When I talk about meeting new people or potential new hires, I always look for two things which are related to one another. The first is how curious that person is while the second is how they translate the results of that curiosity into cogent thinking. I suppose when I’m hiring I push this second point a little and try to get at how that thinking translated into action (and results). Both of these things come down to that person’s ability to wonder.
It’s nice to respect the thinking that got a business or individual to where they are. For some businesses, continuing to move forward on the basis of the usual patterns of thought can work. For many, however, it won’t. Markets change as do market conditions. More importantly, the technological changes of the last decade and a half have ripped apart and rebuilt almost everything we thought we knew about how to interact with those markets.
The best way to approach business today is with a strong sense of curiosity. We need to use one phrase a lot: “I wonder…” I wonder what would happen if we skipped a trade show and used the money to throw a golf outing. I wonder what would happen to our sales if we took money out of TV and put it into search and I wonder if the drop in our unaided brand awareness is a big deal. We need to maintain a mindset I try to foster in brainstorming sessions. No idea is a”bad” idea. Maybe some aren’t feasible as expressed but perhaps lurking inside that idea is a nugget of innovative thinking brought about by wondering about a topic.
Ask questions. It’s a great social media strategy, by the way, since your audience is probably wondering about some of the topics that might help your business grow. As an aside, it’s an important mindset for us to maintain as people – and citizens – as well.
If you can find a minute or two today, start wondering. Ask questions. Don’t dismiss the answers you get out of hand no matter how unfeasible or silly they might seem. Start a sentence with “I wonder…” and see where it leads. If you get a chance, tell me how you made out, because I wonder what you think!