Summary of the book:

Curious professionals need curious workplaces to thrive. The book focuses on both dimensions. First: how can a professional grow and maximise her own curiosity & second: what can organisations do to create enterprises which encourage curious behaviour. 

Why you might love this book


You will love this book if you are curious, if you have an urge to make things better for others and if you are “curious about curiosity.”

The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto is a nonfiction book that speaks to professionals, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders who want to look at the power of exploration and curiosity in a new way.

Why I wrote this book:

My name is Stefaan van Hooydonk and I am the author of The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto. I wrote this book because of two reasons.

1. We all know people who excel at curiosity. They are positively interested in the world, people around them and also themselves. They ask more questions, read more books, learn faster than others, are more interested in customers, and are generally more happy. Unfortunately, such curious people are often the minority in our organisations. I decomposed their habits and mindset to discover the curiosity muscle. Now we can grow the curiosity muscle of all employees, not just in these happy few. 

2. The 21st century is the century of ideas. Many leaders are scratching their heads about how to face the new and different reality after covid-19. Only relying on the experience of the past is simply not good enough to guide us into the future. New solutions will have to be based on novel answers to old questions. Even better would it be that we first formulate new questions. This requires openness, inclusion, self-awareness, focus, teamwork and humility. In short, building curious workplaces requires leaders to rethink the organisational culture, and old processes and practises. In the book, I describe what companies can do and how early adopter companies are leading the way.

The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto is divided into 4 parts:

Part 1 contains the introduction + chapters [1-5]. This part covers the basics: it describes the multifaceted psychology of curiosity, how curiosity was perceived throughout history and why we have a love-hate relationship with, why curiosity is important in the present day and age of the 21st century: the century of ideas.

Part 2 contains chapters [6-10]. This section describes how curiosity shows up in professionals, in teams, in leaders and in organisations. It explores the drivers that uplift it as well as the barriers which undermine it. 

Part 3 contains chapters [11-15]. Part 3 dives deeper in the functional areas of human resources, innovation, marketing and sales, and learning and development. This section describes what opportunities these functions have to radically impact a collective mindset of curiosity at work. We will explore Zurich insurance, Novartis, Merck. McKinsey, Pepsico, Google and many other organisations are doing this to build their curiosity muscles.

Part 4: contains chapters 16-17. It will cover a specific list of how to grow your own curiosity and share a number of frequently asked questions.

About me, the author: 

Stefaan is founder of the Global Curiosity Institute. He consults global corporations, leadership teams and individuals to help build stronger curiosity muscles. He helps them in baselining individual and workplace curiosity, and supports them with designing and implementing intentional curiosity improvement projects and learning initiatives. 

Stefaan started his career in investment consulting in China. From there he moved to set up the executive education arm of a major business school in Shanghai, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), which he ran for five years. Subsequently, he moved to the corporate side and set up global learning teams and innovative corporate universities for Nokia (China/Finland), Agfa Healthcare (Belgium), Philips (the Netherlands), Flipkart (India), Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia) and Cognizant (UK). His last role was that of Chief Learning Officer for Cognizant, where he overlooked the learning and development for over 300k associates across the globe

Stefaan wrote this book because of his belief that the world as we know it is moving towards a new equilibrium. We are not maximising our individual and collective talents to face present and future realities, for ourselves, our families, for companies and society. However, with the right curious mindset and support, we all have the opportunity to change for the better.

Stefaan lives in Belgium. When he is not writing or working with companies, he enjoys studying, meditating, building a food forest and long runs or walks with his dog Kamu (a Finnish laphund).

For more information, you can connect with stefaan and on Linkedin:

My hope for you the reader:

My hope is that, in reading this book, you will discover that curiosity is like a muscle that can grow with intentional focus or atrophy without it. We will discuss that by making small changes to the design of their organisations and the way they manage employees, leaders can encourage curiosity and improve their companies. Interestingly, however, many individuals and companies prefer conformity and compliance over exploration and curiosity. We will discuss why this is and what you can do about this. 

I hope to instil in you the same sort of passion and excitement that I have for workplace curiosity. Ultimately, I want you to see The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto as a tool to help you grow your individual curiosity as well as make it a force for good in your company and your community. 

In this book, you'll learn about what it takes to grow your own curiosity mindset and how you can help improve your environment to embrace openness. You'll hear stories such as: 

- how Olympic champions are using curiosity to their benefit

- why curiosity is not something only reserved for start-ups

- how the power of curious ideas can create successful enterprises

- why curiosity is something we need to keep working on

- why companies such as Blockbusters, Eastman-Kodak, Nokia and others perished because they didn’t focus on curiosity

Order information

- ebook and paperback available via all platforms

- for bulk orders, please contact:

Bonus chapters

- introduction chapter

- the concept of curiosity through time

(to be uploaded early May)

Book testimonials

“I highly recommend Stefaan’s exceptional book. It focuses on the critical importance of curiosity as a success factor for companies in the 21st century—and shows you how to recognise, develop and nurture curiosity in companies. It is deeply researched and thoughtful, with a plethora of real-life examples from the front-line. This book is a practitioner’s dream.”
Dr. Yury Boshyk, CEO and Founder, Global Executive Learning, and Chairperson of the Global Forum on Strategic Transformations, Leadership and Learning

“The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto is an important contribution to shaping companies' understanding of one of the core 21st century character skills. Stimulating curiosity should be key to all learning engineering for the companies of the future.”
Ulrik Juul Christensen, CEO
Area9 Lyceum

"Wondering what you will do when machines do everything? If so, this is the book for you. Curiosity will be an essential skill in the future of work. Curiosity makes us different from machines, so we all need to double down on becoming more curious. This book is your field guide to master curiosity as a skill to thrive in the future of work. In a world of ambiguity, an unquenchable curiosity will rule the day. Are you curious about the future of your work?”

