Organisations grapple with relentless change. Today’s dynamic business landscape is characterised by complexity, unpredictability and the need to be resilient. Thriving in this environment necessitates the harnessing of curiosity, an increasingly vital trait for both individual and organisational success.
They can enact 5 overlapping activities.
Curiosity isn't a mere nice-to-have; it's a must-have. Turbulent conditions, propelled by financial crises, geopolitical volatility, technological leaps, and information saturation, demand adaptability and a quest for knowledge. In recent times, progressive global organisations like Merck, Nike, Disney, and GE have recognised curiosity as a core value, while academic interest in curiosity has surged. At the same time, the role of curiosity in SMEs, which account for 60-70% of jobs in most OECD countries, remains underexplored.
Unfortunately, a paradox exists. There is no doubt that interest in curiosity is spiking, and leaders espouse its virtues however, leaders also discourage the practice of curiosity due to unclear ROI. The business case for curiosity is poorly understood.
We, at BearingPoint, continuously examine the nexus between curiosity and performance. Our work with clients shows that organisations can significantly increase performance through a two-part approach; by enhancing curiosity at all levels (individual, team, organisation) and in parallel improving the organisation’s change readiness. Studies have also identified divergent thinking, a sub-trait of curiosity, as a significant predictor of both organisational performance and change readiness. Divergent thinking is defined as the process of creating multiple, unique ideas or solutions to a problem that you are trying to solve.
Organisations should adopt a two-part strategy to optimise performance: enhance the practice of curiosity in the organisation, while simultaneously improving organisation-level change readiness. Furthermore, organisations should lean into aspects of curiosity that may produce outsized performance outcomes, such as divergent thinking.