Why Is Curiosity The Top-trending Business Skill?

For any business, curiosity is an essential tool for strategic thinking. It helps us see things that others don't, and understand what our customer really wants  – helping us to make better decisions about the products we make, the way we sell, and our future direction. 

Josh Bersin, who wrote the foreword to The Curious Advantage, says that sometimes the real secret of innovation is not about new ideas, but about listening and asking questions to better understand why things are as they are – at that point new solutions become clear. He suggests that curiosity is  what really makes things happen. 

What are the advantages of being curious? 

Curiosity is a natural human characteristic that inspires us to explore the new ideas and experiences, but  that does not mean we can’t develop it to become more curious in our mindset, or learn to focus it for specific purposes. 

In her podcast, Jacqui Brassey explains that curiosity is a technique for emotional flexibility – a way to  regulate emotions. When facing a challenge, if we minimize worry and maximise curiosity, we will be open to explore different possible solutions, and see that there isn’t only one way to answer any given problem that we face. 

How can curiosity be developed? 

Ask the right questions 

One of the simplest ways to be more curious is to learn the art of inquiry. LinkedIn Learning has some  resources to help get better at asking the right questions. The HBR article, Why Curiosity Matters,  suggests having ‘Why?’, ‘What if?’ and ‘How might we…?’ days to help stimulate natural  curiosity. 

Be customer-curious 

Curiosity also goes together with being customer-focused. The objective of customer-curiosity  is to deliver deeper insights into the lives of customers in ways that make customers feel appreciated  and valued. In this way, we will do less talking and more listening – again, by asking the right questions. 

Develop an open mindset about your career 

Take a more open mindset when considering skills to develop as you progress over time and along your career path. Take time to discuss your future career goals and how you can achieve  them with your manager or even just yourself. When having these conversations be as open as  you can to explore all the potential ways you can learn and all the directions you can take your career.

Adapted from the Oxford University Press website