The other day my son asked me a question. “Dad, if you could have one superpower what would it be?” Great question, I mean I could choose anything! What would I choose? What would you choose? My kids will often ask me questions like this. “Dad, what would happen if I …” or the never ending “Why?” They ask these questions because they are curious. They want to learn something they don’t already know. It’s part of their development. For some reason, most adults stop being curious. Is it because we have to admit we don’t have all the answers? I’m not going to get into the psychological aspects here, but I am going to discuss the importance of maintaining curiosity throughout your life.
Importance of Maintaining Curiosity
As the story goes, Sir Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree and was hit on the head with a falling apple. This piqued his curiosity and lead to the discovery of the law of gravity. Apples had been falling off trees since the beginning of time (so I assume I am not that old!), why hadn’t anyone else discovered the law of gravity. No one else was curious. No one else asked, why apples always fell to the ground. Sir Isaac Newton’s curiosity, and pursuit of truth lead him to this discovery.
Curiosity doesn’t have to be limited to the field of physics; it can take your business to the next level. Curiosity breeds innovation, growth and discovery of new and more efficient processes and products. Curiosity helps establish your competitive edge and dominate the market share. Without curiosity you are doomed to complacency until you are obsolete and out of business.
Do you want to eliminate complacency in your business? Create an atmosphere of curiosity. I don’t have to tell you that complacency kills your businesses, if not immediately it will over time. You have to be at least as innovative and creative as your competition or risk losing customers. Curiosity drives innovation. Innovation brings new products, better service, and higher profits.
Your employees should always be asking themselves:
- What happens if I…?
- Why do we do it this way?
- Is there a better way?
Answering these questions will spark curiosity and help you become an industry leader.
Just the other day I was reading something on the differences between millennials and baby boomers in the work place. I read it because I was curious about the comparisons, and I had a few minutes to kill. You don’t need a PhD in sociology to know that there is a huge difference between the way these generations approach work.
Leaders need to maintain their curiosity. There has been a ton of research done, books and articles written about how to become a more effective leader. In most work places, leadership has evolved from the old command and control model to a more empowering and engaging model. (If you are still in the command and control model, please contact me!). Leaders need to be curious about new ways to improve productivity, engagement, profits, and employee effectiveness.
As the work place changes with new technology, and a new generation of workers, leaders need to evolve as well. Being curious about how to improve your skills will help you become better equipped to stay on the leading edge and maintain your competitive advantage.
Lack of Curiosity
A lack of curiosity will doom you to mediocrity or run you out of business completely. I used to frequently comment that Monday is my favorite day of the week, and Friday was always the worse. Why? Well, because on Monday I was excited about all the things I could do in the coming week, and on Friday I was upset because I didn’t get anything new accomplished. This is classic complacency.
Clearly when I’d get in this rut, it was because I lacked curiosity and imagination to be innovative. When I’d recognize this rut, I knew it was time for a change. Sometimes it was that I needed to find a new job so I could grow, or I had to find a new way to do my job and improve effectiveness. Either way I had seen so many talented people get stuck in the rut, and lacked the curiosity to even wonder if there was a better way. A lack of curiosity will kill businesses, leaders, and careers.
This Week’s Challenge
How curious is your organization? Are you challenging yourself to grow, innovate and dominate your competition? Innovation will help you maximize productivity, reduce turnover, and increase market share. Maintaining curiosity in your business is key to helping your business grow, compete and be the best.
If you would like to discuss more ways to help your business grow or if you feel you have a specific problem that needs to be addressed, please reach out to me.