Curiosity and Innovation – Ask enough questions
If you happen to be a parent of a young child, or find yourself around young children for extended periods of time, then you are no stranger to their onslaught of questions. Children have a curious mind as they ask why, why, why; it is their way of learning to understand and navigate the world around them.
What They Learn Early In Life Will Define Them Later In Life
While it can oftentimes be exhausting (and, yes, even annoying!) to be questioned about everything, but how else does one learn if you don’t ask? I know all too well that this is one of the hardest things to remember when you’re in the thick of things raising children, but it is the biggest disservice you can do to your kids if you try to stifle their curiosity. If you don’t provide the answers, they will go elsewhere, asking friends or even strangers in their quest for knowledge. Or even worse, they will stop asking those questions.
You know it happens. It happens to the majority of adults due to our busy, multitasking lifestyles. When did you stop asking questions – before college? after college? About 6 months into your new job or relationship? after marriage? Or when you started your family?
The good news is that curiosity can be rekindled. It often happens when you become passionate about learning something new – sometimes prompted by a family illness or challenge, or just because you’re interested in health and wellness or losing weight. Whatever the catalyst, don’t stop learning. Travel, read, get out of your ruts. You are the sum total of your experiences and thoughts, and the more you have, the more you will be able to contribute new solutions and ideas to life and business challenges.
Curiosity Can Be Messy
Yes, sometimes when you set off to answer a question, more questions spring up or you end up taking a detour, but that’s the nature of jumping in to understand your customer, the product, or the market. You must be willing to take a risk and resist the fear of the unknown because true understanding will never be a waste of time – there will always be ways of putting that learning to work for you.
Here are some questions I continually ask myself: How can I make more of an industry impact with my service offerings? Am I offering the right services for today’s competitive front-end of innovation market? What new tools would help clients evaluate winning ideas and solutions faster and with better market results? How can I build awareness and reach my target audience of business innovators? How do I fully convey the value of my expertise and involvement with innovation projects?
What questions are you asking? If you’re not asking, you’re not living and growing.
Curiosity is #1 Success Skill
Curiosity is the most important skill for success at any age. It supports critical thinking and problem solving, teaching us that there is more than just one way to do anything. When we aren’t curious about ourselves and others, we aren’t present, we can’t actively listen, we don’t ask questions to learn or understand, we become closed to new perspectives and opportunities, we don’t discover, we don’t collaborate, and we don’t innovate.
By asking enough questions, and challenging traditional thinking, you end up framing the problem differently and coming up with creative solutions that set you apart from competitors and other leaders.
According to Dr. Bruce Perry, M.D, PhD “our potential — emotional, social, and cognitive — is expressed through the quantity and quality of our experiences. And the less-curious child will make fewer new friends, join fewer social groups, read fewer books, and take fewer hikes. The less-curious child is harder to teach because he is harder to inspire, enthuse, and motivate”. 1
Innovation ROI is a leading up-front innovation consulting firm that has a combined 38 years of expertise collaborating with top corporate innovation teams to create incredible, actionable business—building ideas. You will get a Return On Insights through our Collision Point™ process, where INSIGHTS and IMAGINATION intersect to create powerful strategic ideas for success. Learn more about Innovation ROI at www.innovationroi.com.
- Bruce Ducan Perry, M.D., Ph.D, “Curiosity: The Fuel Of Development”, com,http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/curiosity.htm