We were invited to the book launch of Curious by Ian Leslie Last night. Haven’t had a chance to read it yet but it is about the benefits of curiosity and how important it is that we stay curious.
I have also just finished A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger in which he talks about losing our childhood inclination to ask questions. How this instinct to question everything gets discouraged at school and eventually can be seen as disruptive and troublemaking at work.
In my own book I wrote about the “Ooh that’s interesting” principle that is behind a lot of what works well on the web. Because I blog I notice more. As I am working or travelling I spot things that I think might be interesting to write about or take pictures of. I am more curious about the things around me because I have somewhere to share them. I am more thoughtful about them because I start to think “Why am I sharing this? What am I saying? What will people’s reactions be?”
If I get good at this other people hopefully go through the same process – “Ooh that’s interesting, I might share that, why am I sharing it?”. This collective “Ooh that’s interesting” process is incredibly powerful. It is how culture is established. It is how things begin to change, however modestly. And it all starts with curiosity, finding things interesting, and asking questions.
I am saddened by a lack of curiosity in the workplace. People seem to stop asking why things are the way they are, why things work the way they do, or why they can’t be done differently. I reckon we need to encourage more curiosity in our work – and to get better at it with a sense of urgency.