Digital Transformation And The Technology Quotient

In today’s world, it’s not only your IQ and EQ, but your TQ!

Technology innovations are arriving faster and faster — becoming less an option and more an imperative. As this reality unfolds upon us, our ability to assimilate these innovations into many aspects of our lives can be an independent determinant of success.

The examples are common and becoming more and more frequent. For the parent it might be a homeschool video class. For the brand manager it might be search engine optimization. And for the clinician, it might be the role of artificial intelligence in supporting the analysis of a CT scan. The technology quotient (TQ) attempts to quantify our competence to make sensible use of current technologies and to quickly adapt, embrace and capitalize on future innovations. This adoption is critical from a variety of perspectives, from social to business. And while individual success can be a typical example, the central role of TQ in business is foundational. Disruptive innovations and the subsequent diffusion into complex systems is critical to financial success.

Today, transformative ideas can be stifled by an inability to adopt and transform. These transformational dynamics can play a key role in the “business of innovation” where adoption is directly linked to core success metrics such as market capitalization and stock price. Today, the disconnect between valid and practical innovations and mainstream adoption can place businesses in precarious positions.

And there lies TQ.

From employee to consumer, the technology quotient can have a role in measurement and tracking the assimilation of technology into a workflow, system, or life.

A new way of understanding intelligence

Across households and boardrooms, TQ (often hiding behind the term “innovation” or “tech savvy”) can now stand shoulder to shoulder with the conventional metrics of IQ and EQ as a tool to drive digital transformation. While we consider IQ and EQ to be fundamentally critical to our success, we can expand the equation. IQ + EQ + TQ presents a new dynamic that allows us to thrive in today’s (and tomorrow’s) world. This new techno-relationship can directly enhance our cognitive capacity and even facilitate a broader and richer human engagement.

While this dynamic is not without complexity and concerns, it remains virtually inevitable. As TQ grows, this engagement can cross-pollinate with our traditional IQ and EQ capabilities, allowing for a more dynamic and fulfilling human experience. Integrating TQ with IQ and EQ will play a practical and functional role in society, business, and education, quantifying the human “techno-status” of adoption and integration.

Some level of quantification can assist in benchmarking and help measure and track transformation. But this isn’t easy. The intrinsic complexities of technology and our engagement with it are certainly multifactorial. We’ve captured (yes, with dissent and controversy) IQ with a single number. But the actual expression or measurement of TQ may be better served less by a number (as in IQ) and more by a multi-dimensional perspective that incorporates the multiple and varied factors that are required to complete a “full spectrum” articulation. Further, the level of “technological competence” is far from a fixed measurement; rather, it’s an instrument that aligns functional needs. A top coder skill set can be very different from that of a social media influencer. Both have a high TQ, but very different skill profiles.

Three types of TQ

This current model of TQ examines a continuum of components across the technology spectrum, from hardware to social media. This instrument, while subjective, can help construct an individual’s TQ or present a conceptual articulation of technological requirements for a profession, job, or individual task.

The analysis is clustered in three groups — technical, applied, and psychosocial.

Technical: The “nuts and bolts” of technology that include hardware and coding as well as applications to direct neural interfaces.

Applied: The functional aspects of technology from programming to data and data analytics, including artificial intelligence.

Psychosocial: The affinity to adopt and to engage in technology and technology platforms.

Together, these parameters can provide a barometer of status and change in our relationship with technology. And this metric can have wide-reaching applications from academic and professional to even social settings. Our ability to quantify or structure TQ may allow us to measure and track changes to reflect desired shifts in these and other areas. TQ, as it evolves and becomes more defined, can be a guidepost for change and innovation. This modality can be very useful in helping drive digital transformation in a wide variety of scenarios from corporate to the classroom.

Intrinsic intelligence (IQ) and empathy (EQ) will help us ride the technological wave to an exciting new world. But our ability to assimilate these technological changes (TQ) into our lives may be just as important.

This post was sponsored by AT&T Business, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T Business’s positions or strategies

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I’m a technology theorist driving innovation at humanity’s tipping point.

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JOHN NOSTA

JOHN NOSTA

I’m a technology theorist driving innovation at humanity’s tipping point.

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