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For the final post in “The Curiosity Muscle” series, best-selling author and previous SMG Forum keynote speaker Diana Kander weighs in on how to create the most innovative version of yourself and your business.
Some may think the hardest part about building a successful company is getting it off the ground and establishing dominance in the competitive marketplace. But over the last few years of working with many Fortune 1000 companies, I’ve learned that it’s much harder to stay at the top than it is to get there. And it’s not just due to the dynamic nature of business—it’s more about ego.
The one common denominator of businesses that can’t sustain their market dominance is that they let their success destroy their curiosity. With a false sense of security in believing that they know what customers and employees want, they quickly lose touch and ultimately crash into irrelevance.
In The Curiosity Muscle, we demonstrate how a loss of curiosity hurts companies and how it can be repaired. In previous blog posts, my co-author Andy Fromm explored the first 3 questions every company should ask to maintain their competitive advantage:
Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work by answering one last question: How can you engage others to achieve your goals? Here’s how:
Ask your team for their input
By ridding yourself of a know-it-all attitude and checking your ego at the door, you’ll soon realize that you have access to a vast number of resources. Your organization is full of people who have a much closer view of the customer and key insights on ways to make your company better.
Empower your employees to provide feedback. Showing them that you value their input not only helps you come up with better ideas, but it makes employees feel valued and gets them more invested in the success of the company. By knowing they are making a difference and seeing that their feedback is valuable, they will become stronger advocates for your brand.
Encourage managers to also seek suggestions
When managers enter a leadership role, they may feel pressure to have all the answers and will fail to reach out for suggestions. They don’t want to seem weak. But by not seeking out ways to grow or improve, their performance will grow stagnant or worse, deteriorate.
Give your managers not only the opportunity, but encouragement to accept that they don’t know everything. Send the message that curiosity is a leader’s greatest asset—driving constant innovation, improvement, and the bottom line.
Curiosity is the new competitive advantage and can serve as the catalyst for exponential growth—and to get better results, you have to learn how to ask better questions. Employee and customer feedback is imperative to the success of your business—not just today but for the future. You don’t know everything—and that’s a good thing. Just stay curious and you’ll ensure your continued success.
Diana Kander | Innovation Catalyst