- Jo Chapman
CURIOSITY & THOUGHTFUL DISRUPTION
As Curious Jellyfish has grown up over the last two years, we’ve become clearer about what we stand for an who we are, so we decided to have a bit of a refresh of our website.
I wanted to explain a bit more about curiosity and disruption creating change as we truly believe that curiosity coupled with thoughtful disruption brings great opportunity and enables change – both personal and organisational change.
Let’s start with curiosity:
Curiosity: a strong desire to know or learn something
In order to create change you first have to become aware of what’s already there. That’s where curiosity comes in. Curiosity is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning. Asking questions, seeking to understand the current situation or environment. Withholding judgement on whether something is “right or wrong”. Having a desire to seek to understand, to learn and to make sense of the environment, behaviours and decisions.
I have a NASA sticker that says “curiosity drives us forward” – could not agree more with the clever team at NASA (I also have a coaster that says “It’s not rocket science… oh yes it is” and that makes me smile too)
Think of a child and their amazing ability to be curious, to ask questions to try and help them make sense of the world. Ethan Nichtern, a Buddhist teacher and the author of The Road Home, says that
“As we grow, we feel like we have to go with what is socially accepted and what works… There is a tendency to become less curious, especially when we enter so many environments where it seems like acting with total and complete certainty are the way to get ahead.”
Zen Buddhist’s have a concept of Shoshin, or developing a “beginner’s mind” This concept is all about dropping our expectations about something and seeing things with an open mind and fresh eyes, just like a beginner. This practice is all about embracing your curiosity and viewing not knowing as a strength.
Only once you’re fully aware can you change something, and you can only become aware by being curious.
Disruption: a disturbance which interrupts and event, activity, or process
Thoughtful: showing careful consideration or attention
A word that strikes fear into many people, which is part of the reason we put the word thoughtful before it. We’re not about disrupting for disrupting’s sake. We’re about thoughtfully disrupting the system in service of shifting something. That means we think through very carefully the potential unintended consequences of an intervention and what outcomes we’d expect. Disruption is not inherently good or bad, for some it’s good and for others it feels like a threat – it all depends on how content and comfortable you are with the status quo.
As humans we create patterns of behaviour and patterns of thinking – that’s the characteristic ways in which we think or act. We all know this, that’s why we say, “oh that’s just how he is” or “that sounds like her”. Organisations are the same, they have patterns of behaviour created by the people in them and that’s what culture is – patterns of behaviour. Much the same as disruption, these patterns are neither inherently good nor inherently bad, it all depends on what outcome we want to have.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results” Albert Einstein
It then stands to reason, if you want a different outcome or a change in results, you must disrupt those patterns of behaviour.
There’s no silver bullet to change, either in self or in organisations. It’s about making numerous small changes to get to where you want to be. Experimenting with those disruptive interventions and being curious about the outcomes and using those to experiment further.
Get in touch to find out how we can help you be both curious and disruptive: firstname.lastname@example.org