The gift of curiosity

We were all born with the gift of curiosity and its closely related cousin, wonder.

It was how we navigated our way in this strange new world we had been born into – and it served us well.

However, over time this gift didn’t suit our environment – home, school, and work – where conformity and coming up with the right answers was prized more highly.

And we learnt to comply because that was how we gained credibility and acceptance.

But here’s the thing: unless we value this gift and cultivate its use, we only have old answers to the challenges and opportunities we face – and they aren’t serving us too well.

It takes courage to ask questions, ponder what could be and muse on the what if’s…? It also requires us to develop better skills in framing our curiosity, so that people can hear us, and not get tripped up by the challenge.

More than anything, it needs a growing community of people who can cultivate their curiosity together, who can smooth out the rough edges and hold each other accountable for delivering better because it matters.

And we have seen this during 2020 in teams who have faced the utterly unexpected and found a completely different way of working because they couldn’t wait for someone to tell them what to do.

We have also seen those whose gifts of curiosity enabled them to ask very different questions in pursuing novel solutions. Making connections and finding answers in record time.

The danger is that our culture will have an extraordinary propensity to return to normal, which would be a colossal waste.

The year’s threshold is an excellent opportunity to see the importance of curiosity afresh and set a direction that values and cultivates this innate gift.

What is stirring your curiosity? And what are you going to do with it?  

~ Thanks to Lesley Reid for the timely prompt. My new book Quiet Disruptors: Creating Change Without Shouting has a significant section on the case for curiosity – publication in January 2021.