According to recent research, 64 percent of bosses said they valued and encouraged creativity. The same study asked these bosses’ employees if they agreed their organization’s leadership fostered innovation and curiosity. Only 42 percent said yes. The numbers are clear: Many managers are only paying lip service to these values. But deep down, some believe that curious employees will need things endlessly explained to them, or that trying new ideas will reduce productivity, or that it will be difficult to unite a bunch of free-spirited workers to get pulling in the same direction. Sometimes a boss will say they value creativity but react negatively when a worker tries to express some. So how can you avoid being a curiosity-killing boss? First, ask more and better questions. Most bosses say they have an open-door policy for their employees, but sometimes that isn’t enough. A boss needs to solicit their team's input with thoughtful questions, listen to their feedback, and act on it in meaningful ways. Second, it's important to help employees broaden their horizons. It’s difficult to keep curiosity alive when you’re doing the same thing every day. Bosses should help employees explore their interests, even if they aren’t directly related to their day-to-day tasks.
Keeping Curiosity Alive