Leaders Encourage Curiosity


It may have killed the cat, but curiosity seems to be a potential starting point for creativity in people. That’s why…

Leaders encourage curiosity.

Curious people think about things–the way things are and the way things could be. That’s why…

Leaders encourage curiosity.

Leaders know that if curious people start thinking about the way things could be, they begin to ask “What if…” an awful lot. And while some might be annoyed when people ask that, leaders know it’s crucial to organizations that are going to continue to grow and thrive and move forward.

[bctt tweet=”#Curiosity is crucial to companies’ continued growth & evolution. #leadership #companyculture”]

That’s why…

Leaders encourage curiosity.

Curiosity tends to drive people, if they’re not lazy, to learn, grow, and develop; and they tend to help others do the same. That’s why servant leadership and curiosity make such a powerful combination.

Curious people ask questions, both to themselves and to others.

They challenge assumptions. That’s why…

Leaders encourage curiosity.

Because they understand that the status quo isn’t safe around curious people. Curious folks often end up conceptualizing something different than what’s currently there. They wonder about the possibility of there being something better–a better product, a better service, a smarter way to do something, a new and better perspective on an old problem.

[bctt tweet=”#Curiosity endangers the status quo. #leadership #companyculture #culture #quote”]

So why wouldn’t we try to incorporate curiosity into our workplace culture?

What if leaders thought of ways to help people become increasingly curious about the world around them, their organization, their team, and themselves? What if this happened on a large scale within an organization? What if curiosity compounded upon itself with each additional person that adopted a curious mindset toward their work and themselves? Can you imagine the cumulative effect over time of an organization filled with curious people?

The very idea has gotten me curious…

10 thoughts on “Leaders Encourage Curiosity

  • I agree that curiosity should be encouraged and while I also agree that curiosity leads to asking “what if” I think it also leads many people to ask “what next.” “What next” is a logical next step from “what if” because it puts action to the idea. Without curiosity, however, neither what if nor what next are possible.

  • Great post on curiosity in the workplace. I believe the status quo has a challenge with allowing curiosity. Especially leaders that let pride get in the way of nurturing other leaders and making larger strides in changing systems.

    Your right, cumulatively, organizations would experience tremendous growth by encouraging curiosity! Thanks Matt.

  • Matt – another thought provoking post, love it. As to your question “So why wouldn’t we try to incorporate curiosity into our workplace culture? ”
    I would think that it would come down to challenging the status quo which, makes people uneasy. Why does it make them uneasy? Usually it means change and change terrifies people because we manage it badly.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Diana. And I think you’re spot-on with your comments as well. Change is scary on some level to most of us. It’s just that–as you so well said–“it means change and change terrifies people because we manage it badly.”

      Thanks again for your comment!

  • We should share ideas on how we can encourage curiosity… For example, I created a target for my training development team to find new ways to transfer learning, test them, and share the results. What ways would you encourage curiosity in the workplace?

    • I think there are some general things that help set a framework for it. Providing access to information is one of them, be it through social media, online, collaboration with others internally, and so on. It’s through interactions and research that our curiosity is often piqued.

      Similarly, connecting folks with other creative and curious people is a great way to help both parties grow and develop.

      Exposing them to situations, both “good” and “bad” usually sparks thinking about those things. You want them to start thinking about everything, really. We start out that way as kids–curious and creative–and then somewhere along the line any number of factors beat it out of us. 🙂

      If you’re talking about more specific stuff, I’m a big fan of asking people what many would probably consider silly questions; but for me it helps us think differently and maybe without previously-held assumptions. Like, say…

      “If you could make one decision right now for the organization that you think would have a huge positive impact on us, what would it be?”

      The key is getting them thinking about stuff. (Profound, right?) Unfortunately, many workplaces have conditioned people to punch their timecards, put their heads down and work for eight hours, punch out, and go home where they can become curious, creative, alive human beings again. It’s a shame.

      Does that make sense? Or did you mean something different?

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