The Emotional Intelligence Livestream #8


“Back to Normal” or Something New?

What if “normal” was the problem… how can emotional intelligence fuel innovation?


“We’ll flip the switch back on.” “It’s time to get back to normal.” But what if “normal” isn’t good enough? We’re in a very deep challenge with the pandemic, and so it’s reasonable to want to get away from this suffering and retreat to the “good old days of 2 months ago” — but could we move forward to something better?

Rather than reacting to the current difficulties, how can we engage emotional intelligence to envision the future we actually want? What are the essential skills for shifting out of re-acting and into re-imagining — from retreat to advance? At a practical level, if every challenge is an opportunity, how are we positioning ourselves & our organizations to move forward?


We’re hearing politicians use phrases like, “it’s time to flip the switch back on,” or “we have to get back to normal.” But is that the right choice? In the words of Sara Pantuliano, one of our panelists today, “normal was the problem” — maybe while we’re on The Great Timeout, it’s time to look forward instead of backward.

Key questions

  • What is creating the pressure to get “back to normal”? 
  • What’s wrong with that?
  • Right now, many people are facing big, painful waves of challenge — emotionally, economically, socially — how does that affect the need to get back to normal?
  • Is there a line of a poem or a quote that keeps coming to you as you look at what’s happening in the world today?
  • What is one key principle you’d like to see applied to the design of the future?
  • If we had a magic wand, we might solve all the world’s problems — but with harsh realism of a crumbling economy and dissolving social fabric…. can we actually change anything now?
  • Where is the leverage point for change?
  • For those of us grappling with uncertainty and feeling the pain of being “stuck” right now — if you could write just one post-it-note to for all of us to keep in mind, what would it say?

Innovation Panelists

  • Sara Pantuliano, PhD – CEO, Overseas Development Institute (ODI); formerly headed the Peace Building Unit in UNDP Sudan, Sara is a member of the High-Level Group on Humanitarian Investing and the Global Future Council on the Humanitarian System of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Managing Editor of Disasters journal, Vice-Chair of the Board of Muslim Aid and a Trustee of The New Humanitarian and SOS Sahel.
    T: @SaraPantuliano of @ODIdev
  • Sue McNamara, PhD – as Six Seconds’ Regional Network Director in Asia Pacific, Sue leads organisational and educational implementations of emotional intelligence from Korea to Australia. She works extensively with international schools and universities in the APAC region and is the coordinator of the Future Ready Initiative to integrate EQ leadership programming into tertiary education and workforce development.
    T: Sue McNamara from @6s_EQ
    I: @sue.mcnamara of @6secondseq
  • Navi Radjou – Indian-French-American scholar, innovation and leadership advisor,  THINKERS50 Award Winner, and a bestselling author based in Silicon Valley. Author of Frugal Innovation: How To Do More With Less; coauthor of the global bestseller Jugaad Innovation; his TED talk on frugal innovation has garnered over 1.8 million video views. Navi is a Fellow at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School and serves on World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
    T: @NaviRadjou
  • Chantel Samanek MBA – Chantel is the founder and Executive Director of Grey Insight. She is trained in Clinical Psychology, holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree with Change Management as dissertation focus and is certified as NLP Practitioner and Coach. Chantel’s company is one of Six Seconds’ Preferred Partners, using powerful organizational vitality and individual EQ assessments to build in-depth solutions for companies to grow competitive advantage through people.
  • Joshua Freedman, cofounder and CEO, Six Seconds; Master Certified Coach; author of the best-selling At the Heart of Leadership
    T: @EQjosh of @6s_EQ
    IG: @joshmfreedman of @6secondseq

Check out Navi’s Fast Company article on personal reinvention at 

Check out Sara’s ODI blog on the need for a global reset that can usher a new normal:

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