Digital transformation and agile business is not just about technology. It is, of-course, as much (if not more) about the people and the culture. Yet simply having smart people in the business is not enough to guarantee success. It is, of-course, as much (if not more) about how those people work together. Which is why I really liked this post by Henry Ward, CEO at eShares, about the high EQ (emotional intelligence) organisation.
Most of the problems faced by his company, says Ward, are not from want of being smart enough but are instead EQ problems, deriving from how they engage with one another:
‘A high EQ organization is a community of free-flowing ideas, daily progress, and accelerating execution. Teams execute well because they love working together. And teams love working together because they execute well. EQ and execution are reinforcing.’
I think Ward’s observation about his own company might apply to many. Low EQ companies are full of friction, agendas, politics.
In the book we talk about the importance of building the culture to move fast and what it really takes to do this. A key component of this is creating the kind of atmosphere of trust that can enable real collaboration. Put simply, internal politics slows everything down.
Yet as Ward notes, we tend to overvalue IQ and under-value EQ. High EQ is competitive advantage. Low EQ is the enemy of agility.