Curiosity is simple.
It is a strong desire to know or learn something. When thinking about curiosity, most people are reminded of children. They are playful, explorative, creative - and constantly questioning the world around them. When things are new or beyond their understanding, children ask away. Why is it that curiosity fades as we grow older? Perhaps because as we advance in age, education and in our careers, we are expected to be experts, filled to the brim with answers rather than questions.
As adults, curiosity is linked to the concept of the growth mindset. This mindset acknowledges that our knowledge is dynamic, not static. When you possess a growth mindset, you enjoy learning and exploring by trying new things, including the mistakes that come with it. We at Qvest believe curiosity clears pathways to solutions for complex problems, creates innovation, and engages people.
Go further with curiosity
Stimulating curiosity is important on the individual level, but it has the potential to improve projects and organizations everywhere. Professor Francesca Gino describes in Harvard Business Review how curiosity can lead to fewer decision-making errors, more innovation and positive changes in both creative and non-creative positions. Curiosity has also been proven to reduce conflict, create more open communication and improve team performance. Plus, people are more likely to work harder on a project that stimulates their curiosity than those that don’t. In cross-functional change projects, the encouragement of curiosity is a way to overcome silo-thinking and foster collaboration.
In order to reap the benefits of curiosity, it is necessary to understand the barriers to curiosity and how to overcome them. At the management level, curiosity is often not supported. Leaders believe encouraging curiosity might make the company more difficult to manage and lead to slower decision making. Additionally, managers tend to focus on efficiency in organizations at the expense of exploration. Employees often adapt to the structure set by management. Here at Qvest, we acknowledge this tension, which is why we have designed Qvest as a structured way to inspire curiosity. While leaders have the power to hinder curiosity, they also have the power to stimulate it. Questions and curiosity should not be viewed as a challenge to authority, but rather a path to bolstering innovation and creativity.
Anyone can be curious
You do not need to be a leader or even a project manager to instill curiosity in your organization - anyone can be curious. And your curiosity will inspire others to open their minds too.
The Qvest tool lets you leverage questions and gain the benefits of curiosity and inquisitiveness. In cross-functional change projects, not one person involved possesses all the necessary information. As adults at work, we often assume that providing answers matters more than posing questions. But what if it is the other way around?