I have a tendency to share articles, podcasts, books, movies, and anything else I consume with those around me. I have friends who tell me they keep folders in their email account full of my shares so they can hold on to them for later. And so I figured, why not share them with everyone. My goal, if I can keep it up, is a bi-weekly post with links to what has inspired thoughts from me. I figured the posts should have their own identity from the rest of my blog posts, so what to call it? And then, in a moment of lucidity, I thought…YEP. That’s it. Lucidity. So here we go…
Interestingly enough, although most companies say they value inquisitive minds, employees tend to feel stifled and conform to status quo instead of branching out with new ideas. In fact, a study found that curiosity drops 20% within six months on the job. Is it because the questions stop and the work production requirements increased? Maybe. But curiosity matters, and it has a huge positive impact on the workplace.
There’s also an assumption that the creative jobs, the ones that hire curious minds, all require Bachelor degrees. Not true. Although blue collar jobs have declined, skilled-service good jobs are on the rise. The key is not so much in WHAT you learn, but more in the SKILLSETs developed while learning.
So how do you encourage creative, curious minds? Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, says you do NOT do it by being the top student at school. As he explained to his son, “being in the middle is fine, so long as your grades aren’t too bad. Only this kind of person [a middle-of-the-road student] has enough free time to learn other skills.” What other skills? Ma shared at the World Economic Forum that students need to learn that which machines cannot, such as teamwork, independent thinking, and caring for others.
He’s not the only one to share this thinking. Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics, spoke at the World Economic Forum of the importance of “the soft skills, creative skills. Research skills, the ability to find information, synthesise it, make something of it.” Fabiola Gianotti, a particle physicist and the Director General of CERN, expanded on Shafik’s ideas: “We need to break the cultural silos. Too often people put science and the humanities, or science and the arts, in different silos. They are the highest expression of the curiosity and creativity of humanity.”
So how do we ensure that we not just say we value curiosity and creativity, but actually practice what we preach? The latest Leadership + Design newsletter shared a few helpful tips:
- Get out into the world outside of school and see how work is being done, why and by whom.
- Move towards less compliancy and more possibility
- Don’t just add, subtract
And hey, if this post made you smile, or think deeply for a moment, or just scratch your head and go HMM… then share it with a friend. Or two. And subscribe to keep the posts coming!