“Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used.”
Carl Sagan Astrophysicist
We are all cognisant with the concept of IQ, Intelligence Quotiant, the standardised assessment of intelligence. The term, coined by William Stern, came into common usage in the early 20th century. As IQ tests measure, amongst other things, the ability to reason then it stands to reason that members of many professions will score highly in IQ tests.
However, reason is not the same as judgement. The mid 20th century saw many psychologists augment, the then standard, IQ assessments of individuals with an evaluation of Emotional Intelligence, or as it is now more commonly refered to EQ. There are a number of different models (all hotly contested, naturally) but all measure the ability of individuals to identify, assess and control their own and others emotions. Whilst recognised by the HR departments of many professional services organisations, EQ can be in scant evidence when it comes to the professionals themselves.
A much lesser known assessment criteria is Cultural Quotient or Intelligence, which seeks to understand what impact an individual’s cultural background may have on their behaviour or their reaction to certain types or methods of interaction. Whilst the impact of cultural factors has been studied since the late 20th century, it wasn’t until the early “noughties” and a study by Christopher Earley and Elaine Mosakowski in the Harvard Business Review, that the tag of EQ was applied to it.
As organisations become increasingly multi-national and, in particular, move into lesser known and understood ‘emerging markets’ – the study of and reliance on CQ will become increasingly more important.
Refering back to Sagan’s insight, CQ further adds to the manner in which we collect and use information, adding our capacity of judgment.
Previously unstudied but flowing naturally from a conversation that I had with Richard Whittle of Sheffield Hallam University with regard to the Brave New World of Legal Services being an ‘emerging market’ for both lawyers and new market entrants, alike – I would like to reflect a little more on Inter-Professional Intelligence (you heard it here first), or PQ.
If, as I and an increasing numbers of others believe, that the legal profession(s) will be superseded by a legal industry, within which the legal professions and other professions, entrepreneurs and business people will have to come together to service client and market need, then those who get to grips with understanding the background, language and methods of those other professions will prosper quicker and greater than those that don’t.
I have talked about there being, currently, an Uncommon Language in the industry – let us see who exhibits greater intelligence in trying to understand all that surrounds them!
Leave a comment