The EDG Framework
Empowered To Run’s unique training program is designed to increase your:
- Emotional Quotient [EQ] (people)
- Design Quotient [DQ] (processes)
- Government Quotient [GQ] (domain)
Together these form our EDG (“edge”) framework,¹ covering foundational skills and knowledge that will help you authentically represent your community and make your political efforts as informed, effective, and impactful as possible.
For candidates (our primary audience), we integrate campaign tactics and guidance throughout our program. The EDG framework, though, is also relevant to government officials (elected, appointed, and civil) and community advocates and can help any of these leaders serve their communities more effectively.
With strong EDG capacity and training, you can create the energetic, open, thoughtful, collaborative, forward-thinking environment critical to developing and implementing successful policies, programs, and processes that meet your constituents’ needs. Read more below about the three components of the EDG framework and why they matter.
Emotional Quotient (EQ)
Your emotional quotient is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them, and how to work cooperatively with them.² This has both inward-facing and outward-facing dimensions. High EQ leaders have:
- Self-awareness: the ability to recognize one’s own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others
- Self-regulation: the ability to control or redirect one’s disruptive emotions and impulses and adapt to changing circumstances
- Motivation: the growth mindset that we can continue to develop our abilities, learn from others, and change the future, and the drive to do so
- Empathy: the ability to understand how other people feel and recognize group culture
- Social skills: the ability to manage relationships and get along with others (skills around communication, influence, leadership, teamwork and conflict management)
In the political and government domains, further developing your emotional intelligence will make you more effective at connecting with voters because you will better understand their pains, challenges, and interests. This in turn makes you more effective at delivering for your constituents, as you will then be better able to develop and advocate for solutions that fit these needs (see DQ for more). Additionally, since your success is tied to the success of your teams (which for candidates includes both your campaign team and, once elected, your office staff), increasing your EQ improves your ability to align and motivate your staff, clear roadblocks, and ensure everyone’s needs are met.
While some of the underlying values are ingrained, many EQ skills can be learned and strengthened. Our training helps you develop empathy for your constituents and understand your own motivations to ensure that you are able to make decisions that are authentic to you and represent your community well. We focus on listening to your community, listening to experts, and listening to the different sides of policy debates, so that you are addressing what is important and framing your response in the most effective way. Additionally, we guide you in self-care and management to help ensure that you and your team are healthy and aligned for the long-haul.
Design Quotient (DQ)
Your design quotient complements your emotional quotient. Whereas EQ centers your ability to engage, empathize with, and relate to people, DQ focuses on your ability to scale those interactions, develop innovative solutions to challenges you hear about, and rally people to the cause. The goal is that these solutions are:³
- Desirable: make sense to people and for people
- Feasible: technically possible within the foreseeable future
- Viable: sustainable in the operating environment ⁴
To get there, leaders with high DQ have mastered:
- how to ask effective questions
- how to synthesize what they hear from multiple sources
- how to brainstorm and co-create solutions and messages
- how to continuously test their ideas, learn from their experience, and make improvements, and
- how to tell compelling stories about these ideas
In the political and government domains, design skills will give you an edge in creating a differentiated policy platform that resonates with your community, and delivering on that platform once in office. These skills are valuable not only for developing ideas about how your government can approach challenges in your community (service design), they can also assist you in improving how government operates internally (organizational design). More broadly, these skills are useful for any entrepreneurial (or intrapreneurial) endeavor. For candidates, it’s helpful to remember that your political campaign is literally a start-up nonprofit business.
In our training, you will engage a diverse array of your constituents, asking questions that draw out stories and language that will inform you and prepare you to tell compelling stories to others. We help you synthesize the information you hear and integrate it with evidence-based expert analysis. We provide you a foundation on which to co-create ideas with those you serve and improve them over time.
Government Quotient (GQ)
Your government quotient is a measure of your knowledge of the domain you’re seeking to influence. Your governments (local, state, and federal) have been operating for a long time without you. For you to help steer the ship of government to better serve your community, it’s crucial to be familiar with:
- how the government is structured
- what authorities and tools you will have in government
- what sectors of society and the economy government engages with and how
- what policy challenges each level of your government is tackling, what policy proposals are being debated, and with which champions, and
- who you can go to for data-driven analysis and advocacy support
GQ provides critical support for EQ and DQ in the EDG framework. By developing your domain knowledge, you will build a mental model of policy challenges and government’s potential role in helping solve them. You will then be able to listen more deeply to your constituents’ stories because you will see how they fit in. Engaging more deeply in turn increases your empathy and builds stronger, authentic connections with those you are speaking with. And your ability to design and implement policy solutions in the domain of government is obviously reliant on your knowledge of how government operates and where there are opportunities and constraints.
When running for office, having a high GQ will enable you to tune your campaign promises to what is bold but also realistic. When governing, having a high GQ will enable you to navigate your work environment and transform your vision into reality.
Our training program provides a significant overview of how your state and local government is structured, what levers of authority you may be able to use in office, and what major sectors and systems government may influence. We also provide overviews of current policy issues being debated in government, framing these policy discussions as you will face them: the potential of government, to use its policy levers, to influence a set of sectors in the state.
¹ This framework is derived from the government transformation and innovation literature of the Partnership for Public Service, the Science & Technology Policy Institute (STPI), the World Economic Forum, Booz Allen Hamilton, and our advisor, Amy J. Wilson.
² Prof. Howard Gardner, Harvard
⁴ Viability of a design is frequently defined as having a ‘sustainable business model’. We generalize it here to cover operating environments beyond economic markets (like government).