Ask what-if questions...


I’ve written here often about the importance of hiring people with optimism – they’re usually more flexible and open to change. It’s just as important to recognize the significance of curiosity in the people you hire – they’re generally more creative. In the mid-90s, when computers were in their relative infancy, I became curious about what they could do for my HR department. I visited my friend Bob Pemberton at Infinity Software and we spent a week playing what-if questions with each other: he knew databases and I hungered for deeper reporting with which to analyze HR information. Our brainstorming resulted in the first HR data warehouse – not because I understood computing, but rather because I was curious about it. From that experience I became convinced that if we encouraged front line employees to ask what-if questions related to their work, they would discover new and better ways to perform their tasks. That spurred employees from all across The Mirage to discover better ways to serve customers: this happened when employees in a dozen departments put their heads together and came up with some really creative service improvement ideas. Curiosity about anything almost always leads to creative thinking and innovation. Promote ungovernable curiosity today.

 

Larry King (1933 – 2021): American television and radio host who hosted over 50,000 interviews