To be clear from the start, the soundbite “Always be Curious” on this site is not about curiosity in the social domain. This can, although it does not have to, evolve quickly into meddling, nosiness and even invasion or privacy, perhaps unintentionally.
i am talking about PROFESSIONAL CURIOSITY and that is a very different thing.
Let me paint a brief picture: You feel that many problems overwhelm you and new ideas do not come easily or are rarely implemented. If you recognise this fully or in part, you’re not alone. It’s a common state of mind and most professionals experience these situations nowadays.
Still, All is not lost.
To better deal with these situations and thus thrive, or even survive professionally in this day and age everyone needs so-called 21st century skills. In my opinion professional curiosity is at the heart of all of these and feeds the ones that you hear about more often, like creativity and critical thinking and even dealing with complex problems.
In my mind, these all complement and strengthen each other as you can read here. My most recent thinking on this is: Critical thinking tends towards encourage critical questions about statements, answers, solutions of OTHER people. Curiosity is stimulating more open discussion, suggesting or at least inquiring about the relevance of alternative thoughts, Put in un-nuanced terms: critical thinking runs the risk of closing avenues of thought while curiosity opens them
Agile? And then what?
To throw in a popular buzz-word: you have a hunch that you need to be more “agile”. Maybe so, but what on Earth does that mean?
For one, it has to do with the skills mentioned above. For a variety of reasons continuous training of these necessary skills is not as common as it should be, in professional environments and during education or basically any stage of your life long learning and development process To do a first quick test about your state of mind, my blunt question would therefore be:
“Do you feel Curious today, well, do you, punk?”
if you’ve seen enough to have triggered your interest you can go to the Services main page (process) and the underlying Training details. Feel free to read on for more context as well, for more information and general inspiration.
The New ABC: the vision and beyond
The New ABC is all about supporting you and your team to rediscover, practise and develop these previously mentioned innate skills, with focus on curiosity. That’s the good news: we all were curious once. You just need to learn how to unleash it again. This is in particular true for anyone dealing with change and transitions e.g. towards more sustainable (business) models.
Curiosity is the mother of all progress
Why am I focusing on curiosity and not “creativity” or “innovation”? Because these are simply applied versions of what progress is really about, i.e. curiosity It’s what made early humanoids leave caves. You first need to wonder before you start any wandering journey. And let’s hope it never ends.
In short, curiosity, together with its cousins critical thinking and creativity, means to not take information, problems or opportunities at face value but to investigate and wonder why things are as they are, and don;t stop there! This is merely the starting point to make new connections to change what you don’t like. Most professional and educational incentives do not encourage deep questions, certainly not as opposed to quick, seemingly sure answers and ‘solutions’.
I can tell you this, the majority of ‘solutions’ don’t solve the actual problem or are an answer to a wrong question.
I have a dream…
… that all people are valued on how inquisitive they are more so than being judged by their ability to only reproduce things that we know . This dream may perhaps not seem very ambitious, but I will be happy if we achieve this. If you honestly look at what mindset is currently dominant, you will see that we have a LONG way to go. “Critical thinking” is not enough.
Knowledge is important, and relevant. But without the power of curiosity current knowledge is underutilised, new knowledge is not sought out properly, and at best we’ll move faster on an existing path, which can easily head in the wrong direction. So before you start going on about being creative and innovative, we have to talk about curiosity.
“You can’t solve the world’s problems with the same knowledge and thinking that created them” (a guy called A. Einstein)
What about your curiosity?
As a professional, manager, educator, or education manager does this trigger your interest, or better yet, curiosity ? By all means get in touch. Check out typical situations that The New ABC can help you with and how. Or first read on for much more context on my main vision. Beware that I have limited availability so do entice me with your specific challenge.