The brainchild of leading business strategists and researchers Erica Dhawan and Saj-Nicole Joni, Connectional Intelligence (CxQ) was coined in 2015 in their book: Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence.
CxQ is a concept that combines traditional and emotional intelligence with the power of connection (via social media, mobile devices and networks). With it people can “quickly, efficiently and creatively enlist supporters, drive innovation, develop strategies and implement solutions to big problems”.
One example of CxQ in action can be found at the American Transplant Foundation (ATF). It uses an ecosystem of business-built web-based applications to coordinate programs and quickly launch initiatives that bring different communities together—from donors and patients to service providers and community partners. The ATF’s growing Mentorship Program is one such initiative. It matches those in need with past recipients who help them navigate the legal, medical, and emotional complexities of receiving a transplant.
“It’s wonderful when we can connect the dots and give people a second chance at life,” says Anastasia Darwish, the Executive Director of the American Transplant Foundation.
How You Can Boost Your CxQ to Help You and Your Company Thrive
Find yourself among the different types of individuals highlighted below and learn how you can your raise you CxQ quotient to drive greater success for yourself and your organization.
Dreamers—Dreamers are the heart center of the connectional intelligence universe. They are always engaging with the future, and imagining the possibilities and what might be next. If you’re a Dreamer, increase your CxQ by sharing your ideas with different communities and networks. Keep putting yourself in places where you can see life through their eyes.
Adventurers—Adventurers are people who seek new experiences, uncharted territory and novel undertakings. They reject labels, boxes or constraints of any kind, and accept risk as part of the adventure. Use your mastered skills to get out of the box and up your CxQ. Start with what you know well and think about how you can use it to build and test new ideas.
Seekers—Seekers are people who ask the big questions that move thoughts to action. Considering all options before acting, they pursue knowledge and cultivate the insight to improve life for themselves and others. If you are seeker striving for greater CxQ, keep asking the question: “what if the accepted wisdom/same old assumptions are not true?
Inspired Leaders—Inspired leaders help team members build an architecture to achieve ambitious goals and use their influence to make a difference in people’s lives. They take risks and assume responsibility for the group’s risks. Raise your CxQ by breaking or reversing rules or processes that hold progress back. Encourage collaboration between teams and communities. Promote an environment that fails forward and fast, knowing that taking chances and learning lessons is the path to agility, innovation, and success.
Advocates—Advocates are motivated to act on behalf of others. Advocates are automatically engaged when they see a way to make a difference and bring about change. As an advocate, what issue would you like to see resolved? Elevate your CxQ by picking a cause that matters to you and focus on what it means to the people you want to serve.
Creative Company Individuals—What Creative Company Individuals want is the freedom to get better results within the structure of their companies. When they find a good idea, they know how to turn it into a full action plan. Practice innovation in ways that don’t heavily affect the company’s bottom line and/or threaten its position. Enlist a committed supervisor or mentor and assess the company’s culture and limits. Work in a manner that supports risk taking in a way that the company is willing to try. All will help advance your CxQ.
Mix Masters—Mix Masters thrive when they connect beyond their particular fields, and often approach life like scientists, testing hypotheses and reaching reasoned conclusions. Drawing upon varied skills, they spot patterns, opportunities, and intersection points. They take expertise, experience, and ideas and combine them into new concepts and products. Promote your CxQ by taking some time for exploration each week to play with ideas, expand skills or get to know people from different disciplines or backgrounds.
Activists—Activists are committed to righting wrongs and are justice-oriented. They are good at forging alliances and connecting disparate groups. To improve your CxQ you should engage and connect to new crowds and organizations. Forge relationships with people who are different from you in age, view, political perspective, educational background, career role and geographic location.
Empathetic Entrepreneur—Empathetic Entrepreneurs are creative and authentic salespeople who really listen to their customers. They connect on an emotional level and aim to serve others. To develop your CxQ, you must dabble and experiment. Spend time talking to people and observing their needs. Creative ideas will often appear that serve more constituencies than you might imagine.
Disruptors—Disruptors are pioneers who upend traditional wisdom and find new ways of solving problems. Disruptors have a fearless willingness to plunge into the unknown. They are first to market or first to take action. Optimize your CxQ by creating a separate, informal space devoted to creative thinking. Schedule a regular time for you and your colleagues to brainstorm new ideas, discuss long-term projects, or set strategy. When you are tackling a big challenge, design the problem in a way that lets many people pitch in to solve it.
A Way for Everyone to Achieve
By combining motivation, knowledge, and human capital anyone in any industry can raise their CxQ and open a world of possibility for themselves, their teams, and their companies.
“Connectional intelligence is one of the most important skills to have in the 21st century,” Dhawan says. “It pools human wisdom and data and moves forward to solve real problems in areas like science, agriculture, and healthcare.”
CxQ and Database App Development Platforms: A Perfect Union.
A natural facilitator of CxQ, increasingly popular no-code web-based app development platforms can inspire and unite employees at all levels of a business. In addition to empowering business professionals to solve the challenges in front of them (without coding), they also improve the work environment and productivity of the staff by supplying them with targeted business-built apps that enable them to:
- Seamlessly yet securely collaborate across a connected ecosystem of apps sharing a single database.
- Simplify daily tasks with business apps that streamline processes and automate workflows.
- Keep the work moving and everyone in the loop with automated alerts and reports.