Creativity and innovation are well-recognized success factors in healthcare marketing that naturally emanate from curiosity. Leaders who are curious, inquisitive, and open foster a company culture that can lead to a fully expressed marketing team and better employee engagement. Taking a closer look at what curiosity is and isn’t can help marketers increase their access to creativity and innovation.
Curiosity Versus Listening
Listening is a highly touted leadership quality for which training is available, and it is frequently included in professional development programs. Strong leaders with a big vision may seem self-directed as they confidently stride toward prescribed goals, so they need to take time to hear employees when they express their views. Listening, however, is no guarantee that leaders will learn what employees have to offer. Curious leaders ask pointed questions to uncover this information. Curiosity is a driving force in getting to know others and building trusting relationships that result in honest information exchange. Leaders who lack curiosity may be missing out on gaining access to the unique perspective of team members that is the key to creativity and innovation in the workplace.
The Power of Questions
Skill-building for curiosity is routed in learning what questions to ask and how to position them to gain a fuller understanding of an employee’s opinion or a developing issue. Many successful leaders attribute the ability to uncover pertinent information as good instincts or intuition. And, while those are part of the skillset, curiosity is an innate ability that is often overlooked and hard to replicate. Curious leaders find joy in getting to know more about those around them and what makes them tick. This approach sets people at ease, deepens engagement, and increases the opportunity to activate discretionary effort.
With all the pressure of deadlines and coming up with original creative solutions, healthcare marketing leaders may overlook the value of drawing out input from the team. Marketers with a natural sense of curiosity may have an advantage because they are interested in understanding the unique perspective of those around them. However, it is more common for a leader to share their views in an effort to be transparent or increase communication. Unfortunately, this can have the opposite effect, because team members with different points of view may feel like they are challenging authority if they express their views.
At Xavier Creative House, we use curiosity to our advantage by building in opportunities for group and individual sharing from our employees. It begins with our core values, RESPECT AND CANDOR, and it goes further than our multiple Slack channels. XCH meeting rhythms provide a daily, weekly, and monthly pulse check on both inspirational and operational input at the leadership and team member levels. From our daily huddles to quarterly all-hands meetings, to the annual retreat, XCH employees are consistently engaged to express their views. It is what drives our “X-Factor”– a way of meeting today’s challenges with bold and evocative solutions. If you want to work with a curious agency, give XCH a try.