Thursday, February 17, 2011

Curiosity: fuel for idea hunting

Thanks to Dean Martin, we all know that amore is "when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie." Today, I learned, in keeping with the astronomical theme, that curiosity is when NASA's newest Mars Rover hits the planet Mars. Well, not exactly. "Curiosity" is the name of the newest Mars Rover (above), but to an Idea-Hunter, curiosity is something much more significant. It is the fuel that drives everything about the Hunt.

While there are many opinions about why some people are "more curious" than others, our take is that curiosity is absolutely essential to successful idea-hunting. How to become "curious" is the hard part. Part of it, we think, has to do with identifying "your gig," which was the topic of yesterday's blog-post. Daniel Pink, however, has recently blogged about a new book entitled Curious? by Todd Kashdan, a clinical psychologist at George Mason University, in which Kashdan cites three ways to "refresh our personal and professional outlook":
  1. Thrive on uncertainty
  2. Find the unfamiliar in the familiar; and
  3. Be a safe haven for the risks and joys of others.
I have not yet read this book, but I was struck by how at least the first point resonated with my experience yesterday of having lunch with Alex Osterwalder, the author of the exceptionally popular Business Model Generation; a book that I like very much . As I have revealed before in this blog, I am normally an office-diner, but by breaking my bad habit, and having the opportunity to spend time with a really creative thinker from way outside of my normal life, I was completely re-energized -- it worked, and my curiosity was piqued about a variety of things that Alex told me about; which also supports two of The Idea Hunter's principles:
  1. to be interested in what others are doing; and
  2. to diversity your sources of ideas.
Not a bad set of "lessons" for the price of a lunch!

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