Are you too smart to innovate?

Are you too smart to innovate? 5 tips to accelerate the process.

Why IQ + EQ = Success

What happens when you put a team of brainiacs in a room and tell them to innovate? On rare occasions, there's a breakthrough, but most of the time nothing happens. The team stalls, can't come up with anything and spirals into dysfunction.

We've learned two things about innovation:

  1. Innovation is rarely a lightbulb moment of lone genius, and
  2. Innovation depends on emotional intelligence or EQ.

Yes, you need smarts, but brainpower is not enough. It's emotional intelligence combined with intellect that accelerates innovation.


How BlueEQ can accelerate innovation

Over and over again, we see super smart people who can't work or connect with their colleagues. They're abrasive or withdrawn or egocentric or impulsive or lacking in empathy or have other social and emotional dificiencies.

These EQ barriers become team barriers, and team barriers become innovation barriers. A lack of emotional intelligence becomes the limiting factor, and no amount of IQ can make up for what the team lacks in EQ.

This explains why a team of mediocre intellects can often outperform a team of superior intellect. If that's the pattern, what do you think happens when you add deadlines, pressure, and less margin for error?

You guessed it. The brainiacs with low EQ lose every time. Under pressure, they just melt down faster.

If you're lacking innovation with individuals and teams, IQ is not your problem. Emotional intelligence is your problem.

So what do you do?

  1. Get a baseline on your team's individual and collective emotional intelligence by taking the BlueEQ assessment.
  2. Identify 2 or 3 critical EQ gaps and discuss them openly with your team.
  3. Put aggressive ground rules and development plans in place to move the needle quickly.

Here are 5 behaviors that can help build teams and accelerate innovation

Developing high-performance teams at the office isn't a quick fix, but these best practice behaviors can get you started. Hover over or click on each of the icons around the circle below to reveal each tip.


Reject harsh and inaccurate criticism.
Sometimes criticism isn't about you.


Ask others how people perceive you.
Am I making a good impression?


Treat others well even when they're rude.
Some people!

Social Perception

Examine your role when there is a conflict.
Was it something I said?

Social Effectiveness

Show sensitivity to the thoughts and feelings of others.
I know how you feel.

For more suggestions that are tuned to your specific strengths and weaknesses, see what the BlueEQ emotional intelligence self-assessment can reveal about you.

Build diversity and incluision with your BlueEQ Profile & Personal Development Plan cover imageRequest a Free Code

Request a free code to take the BlueEQ assessment and get a BlueEQ Profile & Personal Development Plan tuned to your EQ strengths and weaknesses. Then talk to us about how to put the BlueEQ to work for your organization.

The BlueEQ self-assessment consists of 150 rapid response questions and takes about 20 minutes to complete.

BlueEQ, an Advantage thought leader partner

BlueEQ™ is the most powerful, comprehensive and complete emotional intelligence solution available. Build culture, empower people, and accelerate performance with BlueEQ.

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