Want To Innovate? Science Says, Be Curious! [*]

At first glance, curiosity seems annoying because it can make a task take longer. A closer look can reveal how the extra time curiosity takes can make the task more rewarding and the outcome more unique.

Curiosity is a fundamental building block of creativity. It is the driving force that fuels periods of difficult skill acquisition and inspires the deep thinking required to come up with unique ideas. People are most curious when they feel safe and are playfully engaged with a topic they find moving or intensely interesting. Yet, workplaces are often stripped of fun and curiosity. They are ready to punish any and all failures. Work is often seen as something that must be endured in order to support a person’s “real life.” That’s why people value workers who speedily move from point A to point B in a straight line. Efficiency minimizes the amount of time people spend at work. That seems to be the only reason people think it’s best to keep adults on deadlines so tight they never daydream at their desks or let coffee conversations run long when they suddenly get interesting. It’s why people rarely complain about trading away fun or fulfillment during the workday for a paycheck.

By Dr. KH Kim and Alex Riccio

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