Curiosity Makes the Human
It’s Time To Rekindle Curiosity
When we are born, we are intensely curious about the world around us – human babies are incredible sponges of data – from the moment we can observe, we observe, and we observe intently, everyone and everything around us. We can’t get enough of it – our brains are filling up with knowledge – or how to talk, how to act, how to walk, to be human.
We have a keen sense of curiosity.
However, as we age, as we grow, as we learn, that curiosity is blunted. We willingly suppress our curiosity – we figure we’ve been there and done that – because it didn’t work before it won’t work again – we start to think about value and cost.
We suppress, or even eliminate curiosity from our brains, thinking that is was great when we were kids and learning, but I’m an adult now – this is me and this is who I am – and I don’t really need to be curious anymore. I don’t really need to learn and change. That curiosity is there, in all of us, it’s just suppressed.
Like Vulcan emotions, we spend a lot of time and effort not being curious, not wondering about the world, and if there were better ways to do things, is there are other ways to solve problems we may never have thought of.
For some, it’s a relief, they internalize “curiosity killed the cat” – that curiosity will get you into trouble. Some organizations, schools, colleges, and businesses actively disincentivize curiosity, inquiry, and new thinking.
Curiosity can be a big problem. Or is it? How can something which is so core to the human experience be a burden to humans?
Some say that as we age, we naturally become less curious – that there are electrical changes in the brain which drive us to be less curious. If that’s the case, why are some of the most brilliant and successful people out there typically insanely curious, and always looking for a way to improve things.
Isn’t it true that most breakthrough innovation is the result of individuals or teams turning their curiosity up to maximum to solve a specific problem? Is not science simply authorized curiosity, the act of making the unknown known?
Curiosity is one of the main tenants of innovation – if you are not curious, then it’s likely that you are also not innovative.
If you are looking to increase the quality and quantity of innovative new products and services from your employees, you need to make curiosity job number one. Regress your people back to when they were children – when every other word out of their mouths was “why”.
Maybe if more of your employees asked “why” and got straight answers, it might lead to a more open, innovative, and creative culture.
What can you do to help to bring curiosity back to your people – how can you encourage them to reignite that spark of curiosity within them – to truly tap into that orignal human trait?
There is nothing better than a workforce driven by the curiosity to improve your customers lives.