Manish Bahl, Chief Executive and Founder

Curious Insight

“Stefaan van Hooydonk’s The workplace Curiosity Manifesto is the rare new book about business that introduces an important new idea for all companies: Make curiosity the organizing principle of management thinking and action, and hiring too.  As the book amply illustrates, in today's environment of near constant revolution incuriosity risks implosion. Only the curious companies, and managers, can find their way to the future.”

Willem Burgers, PhD

Marketing and Strategy Professor

“The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto is a great source of inspiration to intentionally rescue and boost our natural tendency to learning and discovery.”
Marcia Platilha
Founder, Lets2Gather

“What I love with Stefaan’s Workplace Curiosity Manifesto is that it makes clear and tangible how to unleash the unsuspected power of curiosity. Reading it enabled me to clearly see how to make curiosity a tangible and actionable pillar of growth for both individuals and organisations”
Thierry Debeyssac, Partner

"The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to understand curiosity better and to hone the skill. It lays down compelling strategies to develop more curious people or ‘A-players’ for business owners & managers. A must read!" 
Amit Garg, CEO
Upside Learning Solutions

“Excellent and clear. The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto helps you understand why curiosity is essential in a rapidly changing world. It helps individuals, teams and organizations succeed and thrive.”
Ewa Hutmacher, CEO, co-founder  
Snabbfoting Group AB

“I have found The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto a mandatory reading for those executives wondering how they can transform themselves and their teams. To my view, curiosity is the trigger of any wishing to increase effectiveness and team performance. Highly recommended.“
Carlos Agustin Moreno, CEO
Grupo Altavista 

"The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto is a unique and practical view into curiosity. As Stefaan says, it's a muscle that will be required for sustainable workplace success and can be developed intentionally."
Devendra Naik, Founder
NoMoBo Games

“A must-read for success in the 21st century. A thought-provoking and practical guide to meaningful growth through curiosity. If you're looking to transform yourself, your organization or our world, then I urge you to read this book.”
Clare Inkster, Global Strategic planner
William Grant and Sons

‘We are in dire need of asking different questions’ - this is a phrase that jumped out at me from the pages of Stefaan van Hooydonk’s delightfully provocative book. In a world crowded with life hacks and quick-fixes, here comes a pragmatic guide to rewiring the soul of the workplace conversation. This is not a guide to learning something new, but a window into the art of approaching the familiar without pretence of foreknowledge. Drink deep of this fount of wisdom!
Bijoy Venugopal, Director Corporate Communications

"Heartfelt! This is an adorable work by Stefaan, sprinkled with a lot of gain and grain for your brain. It will compel you to nurture and nourish your curiosity for life. Soak into it to experience the sprouting up of your curiosity quotient and be convinced that personally or professionally, it's absolutely worth taking a curiosity risk!"
Sunil Tatkar, Founder and Managing Director

“I have found Workplace Curiosity Manifesto has become my go-to coach for triggering intent and action in my status quo mentality. Like me, anyone can learn to become a firestarter now.”
Gurpreet Kalra, Head Talent Development (UK and Ireland) Tata Consulting Services

"Reading The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto will provide you additional insights how curiosity is a personal and professional advantage, open you up to others in new ways and help you be prepared for all tomorrow will bring. No one knows what the next few years will bring, so sharpen your abilities to be curious and you will be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities to come."
William J. Ryan, Founder
Ryan Consulting

“The insights and tools described in the book lay a baseline for constant adaptability and life-long learning through the vector of curiosity - which means do not be afraid of failure because you are exploring, and the process of exploring is what is important. The chapters propose a great blend between definitions, theories and reflection questions that you can immediately use. A must read for anyone who thinks adaptability and transformation are and will be instrumental in our VUCA + environment.”
Angela Feigl, Co-Founder and Lead Program Architect DigitAll360

“Stefaan’s Workplace Curiosity Manifesto has encouraged me to go beyond the obvious and dig deeper into what I can do as a leader to embody a growth mindset. It provides the case and tools for growing curious minds at scale – a must-read for organizations who wish to thrive in the complexity of the 21st century.”
Anabel Dumlao, Partner

