Four Characteristics of Highly Curious & Innovative People
For my book The Future Leader, I interviewed more than 140 top CEOs from around the world. One thing that came up over and over was the need for future leaders to be curious and innovative. I call this the mindset of the explorer — someone who is willing to go new places and try new things.
In this rapidly changing world of work, it’s the leaders who can test new ideas, innovate, and adapt that will find the greatest success.
Curiosity forces the pursuit of new ideas, products, services, and methods of doing things. It pushes people and organizations past the status quo to find the newest and best ways to do things.
The State of Curiosity Report is based on survey responses from 3,000 people and discovered that highly curious individuals with the greatest potential to innovate each possesses four distinct characteristics:
- Joyous exploration. This occurs when people explore and seek out new knowledge, which brings them great pleasure. This is where most people stop — they assume curiosity is just about exploring and tinkering the way children do.
- Deprivation sensitivity. This occurs when individuals recognize that there is a gap between what they know and what they want to know and they try to close that gap. This process can be messy but often opens doors for new learning and exploration.
- Openness to people’s ideas. It’s difficult to cultivate curiosity without being open to diverse perspectives and ideas from others and also intentionally seeking out new ways of doing things.
- Stress tolerance. Curiosity can be stressful because you are exploring something new, unfamiliar, and uncertain. Not only do you need to know how to manage this but also need to help your team understand how to cope with it as well.
Taking time to be curious and developing these characteristics can help you become a stronger and more innovative leader who thrives in the future.
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