Creating your personal quotient…. Part two – ‘what’s your meaning quotient?

In the previous blog I discussed Personal Effectiveness Quotient ™ a bit of SKAI thinking – skills, knowledge, ability and implementation, in this blog I’m diversifying a little and looking at the Meaning Quotient (MQ) devised by McKinsey.

In some businesses and even among business owners for themselves there are can be a difficulty in creating or sustaining a Meaning Quotient (MQ) and that creates difficulties on a number of levels as the MQ drives peak performance and is critical in change. We all need to know or have a sense that we do makes a difference.

I often talk to business owners and leaders who’s MQ is very low – they’ve in effect lost their MoQo and aren’t fully connected with the business any more and so don’t feel they make a difference. And of course the same can happen with anyone in the organisation.


With employees its really important to use stories to help them see the impact and the change that their contribution, their role, themselves have made in a wider context and to the business. Stories are really powerful…

As is enabling people to get involved with creating their own sense of direction, what are their personal goals as well as their personal business or career goals. How can you help with that and build that into their role… after all it will not only help them but the business too.

What are the influencing factors for being in flow because that’s where the real magic happens, that’s when there’s a connection, where things happen with ease (it still takes time and may not be easy per se but its far less effort as it comes from a different place) and with that there will be a sense of meaning, that its making a difference and in fact it becomes a bit of a circle. As people’s MQ increases then so does their MoQo and they are even more in flow and that’s going to be when people are also have a high PEQ™ because they are SKAIing. And people will even set more goals for themselves to increase their SKAI and PEQ™ so they are almost unlocking a continuing flow.

McKinsey’s research with over five thousand top executives identified three categories – an intellectual quotient (IQ) around role clarity, access to knowledge and resources (SKAI), and understanding objectives. A low IQ, creates low energy, misdirection and conflicts.

There’s a baseline of trust, being in this together and collaborating freely. This creates an environment that’s safe to pursue challenges and goals and effectively a high emotional quotient (EQ) – if the EQ is low it creates various problems including office politics and avoidance of tough issues.

And the third criteria is a peak performance experience, where its exciting, there are challenges, risks, excitement, people feel that what they do matters and it creates a state of flow. This is where the MQ is high and people see their role as more than just a job.

People’s perception of how effective they are when they are at their peak is about 5 x their effectiveness when just going through the motions. So the impact on the business can be and is huge.

So just a small increase in the MQ and the PEQ™ can have a massive overall difference on the business.

What can help? Telling five stories at once to give a universal story – people usually start with the ‘this is where we are its not good’ and then go on to ‘the good to great’ story to inspire and engage. Research shows that good to great has to encompass society, the customer, the team, themselves. Roughly 20% of the employee population will identify with each of the different aspects of the good to great story.

When we choose for ourselves we are more committed to the outcome by a factor of about five to one. So by engaging people, even within given constraints, in shaping how change is made has a different outcome.

One leading US CEO is known for asking anyone he meets in the business (1) how do you make a difference? (2) what improvement idea are you working on? (3) when did you last get coaching from your boss? Its motivating and makes a difference.

It changes the MQ, it raises the MoQo and people will be at a higher PEQ™ and so using their skills and knowledge effectively and be more in flow….

The question is what’s your MQ and how is your MoQo?