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Does Your Company Culture Encourage Employee Curiosity?

By: Dave Berkus

 

Copyspace photo of cunning curious nice cute sweet accountant pondering over how to calculate correctly holding notepad with her hands isolated over pink pastel color background

Some of the world’s best companies to work for are those that encourage employees to spend time following their own paths of curiosity toward development of new products or services.  Google, 3M, Facebook, and Microsoft all allow their employees to take time to explore new ideas they conceive and attempt to develop.

The result can be surprisingly impactful

Famously, the post-it note is an example of such a product coming from employees of 3M where looking for quite another market for their newest light adhesive product.  And many free products and services have been spawned by Google employees working during their one-day-a-week personal curiosity time.

As usual, culture comes from the top

It is an opportunity that is open to any CEO to encourage creative thinking, problem solving, product creation, efficiency-creation among the troops.  Rewards don’t have to be financial, but certainly, when the gains are measured in dollars, that seems appropriate when the new development is not just a part of the job specification for a creative employee with a great idea.

Revealing employee hidden talents

Every company has hidden talent, creative thinkers that are not in a position to demonstrate their talents.  CEO’s often focus employees on the company’s goals, without allowing time to explore the edges to create alternative solutions, or to think ahead toward new possibilities.

A challenge aimed at you

What if you encouraged  each of your associates to spend ten percent of their time working alone or with others on cost-saving or efficiency improvements, sketching new ideas for products or changes to products that they may not be directly involved in creating?  What if that refreshing opportunity were to make each person return to the assigned job with a fresh new look and appreciation for the creative time spent?  It could happen, but only if you as manager develop the culture of curiosity that makes such creativity a part of your company DNA.

Published: June 3, 2020
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Source: Berkonomics

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Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus is a noted speaker, author and early stage private equity investor. He is acknowledged as one of the most active angel investors in the country, having made and actively participated in over 87 technology investments during the past decade. He currently manages two angel VC funds (Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC and Kodiak Ventures, L.P.) Dave is past Chairman of the Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel networks in the United States. Dave is author of “Basic Berkonomics,” “Berkonomics,” “Advanced Berkonomics,” “Extending the Runway,” and the Small Business Success Collection. Find out more at Berkus.com or contact Dave at dberkus@berkus.com

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