I know I’m not the only person who thinks that curiosity is probably one of the most overlooked and under appreciated qualities in the business world. Having a thirst for figuring out systems, taking things (and ideas) apart, and reinventing the way they work is now one of the most important qualities to have in an employee or business owner.
I also think that the businesses that are going to succeed over the next decade are the ones that are the most curious. The ones that do the best jobs of embracing change, using new tools, and step out of their comfort zone.
Call it curiosity, call it R&D, call it professional development or social research. The fact is that no matter what business you’re in, it’s important. That journey of discovery deserves to have time and dollars put behind it. Google does a great job of embracing curiosity with it’s “20 percent time” policy. In a nutshell, engineers are allowed to spend one day per week working on ways to develop new ideas, fix problems or work on projects that are not in their job descriptions. That, my friends is developing a culture of the curious.
Can you name at least one question YOUR business (or employer) has posed in the past year that has led to a new discovery or a change in the way you operate? A new way of reaching customers? A new way of operating that is out of the traditional comfort zone? Let me know in the comments. If there isn’t a culture of curiosity where you are – why not? And what are you doing to help create that culture- and save your skin? Because now it’s the LACK of curiosity that will kill the cat. Meow.