Interview with Ross Thornley, CEO and Co-founder of AQai

We see the pace of change accelerating, from technological innovation and the convergence of many shifts in the future of work. There is a huge risk of people, teams and organisations being left behind. We want ensure no-one is. We believe everyone should have the tools, insights and support to create a better tomorrow.

AQai provides evidence-driven and science-based adaptability assessments, certifications, and training to organisations and teams to help navigate and thrive through change.

To date we have invested over half a million pounds and collaborated with behavioural psychologists, data scientists, leading CHRO’s and business leaders from around the world to develop the most comprehensive and science-based assessment platform, to know who, when and how people adapt.

Our AI-driven AQ assessments and personalised coaching, are built for speed and scale, delivered through a unique conversational chatbot user experience.
AQai | The Adaptability Quotient (AQ) Assessment Tool

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

We’ve always been curious about what gets people to change and adapt on their own terms.

Mike (my co-founder) and I both came from marketing agency backgrounds.

When working on a project for a well-known Unilever brand. Their leadership team brought us in to help them future-proof one of their biggest multi-billion dollar consumer brands, because they knew the market was changing fast and wanted to maintain their leadership position.

If they didn’t innovate and stay ahead of the market, they would be at risk. The problem, however, was a human one: their team mindset was too fixed and they were resistant to change.

This wasn’t the only brand we noticed this with, though. While we were helping many other organisations with their innovation strategies we recognised something similar.

The leadership team often had ambitious goals and moonshots. But the challenge was in the team adapting fast enough to begin to make those goals a reality.

That’s when we realized, in order to survive and thrive as a company in a technology-driven, rapidly changing culture, there are only two options.

Adapt or die.

At AQai we have made it our mission to help people and organisations deal with increasing uncertainty by adapting to change and cutting the learning curve so they have the skills and confidence for the future.

We do this by providing adaptability assessments and coaching to organisations and teams to help them navigate and thrive through change.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Look for mindset aligned and highly adaptable collaborations and team members. Invest in the wellbeing of your team, supporting them through continual and accelerating change. Get a mentor, and embrace rapid experimentation.

What can we hope to see from AQai in the future?

A growing marketplace for the best learning, tools, resources and content to help you level up your AQ. Whilst adding more AQ certified consultants and practitioners to support our client programmes.

The launch of a truly personalised digital human, who will know how you learn, what your AQ is and guide you through microlearning experiences to support the continual development of your future self.


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