Take a look at the website of any Fortune 500 company and you’ll likely find their career page depicting their values of innovation and creativity. Successful senior executives and leaders understand the importance of employee’s curiosity and strive to inspire employees to think outside the box. They value an open work culture and encourage it in practice enhances the health of the business.
There are so many reasons for why curiosity helps businesses gain financial success, from better collaboration, increased communication and smoother decision-making. The study, “The business case for curiosity” was written by Francesco Gino, a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School. She declared a long list of solutions for C-Suite members to adopt, many of which Kevin Sheehan agrees with. It is important to point out that smaller businesses require a greater attention to the curiosity model, spearheaded by the founder and leader.
Here are the tips that Kevin Sheehan best related to from Gino’s study.
Leaders Should Ask More Questions
The saying goes that a true leader is one who admits that they don’t know everything. As a corporate leader, it is your responsibility to pave the way for innovation by actually stepping out of your open door and asking important questions to your staff. Directing thought-provoking questions will not only prompt your employees to think a little harder and challenge conventional processes and plans, but it will also train them to start adopting a curious mindset.
Challenge Employees’ Daily Routines
This is especially true for individuals who have worked at the same company for years on end. You start to become comfortable in your daily processes and operations–it’s like you’ve got a second brain, the same one that drives you from work to home every day. Now, all of a sudden you’re told to question your structures and systems with “What if?” and “Why?” questions. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but opening up the conversation for new ideas is what Kevin Sheehan believes will guide a company from good to great.
Change Up the Learning
As a leader, you should also think outside of the box as to what type of additional learning you should provide your staff. Team-building exercises that force your employees to think with the left side of their brain are ideal. For instance, take each department out for a pottery class, or have them participate in the upcoming street graffiti festival where they can let their creativity loose. Host guest lectures and workshops that are aimed at inspiring your employees to think beyond. Allow your people to bring out their authentic personality in the workplace, and with that their unique perspective on tackling problems and meeting objectives.
These two steps are guaranteed to enlighten your employees to be a little more daring with the ideating portion of their work, a meaningful practice that will help your corporation thrive.