Take ‘CARE’ to be ‘CALM’: Emotional intelligence is key to achieving digital maturity

Dr Lauren Vargas
5 min readApr 23, 2020

Last night, I hosted an experimental workshop inspired by LEGO® Serious Play® to help a mix of former corporate and museum colleagues process their personal and professional emotions as a result of COVID-19. I was extremely nervous — while I have incorporated LEGO® into so many of my workshops and training over the years, I have never attempted to use virtual LEGO® building (via Mecabricks) and a Zoom gathering to produce a purposeful and meaningful experience. There were a couple of tech hiccups (as can be expected and good lessons learned to inform the next session), but overall, a group — many of whom did not know any of the other participants — came together and shared profound stories and emotion in only 90-minutes. I was — and AM — simply amazed at the open minds and full hearts of the participants.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is not taught in schools. It is not until we are fully ingrained in the workplace and our adult lives that we learn that we may have many behaviors we need to unlearn to better communicate and collaborate with others. Is that our responsibility? Our employers if not our schools? How do we know what emotional intelligence skills we are lacking? These are the questions I asked as a corporate rebel / change agent using digital communities to enact digital transformation AND I am now asking as an independent researcher and consultant.

During my first post-doc when I was embedded for 15-months at two London museums as ‘One by One’ action researcher, I found cultural institutions had many of the same digital struggles as the private sector. I observed that most organizations do not have technology issues, but communication and collaboration gaps and opportunities. There was a fundamental lack of underlying business intelligence (BI) and emotional intelligence (EI) informing the digital strategy and activities. Sustainable digital maturity is difficult to achieve if you, your staff, and organization lack digital competencies, capabilities and literacies fused with business and emotional literacy.

BI + EI = DIGITAL MATURITY

Just as common words and themes bubbled to the surface during my research and development of the ‘BE: CALM’ approach, a new group of words and…

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Dr Lauren Vargas

Digital Dragon Wrangler | Independent Researcher and Consultant