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.
Being curious means being open and receptive to new information and actively seeking it out. It means welcoming facts that don’t fit my view point and trying to grasp their implications. It means letting my mistakes trigger curiosity instead of embarrassment and ask ‘why was I wrong? What can i learn from it? It is quite exciting being curious, because it means you are always discovering something new. Curiosity is thus a force which helps me to go inward and explore the reasons why I do the things I do through intensive and proactive self-reflection. Equally, curiosity is the spark which drives innovation for companies and as a result keeps them ahead of competition. Curiosity has also been the key ingredient for societies to grow out of an ambition to do better.
Curiosity is a fundamental human trait. Everyone is curious and born with a healthy dose of curiosity, but the object and degree of that curiosity is different depending on the person and the situation. When we go through life, some of this curiosity becomes dormant. Like humans, companies and organisations also can grow or diminish their capacity for curiosity. The main reasons why curiosity diminishes in youth and adult life is our schooling system, fear, routine, limiting beliefs, computer algorithms and an overall non-conducive environment. A lack of curiosity deprives individuals, organizations and societies from becoming a better version of themselves.
Now, like with all habits, with the right motivation and external support, we all possess the power to change and regain control of our natural capacity of curiosity. Covid-19 has imposed radical change on most of us. It is indeed the most curious among us who are going to thrive, regardless whether you are a person, an organization or a society. Remember that curiosity is something that we’re born with. We just need to find our way back to looking at the world and asking, ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ and ‘what’s possible?