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HCI Webinar: The Role of XQ in Leadership, Teams, and Organizational Culture, with Soren Kaplan

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talked with Soren Kaplan about the role of XQ in leadership, teams, and organizational culture. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:


Experiential Intelligence: The New Leadership Advantage


Jonathan and Soren Kaplan discussed the concept of experiential intelligence (XQ), which involves understanding how personal experiences have shaped individuals and how they can be leveraged for success. Soren highlighted the importance of XQ in today's fast-changing world, complementing traditional IQ and emotional intelligence (EQ). The conversation explored how developing XQ can help individuals and organizations build strong and resilient teams. The discussion did not delve into specific strategies for developing XQ, but emphasized its potential benefits in disruptive leadership and organizational culture.


Parallels Between Bike Riding and Experiential Intelligence


Jonathan and Soren discussed the parallels between learning to ride a bike and developing experiential intelligence. Soren explained that the process typically involves acquiring basic skills, gaining higher-order abilities, and developing associated mindsets. They also delved into how past experiences, both positive and negative, can impact a person's willingness to engage in certain activities or areas of life. Jonathan shared his personal experience with his daughter learning to drive and how the same concepts applied.


Leveraging Past Experiences for Growth


Jonathan and Soren discussed the importance of understanding and leveraging past experiences for personal and professional growth. Soren emphasized the role of framing and real-time processing in turning experiences into assets rather than obstacles. Jonathan highlighted the need for self-reflective practice to develop a self-reflective mindset and toolkit. Soren and Jonathan both alluded to their research and work with industry professionals, suggesting that they would share more specific best practices at a later time.


Team Building Through Personal Stories


Soren shared a method he used with a large company to bring together a team that had not worked much together and included many new players. The team members were encouraged to share three experiences that shaped them and contributed to their skills and capabilities. This exercise revealed valuable insights into the team's competencies and skills, which they used to develop their strategy. Soren also discussed the importance of recognizing how personal experiences can translate into leadership skills. He highlighted an example of a top marketing chief who attributed her success to her experience playing the violin, which taught her to focus intensely, step in and back, and be creative.


Experience Matters: Revaluing Leadership Skills


Jonathan and Soren discussed the importance of experience and transferable skill sets in leadership and career development. They agreed that organizations often overlook these factors, focusing too much on educational pedigree and traditional career paths. Both agreed that recognizing and leveraging past experiences could lead to more diverse and successful leadership opportunities. Soren noted that this could also lead to a shift in organizational culture, with a greater appreciation for individuals' unique experiences and contributions. Jonathan emphasized the need for leaders to practice self-reflection and model the use of past experiences for their teams.


Intentional Experiences Drive Culture Change


Soren and Jonathan discussed the importance of shaping culture and driving change in an organization through intentional experiences. Soren shared his experience working with NBC Universal and Ascension Health, where he designed development programs based on real business challenges. Jonathan agreed, acknowledging that despite the common awareness of the need to develop team members, it can be challenging in the daily grind. Soren emphasized the value of reflecting on experiences to gain their full potential. He ended by inviting the audience to connect with him through his website and encouraged them to leverage their experiences to enhance their executional intelligence. Jonathan thanked Soren for his insights and wished the audience a healthy and purposeful week.


Listen to the episode here:



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