“Curiosity killed the cat”, goes the saying, “but satisfaction brought it back.” When it comes to business, curiosity is often a lost virtue, but one that can be really powerful for people who adopt it and learn how to make use of it. Let’s take a look at curiosity in business and see exactly why this can be a winning attribute for business leaders as well as employees.
- Defining curiosity
What exactly do we mean by curiosity in the context of business? Well really it is taking the same curiosity from any other walk of life and learning how to turn it to your world of business and work. Think about the last time you read an interesting news article about space exploration or when as a kid you wanted to understand why the sky is blue. Think of the satisfaction you get from learning the answers to these questions. That is the same kind of curiosity we are trying to harness here, just with different subjects in mind.
Curiosity is about adopting and attitude of inquisitiveness and being open-minded about learning new things, without any preconceptions clouding your understanding.
- Curiosity in business
In the business sphere there is a lot of room for curiosity, much more than people usually think. We often approach it with a bit of a stiff attitude, all numbers and spreadsheets – but we can get a lot of benefit from curiosity. When you hear about a business that managed to grow very quickly or break into a new market, whenever you think to yourself “Wow, that’s really impressive!”, learn to follow it up with “I wonder how they did that?” and then go out and find the answers.
- Curiosity breeds enthusiasm
Curiosity is the desire to learn and understand, so by its very nature it will help you to become more enthusiastic about the business world. Looking to understand how a company has succeeded, or even how a once-successful company has stumbled or fallen, will invigorate your thinking and lead you to the kinds of answers and knowledge that you need to grow. Curiosity is also very useful in strengthening the other business skills I talk about, most especially creativity, courage, and commitment.
- Refining your lessons
To turn curiosity into actionable knowledge, you need to learn how to interpret the answers you get. It’s very rare that a business fails or succeeds because of one single factor so understanding the interlocking factors involved is an important skill. Curiosity is the key to doing that, because it will help you see and analyse these factors fairly and as a whole. You must do your best to put aside existing prejudices if you want to make the most of curiosity in business.
- Curiosity from above encourages it from below
One of the biggest strengths of curiosity is if you manage to turn it from a personal trait to a part of your business culture. No matter how competent you are personally, you have a whole business filled with people whose own minds are potent sources of new ideas. Encourage the curiosity of your employees and see what new ideas they can come up with as well. Learn how to assess them fairly and then you’ll be able to see creative benefits and create a happier and more productive organisation.
Thank you for reading about how curiosity can help you to improve your business and leadership. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me for guidance, or coaching. Also remember to get my free Personal Leadership eBook to learn about 5 strategies that will help you build your platform of success.