How important is curiosity to your unique strengths? How does curiosity support market leadership and growth?
The ability to learn, to discover, to innovate, to question, to be creative, to develop wisdom, to wonder, to move you mind thoughts and feelings to another level, all reside in the mind of the curious. However, curiosity is not embedded within most school curricula, where curiosity needs to be nurtured, encouraged, and cherished. As a result, much of today’s learning is based on known proven and developed academic theory. Very little is a result of developing the curious mind in all of us.
Curiosity is essential to the cognitive development of flourishing engaging minds in pursuit of new ideas, assisting us to discover better and more relevant ways of being, and inspiring our lives. Hence, without curiosity, we would live in a world of acceptable mediocrity, rather than a world of discovery. Each day curiosity generates new insights, develops improved outcomes, enhances intrinsic motivation and personal well-being, supports our cognitive and passionate desire to learn and achieve. Ultimately providing the potential to create a more interesting, and more rewarding society.
Not only is curiosity the central essence of how we approach and live life, it is alsoan indicator of how effective we may be in the corporate world.
As a leader and coach, I continue to witness the overly risk adverse, where the nurturing and building of curiosity is inadvertently, and in many cases intentionally banished. Yet such organisations expect their teams to be ‘innovative’ and ‘market leaders’, delivering profitable market share and growth.This is a great aspiration based on nonsense.
For an organisation to grow and be innovative, it requires the support of boards and senior management teams to invest in organisational cultures, with all in the organisation contributing to a learning philosophy, where innovation runs through the veins of the business, and not be the limited domain of a few in a mystical section referred to as the ‘Innovation Department, or Group’, or in an ad-hoc form.
Innovation thrives where curiosity is enthusiastically encouraged, and where the ‘spirit’ of the organisation delivers real leadership, driven by curious energetic minds, enhancing achievement as measured by customer loyalty, economic growth and a great place to work. Such organisations are not led by risk adverse managers, but by those with vision, who are humanistic, with a talent to inspire their teams and customers.
Yet, why do so few have the courage to foster a culture where learning is intrinsic to the normal modus operandi of the business? Is it because the world of logic and numbers is perceived to be the great safe haven and fundamental expectation, with any alternative focus or option running a meaningless second position? The evidence is all around and most noticeable in struggling organisations who fail to achieve mediocre growth.
So how do you make this happen?
Initially, it requires a domain of quality leadership, inclusive of senior management teams and boards ‘walking the talk’ and demonstrating their unrelenting passion, commitment, and belief that; ‘this is the way we will do things here’. Some examples include; Elon Musk of Tesla, SpaceX, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, the late Anita Roddick of the Body Shop and Steve Jobs of Apple. All placed curiosity led innovation first, from which major and sustainable business success was derived.
Curiosity led organisations not only inspire their staff but all their stakeholders inclusive of customers and shareholders. Consequently, this can be termed as aspirational to some, and fundamental to those who believe in true and sustainable leadership, where following others is not an option, and where true financial strength is manifested from a culture powered by organisational learning and consistent innovation, where the curious thrive.
What are your thoughts? Is this too difficult to contemplate?
I look forward to your comments, feedback and insights.