What’s Your Level Of Social Intimacy? The Power Of Q Reveals All

There is a famous Northwestern study by Uzzi et al that investigates the power of Q – the level of social intimacy in high- and low-performing teams.

It began with the study of what makes a hit Broadway show, and boils down to a delicate balance of working with the same people over time (driving trust, intimacy) but not too many of the same people too much of the time (too little edge thinking / challenge, getting fat and lazy).


To investigate this conversation, I ask people three questions about their work environment:

if there were no constraints, and you could work on the perfect project with 5 other people, how many people from your a) team; b) dept.; c) organization would you choose.

I average the number and intimate the power of Q of that dream team. Most people have a normal power of Q – it is balanced. Outliers tend to be those who are more avant garde or cynical (low Q) on one end; and harmonic, not career go-getters (high Q) on the other.

My approach is not scientific, it is open-ended to create a conversation for an individual or team about how they operate in or as a team.


What would your power of Q be?

←This Much We Know.→

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