“Curiosity is the new growth mindset. Stefaan’s Workplace Curiosity Manifesto distills curiosity into its essence. Like Simon Sinek’s why/how/what, it’s a wonderfully simple, sticky concept, which makes it accessible and immediately beneficial to everyone. He gives us to the tools to harness and leverage our innate curiosity to improve professional performance, and businesses the tools to create a curious culture fueling innovation, create competitive edge and is core to the important topic of inclusion. Brought to life with stimulating examples, provocative thinking and compelling arguments this book will become your new binge series. When you do finally look up from this book you will find yourself seeing the world with entirely fresh eyes.
Rob Ferrone, Founder and Director 
Quick Release

“If you are curious to discover the difference between the ‘A’ and the ‘B’ players, and much more, please read this excellent book!"
Éric Saint Gelais, President
Miyagi Solutions

“The one book that unravels curiosity and the business impact of the same. ‘Surprise triggers questions and questions trigger curiosity. Curiosity triggers even more questions.’ The book drives you towards an intentional mindset to challenge the status quo, explore, discover, and learn. A well-researched and fascinating read on Curiosity.“
Natasha Jasrotia, Associate Director Learning and Development

“This Manifesto is an amazing book. It offers a new body of knowledge. I’m convinced that we need to find ways to help employees flex their curiosity. Psychologists can benefit from these insights to improve their talent selection assessment process. We want people to ask big questions and we want to celebrate them when they do. We want them to think up experiments that haven’t been done before.”
Han van der Pool, Business Psychologist

“We are in a time where re-thinking is central, work will never be the same, and I suggest we move from being people centric to person centric. The publication of: The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto, could not have been better timed. The lessons to take from the book are powerful.“
Mille von Appen Hertz, People and Culture Wizard

"Unlocking the next wave of innovation and growth will take leaders who are willing to expand their thinking about the big challenges. Stefaan’s work is a vital reminder of the power of curiosity and an invitation embrace it in our organizations."
Sean Kennedy, Director of Expanded Education
Rhode Island School of Design

“Curiosity is necessary for change in a world that requires more agility. Building a culture of curiosity becomes key for organizations to survive, and even thrive, through VUCA times. With Van Hooydonk’s curious mind as North Star, this book explores and maps out the conditions necessary to embark on the journey. The different routes, of success and failure are underpinned by case studies that bring the various aspects to life and uncover the patterns to make curiosity a habit.”
Gideon Lopes Cardozo, Agile lead of a large energy company

“Curiosity has a broad spectrum and each individual defines curiosity differently. I have found The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto amazing; it has identified so many different aspects to curiosity. Stefaan wonderfully captured the agents driving those curiosity triggers and what role as an enabler one can play in architecting curiosity dimensions. A fantastic read and a mind opener piece.”
Divya Pareek , Learning and Performance Consultant

“Wow, a must-read for all who want to stay relevant and are humbly curious to explore new horizons. For me, this is such an encouraging manifesto filled with recognition, explanation, reasoning and way forward sparkles. On top, the inspiring content provides my curiosity muscle with nourishing food for reflection & discovery, new insights and … my internal idea generator got activated too!“
Henriette Wesselink, Senior Human Resources Consultant
Deutsche Telekom 

“With this book, Stefaan has found the perfect mix of ideas, stories, and questions to get readers to rethink how they work, lead, learn, and even build relationships. Curiosity and talent development must go hand in hand to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world. Stefaan's book offers great new insights into how to do this.”
Vincent-Pierre Giroux, Head of Talent Management, Americas

“It is not always easy to penetrate the essence of something. And if it does succeed, it is often so simple and enlightening. As if you always knew. Only there was no one who just said it. Stefaan van Hooydonk has managed to touch an essence with this book: curiosity as a source of learning, development and discovery. Clearly written and practically applicable at every level in organizations and everyone's personal life.”
Rolf Holtjer, Global Head Leadership Development

“I have found The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto an exciting read, because it not only helped me to crack the nut why A-players are different than the rest, but even showed me ways to incorporate identification and development of curious people to the strategy of the company. The book is a must-have to anyone, who wants to build a successful organization in today's world.”
Rob Byssz, Group Head of Transformation and Standardisation
Rohlik Group

“The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto takes us through an inside-out journey, an exploration of what curiosity is, demystifies the curiosity code with definitions and sensitization with inspiring stories to trigger the inner curious agent to build a continuous curious journey at an individual and organization level.
A manifesto to ignite curiosity, enable mindset shifts, a new wave (ground breaking curiosity tsunami) and thinking transformation. Get crowned with curiosity!“
Melvin Errold Joseph
Deputy General Manager
Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited

“The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto is a testament of why curiosity should not be considered just some fad among learning and human capital professionals, but a trend that should be embedded into everything individuals, teams, and organizations believe in, say, and do. Van Hooydonk beautifully walks us through the philosophical, biological, psychological, and social evidence behind curiosity, laying out the differentiators that define A players and A companies. A must read for both curious and incurious leaders out there.”
Dominik Rus, Global Head of Learning Technology and Innovation

“Stefaan lucidly sheds light on the what, the why, and how of curiosity and gives a clear blueprint for professionals and organizations to embed it. With the book, you'll have strategies to thrive in the unprecedented times we live in.”
Teena George, Founder
Habits and Mindsets