“Curiosity is the mindset to challenge the status quo, explore, discover & learn”

Stefaan van Hooydonk

Founder - Global Curiosity Institute

Serious Student

Why curiosity matters?

Curiosity is the engine that has shaped history for humankind: it made us move out of the savannah 70,000 years ago to roam the earth, it created the technology to explore the universe, it invented the self-driving car and it eradicated illnesses like smallpox. While curiosity is often associated with children as their natural way to explore and make sense of the world, curiosity is also the driver for success for adults and is the gel that creates positive connections between people.

What are the arenas of curiosity?

Everybody is curious sometimes, some are curious all the time. When we say a child is curious, we refer to their incessant behaviour in exploring the world around them and their never tiring ability to engage with positive stimuli.

Happy Woman

What does a curious professional look like?

Curious employees are the best. They are natural learners, constantly discovering new and better ways of doing things. They come up with novel ideas, and are more engaged. They tend to have higher satisfaction in their work.

What are the traits of a curious team in the workplace?

Curious teams are collaborative and more interested in their colleagues. They forge sound relationships and are open to change and transformation. They find unique solutions to challenges. They are more self-aware and open to change and transformation.

Team Talk
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How to recognise a curious leader?

Curious leaders invite ideas from their teams & create the right trusting environment where asking questions is encouraged and celebrated, even dissenting ones. They are role models and are successful at driving changes given that they are curious individuals themselves. 

What are the benefits of workplace curiosity?

The most successful organizations are those that not only survive, but also thrive in uncertain, rapid evolving times. They nurture working environments that encourage continuous learning and exploration to help them adapt.

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Exploring the history & concept of curiosity through the ages

'Know thyself is the beginning of wisdom', said Socrates in the 5th century BC in Athens. In reflecting on this quote from 2500 years ago, one might think that curiosity has been celebrated in society all the way to the present day.

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Curiosity about inner-self

It is the desire to understand our deeper drivers, beliefs and be in tune with our inner-self. It is the degree of self-reflection and our ability to be self aware of beliefs and blind spots. This leads to self-awareness, resilience, groundedness contentment and authenticity.


Curiosity about others

It is the level of openness towards others, their thoughts and feelings. It is recognized as how much we are open to ideas, emotions and reactions from others. This leads to appreciation, ability to relate, empathy, connectedness and engagement.


Curiosity about the world

It is the interest or drive to understand the world and environment around us. It is recognized as how we thrive on novelty as well as our stress tolerance. This leads to exploration, innovation, performance learning agility and problem solving.

What are the building blocks of an individual's curiosity?

Team Meeting



Idea acceptabce

Question status quo



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Facilitating learning & innovation

Appreciation learning climate

Errors acceptance

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Management style


Communication style

Autonomy / Ownership

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People Practices



Encouraging curiosity

Rewarding curiosity


Failure acceptance

What drives a curious organizational climate?

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