If you have not heard of D.Q. or “Desire Quotient” consider this. The image, attributed to Stephen Covey, has four “Q’s” which are all described as intelligence. I want to add a fifth “Q” which is D.Q as “a conscious impulse toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment.” For many people that means a successful outcome, goals achieved and time for celebrating the accomplishments. We might described D.Q. as intelligence in action.
Following are three dimensions of your D.Q. in terms that you can see, share, and enhance, in order to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. Each dimension contributes to the work in progress according to what is needed at a given time. The work can be of any kind. Think about a specific project, a piece of art or music, an article or a book, a relationship, a trip or your next adventure.
The recent activity in “design thinking” has taken planning off the drawing board and made it a more interactive process. Instead of a solo activity by a designer taking a client’s desires and translating them into a plan, “design thinking” incorporates the clients into the activity in a more participatory manner.
In 2008, Tim Brown, in the “Harvard Business Review” said, “Design thinking can be described as a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible… “ Tim went on to say, “ On reflection this is a narrow description that focuses on design thinking’s role within business. The next sentence that I wrote ‘….design thinking converts need into demand’ , which I borrowed from Peter Drucker, broadens things out a bit but still assumes an economic motivation.”
Tim’s 2009 book, Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation is described as” a book for creative leaders seeking to infuse design thinking into every level of an organization‚ product‚ or service to drive new alternatives for business and society.” That sounds like a tall order and yet that is a significant part of what is needed in order to move toward the desired change in any area of life and work. That drive in this case is the design of the desire. Whatever you call it, however you engineer it or design it, what comes out at a point in this process is nothing more or less than a good plan. It will be one that is comprehensive, clear and compelling. And it is not the end but another beginning.
In order to be driven one must have a commitment to purpose, focused on both the task at hand as well as the end game. Here is where the proverbial rubber meets the road, where one gains traction and makes progress through hard work, where the so-called heavy lifting takes place. If it’s a building or an organization, there are systems that must be coordinated, integrated and kept on track and on time and in many cases, within budget. The drive to accomplish each of these pieces and to drive the overall process requires effort, energy, resources and time.
Being driven means being consistent and staying within agreed upon parameters without necessarily being limited and restricted by them. If a change in direction is needed, there must be sufficient flexibility to make the adaptation. Drive is much like a promise, making the declaration that something in particular will (or will not) be done and holding to it.
Few would question the drive of people such as Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Marie Curie, Margaret Sanger, or Susan B Anthony. There are hundreds and thousands of other unsung heroes and heroines who have exhibited goal-directed, task-oriented and results-focused behaviors. These are some of the essential ingredients of drive.
In spite of obstacles, barriers, delays, frustrations, disappointments, or even failures, determination & drive keep us going. Determination is a characteristic that helps overcome adversity in many forms. It is the fuel that feeds the fire, the energy that keeps us moving forward and the conscious intentions that are the bedrock that so many other actions are built upon. Determination is marked by stability in the face of shifting tides and winds, being willing to change a course of action but without compromising the goal.
When there is a significant challenge or a degree of difficulty with a particular piece of a project, it is determination that sees us through to the other side. In the words of Winston Churchill, October 29, 1941, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” This was a clear expression of his determined commitment that he wanted to communicate with clarity and compassion.
Determination is more than a positive response to a negative situation. It is the strength of the fiber in the character of every person and will not only be the test of pressing on when the going gets tough but will also be that which helps keep others on task, on target and on time. Determination holds one’s self and others accountable and is thus a key ingredient in your “Desire Quotient.”
Questions: What are your desires? Beyond wishes and hopes what do you want to accomplish this year and beyond? What are your specific goals and what are your plans to achieve them? How would you measure and assess your levels of design, drive and determination? How will your D.Q. move you in that direction?