Are you curious about curiosity?

worth sharing
On a snow-white eve, learning expert Stefaan Van Hooydonk introduced his new book “The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto” - a call to action for individuals, teams, and organizations to create a more curious mindset on the job.

The book offers insights and case studies from different stakeholders on the opportunities and challenges of attracting curious talented professionals, creating a curious workplace and fostering curious behaviour.

Curiosity can be divided into 3 levels - with each person leaning more towards one or the other, as follows:

1. Intellectually curious: How many natural interests do we have in the environment around us, like learning a
new language, travelling, or reading about a historical topic?

2. Empathically curious: What is our level of openness and interest in the thoughts and feelings of others?

3. Intrapersonal curious: Do we know our degree of self-consciousness? How eager are we to understand our
purpose, where certain patterns come from, and what our limiting beliefs are?

It's an interesting exercise to take a moment to reflect on which of these 3 types we align with best.

The connection between innovation & curiosity

Given the challenges of the last 20 years - technology, social changes, economic disruption, workforce transformation - it has become clear that we need to ask new questions, derive new answers, rethink the status quo, and require organizational innovation on different levels (business model, culture, processes, products). 

To accelerate this innovative mode, we need more curiosity, as curiosity and innovation go hand in hand, with curiosity in the driver’s seat.

They demonstrate this in the book through the concept of the jumping S-curves, where innovation follows the shape of the letter S (with an early phase, acceleration phase (very steep) and maturity phase).


When companies face new challenges, they need to reinvent themselves. They need to jump into a new S-curve and start the process again to tackle these new realities. It is proven that curiosity helps create the best conditions to let the company jump to the next S-curve. 

How to increase your curiosity muscle?

In the final chapter of the book, Stefaan shares proven strategies for starting your curiosity journey, whether at an individual, team, or organizational level. Here is a sampling of some of these tips:

  • Strengthen your awareness of curiosity by observing your behaviour, life patterns, values, (limiting) beliefs, stress factors, etc. 
  • Reserve weekly team meetings named “curiosity” and invite your team to share curious facts, new ideas, etc. By doing so, you can instill a culture of curiosity within your organization.
  • Approach curiosity as a project and decide how to grow your curiosity muscle via a well-defined goal and dedicated project manager. 
  • Expand your knowledge base, as the best way to generate ideas is to be inspired by new knowledge.
  • Fight against confirmation bias and engage yourself with ideas that challenge your assumptions. A good starting point is to follow people who think differently from you.

Even if you haven't read the book yet, you can start implementing some of these tips today.

I hope I've piqued your curiosity?

Authored by Paulien Stuer - 19 Apr 2023

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