Unlock the Future of Leadership: Embrace Curiosity to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change and Unprecedented Overload. Discover How Asking the Right Questions Can Transform Your Leadership Style and Propel Organizational Success.
KILLARNEY, IRELAND, January 12, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ —
Why is Curiosity Important in Leadership?
Humanity is currently facing a unique paradox. We are creating, capturing and storing data at unprecedented levels. This means, however, that whilst as a species we may never have known as much, individually we are increasingly in the dark. As human knowledge expands, our individual share of the pie is becoming smaller. In short, there is ever more we don’t know.
On top of this, there is growing uncertainty about what we claim to know. All our knowledge points to one place: the past.
The past is a poor indicator of either the present or the future. Add to this a pandemic and technological breakthroughs in domains such as AI and medicine and it is clear that despite all the data we have few answers as to what the world will look like in a year not to mind a decade. Leading in this environment is no longer about what you know, but rather what questions you are asking.
How Might Encouraging Curiosity Lead to Positive Outcomes?
Curiosity is about setting aside a sense of certainty, asking questions, exploring new ideas and finding creative solutions to challenges. It is ultimately about building an environment in which ideas can be openly discussed and questioned.
Paul Mario Vratusha, senior managing partner at UK-based D Studio Consulting, feels that creating such an environment fuels creativity, encourages problem-solving, and promotes a culture of continuous learning. Ayman Nazish, CEO of Social Sharings, is also an advocate. Ayman has found it fosters better decision-making and within his organization has resulted in innovative strategies and improved problem-solving.
Jake Munday, co-founder and CEO of design firm Custom Neon, argues that the best leaders are the ones who encourage others to be as curious as they are. Indeed, in a constantly shifting business environment, Jake feels it is those businesses that remain curious that succeed.
What Are The Potential Pitfalls Of Discouraging Curiosity?
On an individual level, discouraging curiosity can stifle self-leadership. Ayman Nazish argues that people become hesitant to voice their thoughts or question the status quo. At D Studio Consulting, Paul Mario Vratusha similarly sees a direct link between innovation and growth potential. Less curiosity means less innovation, which can hinder both the growth of the business and ultimately its very survival.
Indeed, in a world drowning in data there is a risk, in the words of French philosopher Maurice Jean Jacques Merleau-Ponty, that thinking is being reduced to data-collecting. In essence, we are systemically discouraging curiosity about the present by overly focusing on data points from the past. This data has predictive powers only to the extent that the world around it doesn’t change. And yet we know that change is constant.
Therefore, unless we question what we know, how we come to know it and indeed why we know it, we will increasing optimize for a past that no longer exists and manage our businesses and societies based on what can be measured. What about what can’t be measured?
In the words of management thinker Peter Drucker, “The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The true dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.”
How Might Curiosity Shape Your Leadership Style?
As Tom O’Leary from Bigger Questions Collective notes, “Curious leaders think differently“. Like Ayman Nazish, curious leaders value diverse perspectives and are on a journey of continuous learning. This represents a shift from thinking built around “what you know” to thinking built around “what you question”.
Paul Mario Vratusha feels that curiosity has transformed his leadership style. He now actively encourages curiosity within his team and fosters an environment in which everyone’s questions are valued. This has made him more adaptable, open to diverse perspectives and better equipped to lead in a rapidly evolving landscape.
Jake Munday has also come to see curiosity as an essential leadership trait. Indeed, he credits many of his company’s successes to this desire to learn, adapt and innovate. Jake feels that genuinely curious leaders make it clear to their team that learning and development are important and that we can only grow if we question what we know.
In Short, How Can Curiosity Have a Lasting Impact on Organizations?
For Ayman Nazish, it is simple. Embracing curiosity leads to better decisions and a more empowered workforce. In an age in which companies fiercely compete for talent, being able to empower that talent and allow them to unleash their creativity offers clear top and bottom line benefits for leaders.
Paul Mario Vratusha sees curiosity as a pathway to ongoing improvement and indeed as a compass that guides leaders toward uncharted territories of knowledge and opportunity. Curiosity is a habit. It begins with you as the leader. The more questions you ask, the more you will infuse curiosity into your team’s thinking environment.
What Step Can I Take Today?
Simply asking questions to ask questions isn’t enough. It is important to become curious about the questions you are asking and indeed why you are asking them.
• Why this question?
• What other questions might I be asking?
• Is this the best question I can ask?
• What might be a better question?
• What exactly do I want my questions to accomplish?
Paul Mario Vratusha also encourages leaders to think more broadly about the culture they are creating and how they might cultivate curiosity within their teams. In this respect, what barriers might be hindering curiosity, and how can they be removed? And most importantly, how can curiosity become an integral part of the leadership journey, driving the team toward greater innovation and success?
Ayman Nazish equally feels it is important to become curious about the environment you are creating and to ask:
1. How can we create a safe space for open dialogue and idea-sharing?
2. What resources can we provide to support continuous learning and development?
3. How can we celebrate curiosity-driven successes within our organization?
Just starting to think about the role of curiosity in your leadership and within your organization will start to raise questions. And one question leads to another and along the way you will also encounter some interesting answers. Bon voyage!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tom O’Leary coaches leaders to be curious and think differently.
If you would like to nurture your own curiosity, why not sign up for Tom’s newsletter?
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