End-of-year musings are not natural to us. We typically prefer to ponder events when they’ve occurred, as our “get it off your plate” psyches demand. [No psychologists, please!]
But annual round-ups are part and parcel of the news media’s job, along with listing the 10 best and 100 worst of anything. In particular, Bloomberg’s Businessweek catches up in December, tapping corporate celebrities and trends to forecast and prognosticate the next year and beyond. In late 2013, Barry Diller was among those offering insights; two of his (edited) sentences grabbed us: “We’re in a world now where it’s not enough to be smart. You have to be curious.”
That statement was enough for a pause. Is curiosity a trait we demand in ourselves, and within our business? What will it gain us? How often are we driven to explore the unknown … or do we just subside in a state of ennui? And how will we be rewarded for incorporating this quality into our personalities?
Look no further for a tangible example than NASA’s Mars Rover, named Curiosity (of course). It’s now exploring the ups and downs of the Red Planet, to better identify if that far-away sphere has any habitable -for-humans spaces. Of course, it’s a robot, powered by science people who truly live to investigate.
On the other hand: Other historical “let’s explore” precedents with not-so-successful outcomes are Eve and Pandora, much like the old saw that curiosity killed the cat. What we’re supposed to learn from this is that all sorts of unexpected disasters will fall to curiosity-seekers.
Risks begone! We personally seek out those who have a passion for learning, and exhibit a sort of metaphysical wonder about the world. Poking around in new tech stuff (like Twitter’s Medium). Researching, say, average readership for annual reports. Even working within a new industry. All that piques our interests, holds – and then asks for more.
Curiosity is a powerful way to experience, one that, to be honest, will help continue to shape our marketing and design, communications and change perspectives.