Tag Archives: curiosity

How to cultivate the Generalist within

The Creative GeneralistAs a rule of thumb, your business needs more generalists than specialists if it wants to innovate. Don’t get me wrong, specialists are valuable. But Generalists are the innovators, the ones who are most capable of dealing with complexity; the ones that connect that dots. For that very reason, as a generalist, I know it’s hard to get us to pay attention to anything uninteresting; much less get inspired. We need to be challenged; constantly. We also need to be unleashed; not managed.

But for an organization that is willing to change, as your own, you can turn yourself into a generalist, create the conditions for great ideas to emerge and spark the innovation mindset in your business.


Simple: broaden yourself.

Here are a few ways how I do it:

The best leaders are pattern thinkers

the best leaders are pattern thinkersLook at any of the top innovative businesses in the world and you will see that it is driven by an innovative leader. So I was not surprised that yesterday’s post, 5 future-proof questions to ask people in the know, resonated with you.

Jack Martin Leith commented: “Great post. Thank you Jorge. A prerequisite for someone asking those five questions is to be in a state of perpetual curiosity, and I don’t think that can be acquired. Any thoughts?”.

My answer:

Can you create value if you’re not curious?

Can you create value if you're not curious?

Not as far as I’m concerned.

For as long as I can remember it’s always dawned on me that late adopters are not innovative. I mean, how could they be if they are not curious. I know, I know. Sometimes being late to the game is great. There are hundreds of examples of companies that were late to the game and ended up changing the game. Apple, Google and Facebook immediately come to mind.

But I think that curiosity drives the kind of creativity that leads to breakthroughs. To breakthroughs that create value. A simple formula I have is:

Curiosity = Value creation

MBA in Curiosity

Last month I got invited to be part of a small group of Businessmen/Entrepreneurs/Consultants/CEO’s that meet once per month to talk about technology and innovation. We’re calling it Mix 2.0 for some reason.

Our first meeting was Wednesday. We met at (ironically) Bar20 at VIA Corporativo, which is one floor beneath my office. There were about 15 of us and we had the place all to ourselves. We sat in a circle, and to get things rolling we introduced ourselves.

The 2nd person to introduce himself is an inventor. Among other things, he worked on the Nintendo Wii controller about two years before the Wii came out. As you can imagine he’s a very interesting person. He spent about 10 minutes talking about his career. This set the tone for everyone else. I soon started thinking: Let the I-out-credential-you begin!

Being creative has more to do with being fearless than intelligent

Being creative has more to do with being fearless than intelligent.

Fearlessness gives birth to new knowledge. It’s only by taking the unknown path, the road less traveled that you’ll find and create new knowledge. Don’t be afraid to be wrong, what’s wrong is not being open to new ideas, to change, to stumbling onto unfamiliar situations to being the best you can be.

I propose we cultivate fearless curiosity to explore our own potential. With that I leave you with a quote from someone who knows a little bit of being fearless:

The greatest fear people have is that of being themselves. They want to be 50 Cent or someone else. They do what everyone else does even if it doesn’t fit where and who they are. But you get nowhere that way; your energy is weak and no one pays attention to you. You’re running away from the one thing that you own – what makes you different.”

–  50 Cent

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