CQ Shorthand #1: Red Creates Dread

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Psychological safety is hard to find in aggressive defensive cultures. It doesn’t matter that courage and innovation are your espoused core values or that you’ve invested gazillions in agile training, innovation centers of excellence and top talent; fear, avoidance, conventional thinking and self-protection will be the behavior patterns and muscles that your culture is strengthening most often. CXOs with power will openly blame the “cowardly” VPs and midlevel managers without it; VPs and midlevel managers will privately blame the “abusive and dictatorial” CXOs. There may be anomolies — pockets of unsustainable short-lived success… but…

Three simple ways to be world-class, with/without PEDs.

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For 2 or 3 decades in a row, you have probably heard this consistent feedback from your family, your boss, peers and report directs…the #1 leadership development goal across industries and geographies is to be a better listener.

We can clearly articulate our challenge:

“I’m a poor listener; I don’t ask enough questions; I talk over people in meetings; I interrupt and don’t really listen to what other people are saying; I like to move quickly and sometimes I don’t value other people’s input; I’m better at just telling people what to do.”

We want to be better listeners because…

It’s not your leadership style, your EQ or your IQ. (But It could be a Low-C quotient that’s interfering with business performance.)

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Should I be worried about a “Low-C” quotient?

We’re not comfortable admitting it, let alone talking about our “Low-C/Low-CQ” (i.e., culture quotient, cultural intelligence). Most CXOs understand the value of strong IQ (i.e., intelligence quotient), EQ (i.e., emotional intelligence), strong relational leadership capabilities or SOCQ (i.e., social quotient) and most do talk a lot about the culture/human side of their business. On one hand they are intuitive sociologists — otherwise they would never have made it to the CXO level of success. On the other hand, they still lack the foundational technical expertise about how organizational culture is formed, how it works, culture vs climate, etc. …

A 202X business example-how to avoid a costly culture bypass...

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In my last article I promised a specific, illustrative example. Here it is :

For ~3 years, they made “steady but slow” progress towards a full digital transformation. Despite high engagement scores and reported “high confidence” in the leadership team… the SLT was growing more frustrated and confused by how much faster competitors were making the same digital shift. “What’s wrong with our culture — why can’t we go faster?”

During that three year time period, a substantial amount of effort and money was invested in operating model “fixes” (e.g., agile, lean startup, digital skills training, scenario planning, creative work…

20 Qs to test and strengthen your CQ (cultural intelligence)

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You’re no dummy. I’m not saying that measuring engagement is dumb either. I think measuring engagement is essential when it comes to culture. I’m saying that calling engagement the same thing as culture sounds dumb when it’s coming from world-class, corporate professionals responsible for improving company performance, engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Saying that engagement is the same thing as culture is like saying that CTOs are the same as CIOs; or it’s like saying that revenue is the same thing as income; that’s not what a high business IQ sounds like.

The expertise of both CTOs and CIOs is…

But the cilantroversy doesn’t make us angry, polarized sociopaths.

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Some of us Americans LOVE the taste of cilantro and some of us taste moldy stinkbug+rubber+garbage+gym foot+vile soap — some of us HATE it so, so hard. I wanted to live in a more connected, less polarized world…so I studied cilantro.

23andME says our olfactory receptor OR6A2 gene causes our different perceptions of cilantro (and other aldehyde chemicals). The geneticists aren’t sure exactly why or when that gene flips towards tasty or towards the disgusting repulsion zone in 10–21% of us. …

But it is much more than just a reflection of self-care…

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Among many other scorecards, this scorecard reflects the health of our mental reasoning, emotions & mindset; sometimes reflecting how well we treat ourselves; sometimes reflecting things we can’t control.

WE ONLY GET THIS ONE MIND-BODY MEATSUIT

Sometimes we treat our body like an amusement park — as if we’re immortal. Sometimes we treat our body like an innovation project — as if we’re experimental.

We chase the consistency of high-quality reps…often settling for (at least) the consistency. We count the reps & we count the breaths because we can; sometimes we count for those who no longer can.

The scorecard data available to us, is much more…

The path to “optimal” …is experimental.

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The “die young as late as possible” reference is an old quote from American-British anthropologist, Ashley Montagu. It has become my short answer to the giant question: “what are you training for?” PS. no one ever asks me “what are you training for?” That’s the question I frequently ask others to see if anyone has a better answer than Ashley’s. The alternative is what?-to age fast & die old as early as possible?

Keeping up, let alone getting better, can be challenging. Many aspects of life seem to be getting more challenging, complex and confusing. A shortage of hope, growth…

Wolverine heard about you and how important you will be 2020–2030; get ready for your X-people “what if…?” interview questions.

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RAFFVITON.COM

What if maybe, just maybe, you really are some kind of low key, superhero/X-person?

I’ve heard a number of leaders (including myself) wonder aloud: “what if I’m a better leader when I’m in crisis-mode (e.g., during unstoppable pandemics, recessions, weather catastrophes, natural disasters, icebergs or any event with a ‘titanic coefficient’ of adversity)?”

Uffff… then 2020–2030 has our name all over it.

Spoiler alert: you definitely are a better leader in crisis mode and thank goodness you’re here to help lead us through 2020. You’ve got gifts, CXO. You are unstoppable. I’ve seen some of your accomplishments this year =…

Investing in CQ (cultural intelligence), increases ROI

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RAFFVITON.COM

Only a tiny fraction of startups become unicorns let alone super unicorns. Unicorns are privately held startup companies valued at over $1B; decacorns over $10 billion; hectocorns make it over $100 billion. According to wikipedia, the term “unicorn” was coined in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, choosing the mythical animal to represent the statistical rarity of such successful ventures.

In high-growth, human capital-driven businesses (e.g., knowledge-driven, service-oriented) like the super unicorn we interviewed below… the cultural intelligence (CQ) of the senior leadership team is often vastly superior compared to the average company. CQ is the determining factor in whether…

Raphael Louis Vitón

Cultural Intelligence, Innovation & Leadership — CoAuthor of “Free the Idea Monkey…to focus on what matters most!” I am an innovation project. raffviton.com

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