Curiosity is more often used in learning environments than in business environments and that’s a shame, curiosity may be the most powerful tool available to propel a business forward. And guess what? Each employee in your business already possesses a mind brimming over with curiosity waiting to be encouraged out into the open. You might compare curiosity to wheels on a car rolling the car’s intention to its destination.
Unfortunately curiosity is often placed on the back burner if it’s used at all. The reason for neglecting curiosity is simple, leaders and managers don’t really like inquiry, they don’t like questions popping up in the middle of meetings or presentations. Curiosity (inquiry – questions) it seems, is seen as rocking the boat or to many of those in charge curiosity is seen as questioning authority and we all know that’s usually frowned upon in businesses large and yes, even in small businesses.
“business leaders who are always expanding
their perspective and what they know
—and have that natural curiosity—
are the people that are going to be successful.”
McCormick & Company CEO Alan D. Wilson
Noted leaders such as Dell’s Michael Dell, Apple’s Steve Jobs, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Hollywood Producer Brian Grazer, Square’s Jack Dorsey and Innovation Author Clayton Christensen have all sung the praises of inquiry and questioning embodied within curiosity.
a leader’s primary occupation
must be to discover the future,”
Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich
Discovering the future or what u-Process pioneer Joseph Jaworski called Radical New Knowledge in his book Synchronicity is the basis of innovation and ultimately ROI. Exploring Jaworski’s Radical New Knowledge is being part of the future before the future even gets here. These processes lead to knowing what your customers wants before they do.
Asking probing questions, asking the right questions can open a whole new world of understanding the needs of your customers before your competitors even get out of bed in the morning. Think about how all your stakeholders will marvel when you open your business to inquiry leading to a consistently growing ROI.