The Power of Curiosity

Thinking with thought bubble on blackboard

Have you ever noticed how many questions kids ask?

They ask tons of questions. All the time. Doesn’t matter where you are, doctor’s office, oil change, grocery line, etc. I could be on the phone with the President of Mars, my sons would be like, “can I just ask a quick question?”

But I am on the phone with Mars.

“But I really need your help with this Lego piece.”

They don’t give up. Especially my kids. From the moment they wake up all the way to bed, it’s constantly, “but, I have just one more question…”

Kids are inherently curious. They want to learn. Everything is still a new and yet-to-be discovered adventure waiting to be unearthed.

What a fun way to live life!

I spent a few hours this morning listening to Dr. David Cooperrider present his findings from his book Appreciative Inquiry, and I was immediately reminded of the power of asking questions and recapturing our sense of wonder and curiosity.

Yet, as we become adults and enter the “real world” – we’ve been trained to find the one right solution to the problem (as if that really exists). Once we have it, we move on. We stop looking.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
~ Walt Disney

A curious nature is critical in achieving creative and innovative breakthroughs in your work.

Don’t settle for the status quo. Go for digging deeper.

Here’s a fun way to exercise your curiosity: Play the What If Game.

It’s simple, ask the question “What if…” and apply it a specific issue or situation at work that you want to improve or change.

In my first year of teaching, I was tasked with teaching a course entitled, Operations Management. For most students this was a very challenging and boring course as it reinforced concepts they learned in quantitative methods and analysis.  Unless you’re a numbers geek, this was not going to be a fun course.

Here’s the “What If?” I did for my class: “What if there was a fun way to teach my Operations Management class so students learn and apply the concepts and not want to kill me?”

With that question in my mind, I created the course around the creating, planning, and building of a physical board game. They had to brainstorm to build a board game from scratch, make up the rules, create a mock-up, and then source the materials, and determine the best pricing and marketing strategies.

They learned and applied concepts related to operations management, supply chains, procurement, quality control, marketing, and logistics, but in a completely different, unique, and fun way.

It was a memorable experience for both me and my students.

What is one way for you to reawaken your curiosity?



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