Curiosity and innovation - Deepstash

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Why Curiosity Matters

Curiosity and innovation

Encouraging people to be curious generates workplace improvements.

When we are curious, we view tough situations more creatively. Studies have found that curiosity is associated with less defensive reactions to stress and less aggressive reactions to provocation.

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Why Curiosity Matters

Why Curiosity Matters

https://hbr.org/2018/09/curiosity

hbr.org

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Key Ideas

Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives

When our curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports our beliefs rather than for evidence suggesting we are wrong) and to stereotyping people (making broad judgments).

Reduced group conflict

Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective.

Thus, conflicts are less heated, and groups achieve better results.

How to strengthen curiosity at work

  1. Hire for curiosity. Identify naturally curious people through interview questions and tests.
  2. Model inquisitiveness. Leaders can encourage curiosity throughout their organizations by being inquisitive themselves.
  3. Emphasize learning goals. Framing work around learning goals rather than performance boosts motivation.
  4. Let employees explore and broaden their interests.
  5. To support curiosity, encourage people to ask good questions.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. "

Albert Einstein
Curiosity declines with age

Children are extremely curious. They keep asking, "why?" and explore new things just because they want to know.

But research shows that during the schooling years, curiosity steadily declines, and as adults, we fall into fixed and convenient thought patterns.

The mechanics of curiosity

Research around curiosity found that children at age 5 scored 98% on a creativity test. When the same children took the test at age 10, only 30% scored well on the test. By age 15, only 12% of the same children did well. Less than 2% of adults are defined as creative based on their answer to this standardised test.

Science suggests this decrease in curiosity could be caused when we feel there's no gap between what we know and what we want to know, so we just stop being curious.

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4 kinds of behavior
4 kinds of behavior

... account for 89 percent of leadership effectiveness:

  • Solving problems effectively;
  • Operating with a strong results orientation;
  • Seeking different perspectives;
Effective problem solving

Problem-solving - when information is gathered, analyzed, and considered. 

Difficult to get right, yet this process is a key input into decision making, for both major issues and daily ones.

Results orientation
Leadership is about not only developing and communicating a vision and setting objectives but also following through to achieve results. 

Leaders with a strong results orientation tend to emphasize the importance of efficiency and productivity and to prioritize the highest-value work.

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Curiosity
Curiosity

It is the recognition, pursuit, and desire to explore novel, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous events.

The 5 dimensions that define curiosity
  • Joyous exploration: I view challenging situations as an opportunity to grow and learn.
  • Deprivation sensitivity: I like to try to solve problems that puzzle me.
  • Stress tolerance: The smallest doubt can stop me from seeking out new experiences.
  • Social curiosity: Social curiosity: I like to learn about the habits of others. I like finding out why people behave the way they do.
  • Thrill-seeking: The anxiety of doing something new makes me feel excited and alive. Risk-taking is exciting to me.
4 types of "curious" people
  1. The Fascinated – they score high on all dimensions of curiosity, particularly joyous exploration.
  2. Problem Solvers – score high on deprivation sensitivity, and are midrange for other dimensions.
  3. Empathizers – score high on social curiosity, midrange on other dimensions and much lower on stress tolerance and thrill-seeking.
  4. Avoiders – score low on all dimensions, particularly stress tolerance.