How cultivating curiosity can help
Businesses come to us for a few key reasons. Sometimes it's simply skill enhancement, frequently it's improved alignment (getting everyone rowing in the same direction), and nearly always it includes better engagement.
No matter the symptom; from poor morale, productivity or safety, to flagging agility, adaptability or innovation, more curious and thus better-engaged managers, leaders and employees is nearly always part of the solution.
At Curiousmind, we see engagement as not so much what leaders or culture may inspire in people but rather, more a reflection of how curious people are.
If your quest is staying ahead of the pack you need to ask better questions
Our approach, methodologies and diverse experience have enabled us to get to the heart of most organisational development issues, ensuring deep, lasting change.
“A leader is someone you would choose to follow to somewhere you wouldn’t go alone”
Leadership's a word that evokes many hungers, everyone's wanted strong/effective leadership at some point in their lives. No matter the context and no matter the specific leadership skills or qualities required, we've found that leaders who are curious about their people, their customers, their market and themselves are better equipped to make decisions that help.
Leadership is more about finding good questions than ‘right’ answers.
More interested in what they don't know, curious leaders ask questions that shine light into dark corners, engage people, expose assumptions, challenge the status quo, promote curiosity and create strong connections with others.
Curious leaders tend to move up the leadership pipeline faster as they learn fast, have a high tolerance of complexity and ambiguity and make better decisions.
At Curiousmind we have developed four distinct leadership streams;
iii. Adaptive Leadership
**making the move into more people-oriented roles.
Diversity & Inclusion
Curiousmind has over twenty years' experience driving cultural change and leadership development programs in the public and private sectors in industries as diverse as Finance, Health, I.T., Transport, Advertising, Oil & Gas, Federal, State and Local Government agencies, Police, Ambulance services mining companies, remote sites (oil platforms) and utilities.
We find with increased curiosity and then awareness of our subjectivity (beliefs and biases) comes a better appreciation of diversity. Instead of viewing different perspectives as barriers to cohesion or unnecessary detours from the plan, self-aware individuals with a healthy understanding of their fallibility and blind spots actively seek out opinions that contrast with their own. This curiosity about the self leads to genuine curiosity about others, turning compliance to diversity and inclusion policy into an intrinsic desire to involve others.
Similarly, through improved awareness, we can take ownership of our behaviour and how it might adversely affect our relationships and undermine our attempts to influence those around us.
Whether facilitating presentation skills programs, teaching managers to explain their ideas in a way that makes sense or demonstrating how to conduct high stakes conversations, curiosity, once again is the key. Curious leaders happily invest time in trying to understand what's going on; they check their assumptions and experiment with different questions until they find what they are looking for. Curious people are also great listeners. These qualities tend to inspire trust and respect, the foundations of healthy relationships.
Communication skills lubricate relationships
Amongst the communications / influencing modules we typically deliver are:
• Advanced Presentations- moving away from PowerPoint – to create lasting impressions
• Candid Conversations- addressing the toughest conversations in a way that builds trust and respect
• Power & influence- The real sources of power and how to use them most effectively
• The Art and Science of giving and receiving feedback
• Engagement- beyond carrots, sticks and buy-in to cultivating curiosity
• Explaining Explanations- getting to the simplicity on the other side of complexity
Culture, Change & Transformation
Developing, honing or transforming cultures is both challenging and extremely rewarding.
We use Adaptive Leadership principles to help leaders engage people with curiosity. Rather than providing all the solutions, Adaptive leaders see their role more as "ripening" issues, identifying work avoidance activities (e.g. turf wars, politics, externalising threats etc.) and guiding people through the three-step transformation process.
While culture is affected by many things including values, accepted norms, org structure etc. at the end of the day, it’s also just a reflection of the quality of thinking within that community.
Cultivating a culture of curiosity improves agility, adaptability, innovation and commitment.
"If you could get all of the people in your organisation rowing in the same direction, at the same time you could dominate any industry in any market against any competition." -Robert Epstein (adapted)
Most of us spend a large part of our lives living and working in teams- from families to work teams, divisions and organisations. To thrive and achieve objectives all teams have the same core requirements.
Light on theory, heavy on practical application our team alignment programs provide opportunities for the teams to work together putting strong foundations in place. Our goal is always to develop improved trust and respect, leading to enhanced commitment and accountability.
Again, a key attribute to developing and maintaining strong relationships is curiosity. Taking your team members (or partners) for granted is a slippery slope to disengagement. Being genuinely curious about others sends a powerful message that you care.
A typical response we get at the end of our teamwork engagements is “I wish we did this years ago."
If you've ever walked out of a meeting and then been surprised by people seemingly taking off in different directions, you'll know how valuable alignment is. Your strategy should provide clarity on purpose, direction, priorities and objectives.
Like a game of chess, our strategy workshops will flex your leaders' intellectual muscles. We will help them weave a mission, vision and values that inspire, empower and clarify. Most importantly, by developing their own strategy, we encourage engagement and ownership.
If there were one quality that exceptional coaches embodied, it would be curiosity. Being non-judgemental and genuinely interested in people and their behaviours, our curiosity coaches inspire people to be more curious themselves.
Recognising all learning takes time we hope to include some coaching in all of our engagements.
We also use the ActionableTM Habit Building Platform to ensure you get the best possible training ROI. The platform enables us (and you) to track individual engagement as they seek to bed down a learning objective from one of our sessions. These objectives, usually a new habit rather than a goal, are supported with regular SMS reminders and opportunities to rate their progress, post reflections and connect with a learning buddy. We’re genuinely excited about the possibilities the platform offers in our quest to ensure learning becomes sustainable and measurable.
“The trouble is, 99% of managerial attention is devoted to techniques that squeeze more out of the existing paradigm, and it’s killing us. Tools, techniques and how-to recipes won't do the job without a higher order… concept of management."