In the last century, cognitive development, or IQ, has been the primary goal of education. The idea of EQ, or Emotional Intelligence, has also gained popularity over the last 20 years and the EQ vs. IQ debate is still going strong. Some ‘progressive’ schools have programs that help children identify and deal with their emotions (called ‘soft skills’), but it is treated as something separate to IQ and very few schools venture outside the safety of their syllabus (which mostly encourage static thinking).
As a mother, social innovator and transformative communication executive, I want to advocate for a new kind of Q today – one that I believe will lead to transformation in education, healthcare and other social sectors and a better future for next generations. It’s called DQ or Dynamic Intelligence.
Intelligence is really the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. It is how we think and create meaning from different kinds of information and experiences and then act on it – not what we know. You see neuroscientists have found that we don’t think with one part of our brain and feel with another part. In most humans there is a holistic processing of information by the brain. The ‘brain centers’ communicate with each other, integrating both emotions and thought in a wonderful medley called Dynamic Thinking. But it is not limited to communication inside the brain – it is also linked to the ability to communicate with others so that knowledge is co-created and updated through a process of triangulation, integration and collaboration (dynamic communication).
Here are 10 reasons to cultivate Dynamic Intelligence:
1. Dynamic Thinkers are Better at Navigating Uncertainty
When you indulge only in static thinking (1+1= 2), you struggle with the idea of adaptive thought. Dynamic Thinkers engage in both static and flexible and continuous thinking which allow them to better navigate uncertainty. They do not shy away from ‘not knowing’ – definitely the kind of thinking we need in an world where almost nothing is certain.
2. Dynamic Thinkers are Adaptable
Dynamic Thinkers are able to engage in meaningful reflection and adaptive thought. This means that they can thrive in an ever-changing world. In contrast to that, pure Static Thinkers only thrive when conditions are perfect – which is almost never if you live in the real world. Being open to doubt allows Dynamic Thinkers to become optimal planners and problem-solvers. Many entrepreneurs are natural Dynamic Thinkers.
3. Creativity is a by-product of Dynamic Intelligence
Creativity is not the same thing as being artistic. Creativity is in actual fact the ability to perceive information in new ways and in order to do that a person must value ‘fuzzy logic’ and welcome the unexpected. A Dynamic Thinker can feel his way through uncertainty until he stumbles onto an innovative perspective.
4. The Bigger Picture
When we only focus on cognitive development we become increasingly focused on what we know and what we don’t know takes a back seat. Dynamic Thinkers are curious thinkers. Instead of rigidly stopping to think about something when they think they understand it, they continuously reflect – on their own and in collaboration with others – which ultimately allows them to see the bigger picture and understand the interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated occurrences and fields. This, believe it or not, makes the Dynamic Thinker more accurate in predictions.
5. Compassionate Leaders
To have compassion is to have and understanding of a person as a whole, accompanied by a desire to look after that person in an integrated manner. In order to understand a person, one needs to continuously build bridges between one’s own perspectives and that of others. True understanding can only come when that understanding is co-created through dynamic communication. Dynamic communication goes hand in hand with integrated, dynamic thinking.
I don’t think the answer lies on polar opposites of the thinking or intelligence spectrum, or even in the middle. For me it lies in integration – a key characteristic of Dynamic Intelligence.
How to foster Dynamic Intelligence is a field of continuous study on its own – one we can only truly embark on once we come to value the unexpectedness and importance of this new Q on the block!