After sitting through a few related meetings, it hit me. There was a lack of intellectual curiosity. What a huge detriment in the workplace.


When did we lose our sense of curiosity? When did asking why become the exception and not the rule? As children curiosity was cultivated. We wanted to understand why. We often asked why several times, all in succession. One might say we wanted to get to the root of the situation.


A workplace without intellectual curiosity is problematic. A friend put it simply – it’s boring. Can we cultivate the love of learning? In many mind-body practices you learn about the beginner's mind – the willingness to look at things without prior conceptions. You are asked to be open and to use your sense of wonder (McGinley 2018). We could benefit from taking that approach into the workplace.


I think when we understand the situation better, the more invested we become. And that could mean anything from helping drive up engagement at work, finding solutions to existing problems, or identifying new ideas and how to bring them to market.


Let me know if you relate to any of the scenarios I’ve witnessed:
Could asking questions about the target audience drive new insights into the brand, portfolio, product or service?

  • Could comprehending how your role impacts the customer – even if you never interact directly with them – help drive engagement up at work?
  • Could understanding the need of research and data help prevent missteps of launching products or services based on perceived need? (See one of my Blog posts)
  • Could being aware of what another department does and how they do it better prepare you to work cross-functionally?
  • Could doing a deep dive on a “failure” provide guidance for how to improve future efforts? (See one of my Blog posts)


Then there is the work culture where asking questions means you are labeled a troublemaker. When did seeking to understand create unease? How did answering some questions about ‘why’ translate to wasting time? This gets to the need for corporations to create environments that support and cultivate curiosity. Take a look at this article from Harvard Business Review that includes five strategies to increase curiosity (Gino 2018).


Photo by: Amy E. Mikel. Orvieto Duomo. Orvieto, Italy. September 2016.



Gino, Francesca. The Business Case for Curiosity. Harvard Business Review. September-October 2018.

McGinley, Karson. 8 Tips for Cultivating a Beginner’s Mind. The Chopra Center. February 28, 2018.