For several decades spanning most of the earlier part of the 20th century, an individual’s success was directly correlated to his or her IQ or Intelligence Quotient. Tests that measured raw intellectual horsepower i.e. ability to quantitatively analyze information and frameworks, process audio-visual data, reason and take quick decisions were used to predicate “success”. Success, in a world that was dependent largely on an individual’s capacity to memorize, retrieve, process and apply scientific information.
The turn of the millennium advanced the state of the art and brought with it a proliferation of distributed information, enterprises and machines having the ability to analyze and number crunch; and with this, success became synonymous with collaboration. It was no longer just about what you know, but more about who you know. If you were able to work well with people, rally people together behind a cause, you were more likely to succeed. What therefore emerged was the need for or significance of the softer side of intelligence called emotional intelligence or the ability to know, evaluate and maneuver the emotions of oneself and of others. An individual with access to traditional intelligence as well as a high EQ – Emotional Quotient was more likely to succeed.
Today, a combination of both IQ and EQ is still required for success in just about any arena. However, with easier access to the tremendous power of technology and just the overall rise in consciousness, the planet is collectively and individually pushing the state of the art like never before. The new baseline for individual power has risen significantly. As human-beings fulfill their infrastructural and social needs and move on their path to self-actualization, the definitions for success are changing. We are seeing an unprecedented need for differentiation and rapid innovation, which in turn is fueling intense competition and paving the way for the individual to become the enterprise.
Going forward, an individual’s success will be determined by his/her ability to not just process information and harness networks, but to envision, tap into imagination, connect the dots and come up with solutions to new problems as swiftly as possible. Success would be defined by the ability to adapt, create and contribute in an agile manner. Success would require imagination, thinking outside the box, risk-taking and agility at an individual level. This does not undermine the importance of raw intellectual horsepower (IQ) or the ability to leverage contemporary talent (EQ), but instead highlights that an individual would need to have built upon IQ and EQ, identified and filled up gaps, zoomed out, connected dots and created a new paradigm. This is no longer about conforming to existing frameworks, but about challenging them and coming up with new frameworks that impact the collective in a positive way. An individual would need to be creative to be successful. And while it may not be straightforward to quantitatively measure such a capacity, the future belongs to the one with a “high” CQ – Creativity Quotient.
Put simply, your intelligence and your emotionality are gifts that were given to you. Your creativity is your return gift to the cosmos.