What is Technical Intelligence (TQ)? And, why is it part of our mission at VividCortex?

by Kyle Redinger on 03 Apr 2013

What is technical intelligence? Technical intelligence involves the accurate appraisal and expression of the ability to interact with machines in a way that enhances living. But how do we get there, why is it important for our world, and what is the relation to our company?

A Brief on IQ

Undoubtedly, we have a world that is familiar with the idea of IQ. In it's raw form, IQ stands for intelligence quotient, and is based upon a test invented by famous psychologist William Stern. Stern, and many subsequent psychologists, refined this test in the hopes that it would become the standard to measure someone's intelligence. They also hoped that IQ could predict things like personal, financial, and professional success.

IQ is unique from other forms of testing because it is considered ‘innate' i.e. a high genetically driven IQ predisposes us to be more successful. The problem with this sort of thinking is doesn't reflect the reality of our world, mainly, that there are many other drivers besides pure intelligence that enhance our ability to achieve things. IQ, not surprisingly, isn't a very good predictor of success in school or life. For instance:

  • IQ accounts for only about 25% of the variance in schooling outcomes, and
  • Cognitive ability predicts anywhere from 4% to 30% of the variance in job performance. Even researchers who are strong believers in the utility of IQ agree that it is unlikely that any more improvement in conventional tests will result in substantially higher predictive validity to quality of job performance for the tests (Schmidt, 1994).

So, while IQ might indicate intelligence, it's not a great predictor of how you actually perform in life.

Enter EQ and the Other Quotients

Researchers and authors decided that other factors must influence one's ability to be successful. Unlike IQ, these other Q's can be learned and are not innate abilities. Colloquially, we've all known that extremely smart co-worker who can't deal with others; or, we've seen that boss who doesn't have the intellectual horsepower, but does a great job motivating his team. Emotional intelligence “involves the accurate appraisal and expression of emotions in oneself and others and the regulation of emotion in a way that enhances living.” And while it may not be a great predictor of life success, it is a moderately good predictor (~38%) of leadership ability.

Daniel Goleman has also defined various other quotients, such as Social (SQ) and Change (CQ), that reflect our ability to manage interpersonal relationships, and, our ability to recognize and manage change, respectively. Together these concepts expanded the view of IQ into a broader, learnable, and different viewpoint. But in today's world, they lack a single defining characteristic of future successful leaders: Technical Intelligence.

Technical Intelligence

In contrast to IQ, EQ, SQ, etc., we no longer live in a world that is only interacts with people; we are entering a world where machine interaction is becoming equally important to success as people interaction.  It's a skill we don't currently measure, but at VividCortex, we know we need it and we want the world to have more of it. Because no good definition exists and it's not a term that is used, we've thought a lot about how to define it. Here is our definition of Technical Intelligence:

Technical intelligence involves the accurate appraisal and expression of the ability to interact with machines in a way that enhances living.

Without technical intelligence, we can't empower ourselves, our companies, and our lives. If we want to leave this world in a better place, we have to make everyone more technically intelligent.

And that's why our mission at VividCortex is to serve the world with “Technical Intelligence Through Measurement.”

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