Inquisitiveness at Work

How important is inquisitiveness?

Do you look for curious people when you are hiring new staff?

How do you respond when a member of your team asks you “why do we do this?” or “why do we do it this way?”
In my experience it is not always valued or encouraged. Even worse than that, I have heard curious people described as “too challenging” or even “bloody-minded” and “they should get their head down, do what needs to be done and stop asking silly questions”

Innovation comes from learning, learning is about asking questions.

Developing a learning culture requires leaders to develop a questioning culture that encourages people to speak out and question views and actions.

So what are the benefits?

Encouraging questions allows you to continuously test the way your team does things. It allows them to challenge the sacred cows.

It enables the organisation to go to new places, as only through learning does change happen. Questioning breaks existing patterns of behaviour and opens people to new possibilities.

All sectors, public, private and the not-for-profit sector need people to be more fluid, more responsive to changing environments, more comfortable with risk and uncertainty.

Walt Disney said of curiosity:

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”

The clarion cry today is innovation, innovation, innovation. Innovation comes from those simple questions WHY and HOW!

“Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect” (Samuel Johnson)

So, why not seek out and nurture curiosity.