Embracing Connectional Intelligence


Embracing Connectional Intelligence

Designing ways to connect differently can play an important role in reaching global competitiveness, as Aaron McDonald reports.

“In today’s era of disruption, the most under-leveraged asset is the potential in our own organizations,” said Erica Dhawan, Founder and CEO of Cotential (USA).

During yesterday’s Lunch and Learn, Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence, Ms. Dhawan explained that connecting and networking with people in alternative ways can help an organization to succeed.

She asked attendees how they are currently designing methods to “ensure you reach your global competitiveness and to stay ahead of the market in trademark law.”

According to Ms. Dhawan, this can be achieved by what she calls Connectional Intelligence. This concept is the ability to make the most of your network to create value and meaning.

“As we think about the power of networks, how can we engage those in the frontline in ways that go beyond the traditional outlets?” she said.

Ms. Dhawan gave case studies of organizations that have used the power of connectivity to embrace Connectional Intelligence.

For example, when a blackout delayed play during the 2013 Super Bowl, cookie brand Oreo recognized an advertising opportunity; within four minutes of the power going out, they launched a digital advertisement for Oreo cookies on social media.

The advertisement read “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” and was hailed by many as the best ad of the Super Bowl.

Ms. Dhawan said that Connectional Intelligence helps spread accountability within organizations, and help them work faster in a world of change. Her concept provides the “capability to drive breakthrough innovation and business results by harnessing the power of relationships and networks.”

To help illustrate Connectional Intelligence, Ms. Dhawan encouraged the audience to write down internal departments and external organizations that people work with and rate them depending on how strong the connections with each department or organization are. Once this was achieved, attendees were encouraged to discuss ways in which they could strengthen connections in the weaker areas. 

Common challenges organizations face include people not being aware of what other teams are working on and people who don’t think their areas expertise are being properly used. Other challenges include workloads and schedule availability that make it difficult to collaborate, and not having clear structures to enable teams to work together collaboratively.

One way law firms can use Connectional Intelligence to leverage their services is by embracing technologies and trends. Some law firms have successfully implemented her strategy by producing podcasts and webinars in an effort to connect with clients in new ways, Ms. Dhawan said.

“I want to share one final tip,” she concluded. “It’s what I call the ten-minute rule. Simply spend 10 minutes every day connecting with a new network outside of the ones you always go to. We are all inundated with the time we spend responding to emails and attending meetings, but this is just 10 minutes that [could help you] to grow your business.”

INTA, INTA18, Continental, global competition, connectional intelligence, advertising, Oreo, Super Bowl