Here’s the thing.

I look under the hoods of scores of businesses, and into the hearts of hundreds of leaders. People tell me deep truths- about companies, and professional selves. Some are frustrated and anxious- something is not going right, and they know they need help to do better. Others know that ‘what got them here won’t get them there’- that while results are good today, changing times means they need help now to get ‘future-fit’ for tomorrow.

The fact they called me suggests they have CQ … Change Intelligence. At least a starting point. Do they have the courage- and the hunger and resolve, or desire and will power- to actually do what they will need to do to change? Some will. Some won’t. At least they all had the guts to get a conversation going.

Andy Lark tells this story, or something similar. Many people who have heart attacks are warned three times in the 18 months prior that if they don’t change their lifestyles, they will have a heart attack. They examine what’s involved in changing, and conclude: “Fuck it- I’d rather die instead.” 

Point is- change is very, very hard. I know. I hate it. But have got myself ‘change fit’ by becoming passionate about strengthening my CQ muscle. I just did not realised that ‘CQ’ is what best describes it.

One habit I am developing (shared in the hope you’ll all take up my challenge asked in the next paragraph)  is the ability to change my mind.

To paraphrase John Maynard Keynes, ‘when I get new information, I update my views.’ It’s what made Alexis Tsipras (pictured) the best Prime Minister candidate to follow through on the deal done by Greece with the EU to save that economy, despite his initial opposition to it.

So- no more from me today. Except to ask you one question. Please share your answer. Let’s help each other build CQ. Here’s that question, taken from the Blue Seed website:

“Stephen Hawking says Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. What does Change Intelligence mean to you?”