Have you ever been to a meeting and wondered why you are there? All the topics seem pre-determined and the answers controlled. Does anyone really want your input? This blog is all about changing this mindset which can lead to breakthrough innovation. Welcome back to our blog series on Creating a Culture of Curiosity to lead innovation in your organization.

In the last post, we discussed the first essential about the questions you ask and their importance in creating a culture of curiosity. Today we are going to discuss the second essential necessary in fostering a culture of curiosity. Essential number 2 to the culture you get is in the meetings you run. Let’s go back to the earlier mentioned meeting. If you left the meeting convinced that no one was  interested in hearing your perspective, your ideas or your insights, you may be working in the world of status quo or in the realm of “life is good”, as is.

Establishing a meeting environment that fosters curiosity

As we consider the meetings you run, a culture of curiosity requires either gathering those who are naturally curious or establishing a meeting environment that fosters curiosity. I suggest that you need both. When determining who is naturally curious, think of those that ask why things are done the way they are. Or more importantly, they ask questions around:

  • What is really possible
  • What the organization could do to change the customer experience, improve profitability, or invent a new category of solutions
Questioning the status quo

Curiosity is about questioning the status quo while imagining what could be possible. Six questions for creating a meeting environment that fosters a culture of curiosity in your company, department, team or organization are:

  1. Who? It is all about the people participating in the meeting! Identify and include innovators as well as people with different roles and perspectives.
  2. What? It is all about the focus of the meeting! Focus on possibilities – what could be. Provide opportunities for dialogue through a fluid open schedule.
  3. Where? It is all about the location! Remove people from their everyday environment to stimulate that fresh thinking.
  4. When? It is all about the fresh thinking! The best time for holding innovative meetings is in the morning when the brain is fresh or at least not cluttered yet!
  5. Why? It is all about the purpose! While general curiosity is good, purposeful curiosity creates focus.
  6. How? It is all about the questions! Lead the meeting through broad questions that stimulate thinking.
Try taking a “walk about” with your team

Will you be a leader who creates a culture of curiosity in your organization through the meetings you run? Or will your team members be wondering why they are there? Last year we had a “walk-about” instead of our usual planning discussion, walking around the office with sticky note pads and sticky flipcharts. As we had ideas, we wrote them down and posted them where we were. Sometimes the location generated an idea and sometimes it was a question posed by a team member that generated the idea. Try taking a “walk about” with your team! Ask those broad questions that stoke the curiosity flame. Innovation is all about creating a culture of curiosity through the meetings that you run and the questions that you ask. I guess in the end, it is all about you. Will you create a culture of curiosity with your team?

The culture you get is in the:

Written by: Charlie Thackston | Creating a Culture of Curiosity Essential #2: Meetings You Run

For more on this topic and other areas of SOAR thought leadership:

Meetings You Run | Essential 2 for Creating a Culture of Curiosity