October 29, 2023

Fostering a culture of curiosity: The key to Creative Excellence

Fostering a culture of curiosity: The key to Creative Excellence

Human beings are naturally curious creatures. From our earliest days, we are driven by a deep-seated curiosity to understand our environment, how things work, and why they are the way they are.

But how does this tie into the design world and the importance of teamwork?

Curiosity in design

When a request lands in our Center of Excellence, it’s easy to find a solution based on our existing knowledge or tried-and-true methods. However, this approach often leads to solutions that are, at best, satisfactory but rarely exceptional. Curiosity pushes designers to question the very essence of the problem; by asking the fundamental question, “Why?” designers can uncover deeper needs and desires that aren’t immediately apparent.

Asking about the purpose behind different design requests is crucial. Not only does it clarify the problem at hand, but it also allows designers to challenge assumptions, discover hidden opportunities, and ultimately design solutions that are more aligned with the user’s actual needs.

The importance of asking the right questions

Often, the real challenge or need isn’t apparent on the surface. It lurks beneath layers of assumptions, perceived needs, or historical practices. By posing the right questions, we can peel back these layers, revealing the root cause of the genuine requirement. This process prevents the pitfalls of solving the wrong problem or designing for a need that doesn’t exist.

The culture of challenge

In a team setting, the spirit of curiosity should be woven into the very fabric of the team’s culture. This doesn’t mean simply questioning everything for the sake of being contrarian but instead fostering an environment where it’s safe and encouraged to challenge the status quo. A culture that celebrates continuous improvement recognizes that the best solutions are often born out of constructive criticism, diverse perspectives, and the collective wisdom of the group.

In the book The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle points out that to create high-performance teams, you have to encourage to break the “chain of command” and, in our case, any possible hierarchy—and also the need to always think in Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. As a team member (and especially as a leader), you need to show yourself vulnerable.

“The way of being vulnerable together, it’s the only way for a team to be invulnerable”

In conclusion, curiosity is more than just a trait; it’s a tool, a driving force behind human innovation and progress. Whether we’re designing an art from a service line, an employee branding campaign, or any regional action, approaching challenges with a curious mindset and a willingness to question, challenge, and improve will lead to better solutions and, ultimately, success. So, stay curious, keep asking “why?” and embrace the journey of continuous improvement.

This article is tagged with:
In the category: