Embracing Curiosity – a successful ingredient for people management
Stefaan Van Hooydonk
Stefaan Van Hooydonk
Research has shown that forward-looking curious companies are more innovative and competitive than their peers. In this session, we explore how the c-suite can influence their organizations by embracing the power of curiosity.
Every person is born with a healthy dose of curiosity. Some people can maintain this level through adulthood, many however see its original strength diminish over time. The reason why curiosity decreases as we grow older is that we become fixed in our thinking and routines and stop asking important questions to our customers, our colleagues and ourselves.
The same happens with systems like start-ups. Early start-ups have a high predisposition to exploration, only to see that this mindset deteriorates once the company expands, focuses on efficiency, conforms to rigid standards, and finds it harder to learn from mistakes.
It does not have to be this way. Curiosity is like a muscle. With intentional focus, we can grow our curiosity and capacity to rise above ourselves as individuals and professionals. Research has shown that curious professionals make more money and progress faster through their careers, are happier in life and are better at maintaining relationships. They also learn faster, are more open to change and benefit from a deeper self-awareness. They ask deeper, better and more questions and are overall more successful. They are more productive and get more results.
In this interactive session, we will explore what we know about curiosity, why it is important in our professional life, and reflect on strategies to get better at it.
Stefaan van Hooydonk is founder of the Global Curiosity Institute and author of the bestselling book: The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto. After working initially in investment consulting and setting up executive education at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in China, Van Hooydonk held executive roles as Chief Learning Officer in fortune 200 companies (Nokia, Royal Philips, Cognizant, Saudi Aramco, Agfa, Flipkart). He has lived and worked in Belgium, France, Hong Kong, China, Finland, The Netherlands, India, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom. His last role was that of Chief Learning Officer for Cognizant, where he oversaw learning and development for over 300k associates across the globe.
Stefaan van Hooydonk researches the topic of workplace curiosity in companies. He believes that curious individuals need curious environments to thrive and that especially in times of turmoil individuals and companies need to embrace intentional curiosity. With the help of a number of diagnostics he designed, he creates insights on what drives and what enables (or prevents) individuals and organisations to show up curiously. He consults global corporations and leadership teams towards building a stronger curiosity muscle. He is a regular speaker around the world on the power of curiosity to benefit professionals, leaders, teams, and organizations.