Penny Edmondson
The Meaning Quotient

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.”

― Marc Chagall


I’m sure lots of things would go awry if we stopped thinking with our heads in business. But it bears thinking about what more we could get right, or what greater heights we could achieve, if we invested more time injecting more ‘heart’ into what we do.


McKinsey describes this as the meaning quotient (MQ) in the workplace and by this they mean ‘a feeling that what’s happening really matters to employees, that what’s being done has not been done before or that it will make a difference to others’ (usually for customers or the community).


When they asked executives to locate the bottlenecks to peak performance in their organisations, more than 90 percent chose MQ-related issues. Not IQ, not EQ but the meaning quotient.


What’s in your HR or communications toolkit for engaging hearts?
McKinsey: Increasing the meaning quotient at work (2013)