Adaptive Intelligence (AQ)

The art and science of brilliant business thinking

Who inspires you?


Take a moment and think about someone who’s inspired you. They might be famous, a friend or a family member; alive or dead. They may have inspired you for a moment or a lifetime. You might have met them in real life, read about them, envied their businesses growth, or watched their TED talk. Why do they inspire you?


Take a step back and you will see that all inspirational people have a crystal-clear understanding of their values and purpose in life. They’re always creative but not typically so. They seem to see the world differently to the rest of us. Most of all they get things done and with quiet brilliance. They exude wisdom finding it easy to say and do the right things all the time.


The secret of success

So now you’re inspired you’ll be looking for success in something really important to you. Let’s face it we’re all striving for our version of success, but few people seem to have a clear understanding of how to increase their chances of achieving it. For me it all boils down to having a crystal-clear appreciation of ourselves and our life values, being creative, expressing compassionate but also thinking objectively. The last step is to find the courage to get important things done.


When we get this right, we tend to make wiser decisions more often. I call this our “Adaptive Intelligence (AQ)”. Simply put, AQ is our innate ability to think flexibly and effectively in an ever-changing world. Some people seem to do it naturally whilst others struggle. So, what is Adaptive Intelligence and more importantly how can we use it for personal and professional success in business?


Adaptive Intelligence is learning how to be brilliant when you want to?

Maybe you’ve heard people describe themselves as being “in the flow”, “in the moment” or maybe “in the zone”. Essentially, what they’re describing is a moment of ‘Brilliance”. It’s when we harness every part of ourselves to achieve something worthwhile. Many times, we don’t know we’re being brilliant until well after we’re finished, and we really had no idea of how we got to be brilliant in the first place. I’m not talking about technical brilliance here but something much more fundamental and powerful, and luckily something we all share to one degree or another.


Persistent success in anything, is a direct result of being brilliant more often, for longer, and exactly when we want to be. The great news is accessing more of your Adaptive Intelligence is a learnable skill and is the foundation of high performing people, teams and organisations. Because AQ is a natural human state, all we need do is learn how to access more of it when we need it. With practice it takes surprisingly little effort to become a master and remarkably AQ gives us more energy and focus and is the source of resilience.


Science, common sense and our personal experience tells us we make our best decisions when engaging our deepest purpose and compassion (Heart), then our creativity and analysis (Head), and finally our courage and motivation (Gut). I call this the Adaptive Intelligence Pathway (AIP).


I created the concept of the AIP from more than 30 years as a biomedical research scientist, university academic, business owner, senior manager, consultant, executive coach, sportsman, sports coach, inventor, son, husband, father and friend. The AIP is built on solid scientific evidence as well as real-world experience. Simply put the AIP is “The Art and Science of thinking”. It’s a universal human capacity but exactly how people choose to apply it is entirely their concern. I’ve chosen to support people, teams and organisations to apply the AIP to their business endeavours.


We’re all a mixture of our Emotional Intelligence (Heart - EQ), Intellectual Intelligence (Head - IQ) and Positive Intelligence (Gut - PQ); with some people being more adept at using one type of intelligence than another.

















You might recognise the heart-driven person (EQ) who always wants the best for others, but often it’s at their own expense. They rarely achieve their business goals because they haven’t learnt how to engage their IQ and PQ as well. Then there’s the head-driven perfectionist (IQ) who refines and refines their thoughts seeking to create the perfect business plan but actually they wallow in analysis paralysis and indecision, rarely if ever executing on time. We’ve also got the Gut brave (PQ). They’re the high-risk takers who dive in without a purpose or a plan. They occasionally get what they see as a win, but it’s often more down to luck and will never be the basis of a sustainable business.


But when we employ EQ (Heart), IQ (Head) and PQ (Gut) in the right fashion and that order -


EQ --> IQ -->PQ


we trigger our unconscious brilliance (AQ). In business leadership we can express this as


Our Purpose (EQ) is the foundation of Strategy (IQ) which drives Execution (PQ).


The benefits of the AIP to people, teams and organisations

Examples of the benefits of using the AIP to engage our AQ include:


  • Crystal clear understanding and alignment of purpose and core values

  • A compelling vision for life and work

  • Awareness of personal drivers and insight into other people’s

  • Better emotional health, wellbeing and resilience

  • Improved focus, concentration and creativity

  • Strong sense of self-worth and motivation

  • Better influencing skills

  • More effective execution of tasks

  • Better decision-making

  • Increased empathy and understanding of other people

  • More authentic leadership style

  • Improved performance without burnout

  • Shared values and goals

  • Formation of aligned motivated Teams with shared purpose and strategy.

  • Engaged motivated workforce

  • Reduced absenteeism

  • Reduced staff churn

  • Increase financial performance

  • Brand reputational strength

  • Etc.


AQ-empowered People, Teams and Organisations

If people work at their best when they fully engage their AQ, it follows that Teams perform better if the way they work allows them to fully integrate their combined AQ for a common goal. These might be teams within an organisation or equally informal teams like peer-to-peer executive boards.


It also follows that organisations comprised of AQ-teams populated by AQ-empowered people working within a diverse and inclusive culture will always outperform monocultures run by command and control.


Using AQ to remove barriers to success

More of our inherent capacity to achieve a particular goal is engaged when we identify the internal and external barriers and interferences hindering us. We can then ask, “Which of these barriers can I realistically influence and how?”. Using the AIP helps us not only to distinguish specific things we can influence, it also helps us create more elegant and robust plans, and triggers enough courage to execute our plan, no matter what the imagined force of the feedback may be.


The more of these interferences people, teams and organisations reduce or remove, the higher the likelihood of achieving audacious goals.


The only question remaining is how to help people, teams and organisations engage more of their AQ and become “Masters of the art of brilliant business thinking”.


Adaptive Intelligence Consulting Client Support Services 



  • Executive Coaching for AQ

  • AQ-driven Influencing skills.



  • The Alpha Group Executive Boards

  • AQ-driven Workshops

  • AQ-driven communication

  • AQ-driven Team culture development

  • Team facilitation using AQ

  • Team Coaching using AQ



In collaboration with the members of AdaptiveIG:

  • Foundations and Barriers Analysis (FBA)

  • Performance culture analysis and development (Global DISC and Denison Organisational Cultural Survey etc.)

  • AQ-driven integrated communication systems (Waggl).

  • Development of high performing diverse and inclusive cultures

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