WOW! Think about how the world has changed in the last decade: the pandemic, AI/digital transformation, global conflict – we’ve been on a rollercoaster. The CQ® System for Developing Change Intelligence® was launched a decade ago, and since then the approach has helped tens of thousands of people and hundreds of organizations around the world lead through such unprecedented events, and more.

Why did I invent the CQ® System? During the global financial meltdown in the late aughts, I needed a new way to help my clients (and myself!) lead through that time of massive uncertainty and fear. I realized there were two gaps that combined to result in the high failure rate of change, and the frustration so many of us feel when dealing with it. First, while we have a lot of methodologies to “manage” change, these tend to focus on the process (tools, spreadsheets, etc.) and less on truly “leading” – and therefore embedding and sustaining – change. Second, while we have a plethora of approaches to develop general leadership capabilities (such as the DiSC, Myers-Briggs, etc.) and specific competencies (EQ-i for EQ, Thomas-Kilmann for conflict, etc.) and even change-related skills (such as for resilience, change readiness, change styles, etc.), none were available to help diagnose and develop “change leadership” capabilities. Those gaps in the “change management” and “leadership development” spaces are what CQ® fills.

CQ® “plays well with others,” and integrates seamlessly into the CM and L&D approaches you may already be using (which are important and valuable!), adding the often-missing ingredient of truly leading, not merely managing or reactively surviving, change. At Change Catalysts, we view everyone as a “change leader,” regardless of tenure, title, or role. There is way too much happening in our workplaces and our world to be passive recipients of change: we each have the opportunity to step up as change agents, taking charge of change.

What is Change Intelligence®? CQ® is all about joining Hearts, Heads, and Hands together to lead successful and sustainable transformation. Just like any change needs an effective purpose (vision, mission, strategy), an efficient process (plan, resources, tools), and engaged people (emotions, teams, culture), so any change leader needs to pay attention to all three for change that sticks. CQ® is a human- centered approach to leading change, needed now more than ever.

The foundation of the CQ® System is the Change Intelligence®/CQ® Assessment, which unlocks our own style of leading change, including strengths, potential struggles, and targeted coaching recommendations. The assessment enables us to be aware of our own unique style, and then to be able to adapt to agily lead change in a way that helps our colleagues be “ready and get it” (through leading Heads), “willing and want it” (through leading Hearts), and “able to do it” (through leading Hands). So often, what looks like resistance in others may be a gap in our own approach! Our solutions also build the collective CQ® of teams and organizations, fostering psychological safety and synergistic results emerging stronger together.

What have we learned over the last decade of collaborating with clients to leverage CQ®?  The answer is a great many lessons, which are directly applicable to leaders-at-all-levels, ranging from creating change capable cultures, to engaging sponsors and stakeholders to include diverse voices, to bolstering our own influence and power to make a positive difference. We’ll be sharing specific findings in future blog posts, so stay tuned! And, we’ll be taking a deep dive together in person during the pre-conference workshop at ACMP-Midwest Change Connect in Chicago on April 17! You’re invited to join us for a provocative conversation, dynamic insights, and actionable implications that will benefit your organization, team, and career. I hope to see you there!

In the meantime, please visit to contact us and learn more, including our solutions to build deep and broad change capability as well as free downloadable chapters from my book, case studies, research reports, and tools you can use today!

Change Intelligence®, Change Quotient®, and CQ® are registered trademarks of Barbara A. Trautlein, PhD. All rights reserved.

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