Cats aren’t curious so…

Don’t assume that curiosity will kill them.

Smart Lemming has this great on how to be curious based on a 12 step list created by Darren Rowse of Problogger.  I like SL’s assertion that to keep yourself fresh in your job or find what you’re passionate about, you need to learn how to be curious. 

Out of the 12 my favorites are

  • #3 – Ask “What if…” Example: What if companies fully embrace Web 2.0 technologies and collaboration? How will it make them more competitive? What are the drawbacks of sharing so much information freely?
  • #5 Dig deeper than the RSS feed. Example: I read a number of feeds that post on coaching and mentoring.  I actually started digging some more to find case studies/success stories so I could model my programs on the successful points of others
  • #7 Put disconnected ideas together

I believe that there’s value in making connections with disparate ideas, objects or things.  Doing so allows you to see possibilities you may have missed if you were looking for logical connections.  Sometimes the ideas you come up with might be erroneous or ‘way out’ there, but even these ideas might lead up to a spark or innovation that you wouldn’t come up with otherwise.

 #7  reminds me of that great show that was on T.V. years ago called Connections with James Burke. I am an extremely big fan of this show. Burke did a pretty good job of connecting events and inventions or innovations with each other.  The episode where he connected the rise of the computer to the abundance of undergarments in Europe was probably one of my favorites.

The Wikipedia article on the show referenced below also frames some of the big picture questions that Burke poses in reference to his connective view of cause and events.

If history progresses because of the synergistic interaction of past events and innovations, then as history does progress, the number of these events and innovations increases. This increase in possible connections causes the process of innovation to not only continue, but to accelerate. Burke poses the question of what happens when this rate of innovation, or more importantly change itself, becomes too much for the average person to handle and what this means for individual power, liberty, and privacy.

These are interesting thoughts considering the implications of Web 2.0., Ownership of ideas, and the movement that has been pushing forward due to the sharing that occurs on the net.

I’ve often thought of the internet as that “magic box” I always wanted when I was a kid. A place were you could ‘pose’ a question (and through some sifting through marketing and junk and even hard work which includes connecting with and conversing with real people) eventually build a satisfactory answer. However, sometimes I do wonder about the implications of having so much information at our fingertips. I’m hopeful and yet a little wary at the same time, but that’s my intuition speaking. Here at work we’re trained to think with our heads.

Nuggets:

http://smartlemming.com/blog/index.php/2007/02/12-tips-to-learn-how-to-be-curious/

Connectionswith James Burke (wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connections_(TV_series)

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