Curiosity Quotient: Why Natural Curiosity is Your Greatest Business Asset

Curiosity is vital for effective working yet is much undervalued. Asking why allows you to understand how things work.



9/26/20223 min read

You’ve heard of IQ and EQ, but what about CQ? Curiosity quotient, or CQ, is the idea that (regardless of intelligence) we can acquire massive amounts of knowledge simply by being passionately inquisitive.

If you’ve spent any time around a young toddler, you know that their favorite question is “Why?” Toddlers have a high curiosity quotient because they’re learning through every sensory and social interaction they have. While the endless curiosity of two- and three-year-olds can be unnerving at times, it’s also incredibly valuable to the child’s development.

It fades as they grow older, but what if we could hang on to that natural curiosity into adulthood? What if we could put it to work in business and marketing strategy?

Why curiosity is important in business

The thing is, problems in business can be sneaky, often disguising themselves as other things. Yet even the sneakiest problems have solutions if you just know where to look.

That’s why, in our minds, curiosity is an underrated asset in business. Just as children learn by asking “why”, that same inquisitiveness can be a powerful tool for founders, digital marketers, and cross-departmental teams. Whether you’re in ecommerce or another industry, curiosity is critical to an effective digital marketing strategy.For starters, business leaders with a high CQ are better at problem solving. And curiosity propels exponential learning, growth, creativity, and cooperation among business teams. In our consulting firm, we’re strong believers of this, but we’re not the only ones—McKinsey & Company notes being “ever-curious” as one of six key business problem-solving mindsets for uncertain times.

According to Harvard Business Review, some of the benefits of curiosity in business include:

Fewer errors in decision-makingIncrease in workplace improvements & innovationsReduced conflict in group situationsMore open communication and improved listeningWe’d add to that an increased ability to anticipate potential problems, aka seeing round corners.

Using curiosity to achieve more creativity in business solutionsThe first step in putting the curiosity quotient to work in digital commerce is asking good questions. Why is X happening? Why is this solution good? Why is solution A better than solution B?

To be honest, we ask more questions than most of our clients are used to. And if your answer to a question is “No one has ever asked me that” or “We’ve never thought about that before,” that’s when we know we’ve struck gold. Remember when your grade school teacher told you, “There are no silly questions”? That’s how we operate at Prospero Commerce.

Beyond that, curiosity and questioning are baked into our extensive business diagnostics process via interviews, user studies, and data gathering. By tapping into the collective intelligence of the organisation—and its customers—we can quickly get to the root causes of underperformance and devise creative solutions.

It's worth noting, however, another important aspect of using curiosity to win in business—knowing when to stop. Even the most patient adult can become worn down by a constant beat of why, why why. And the last thing we want is for a client to disengage.

Prospero & being curious in business

Fortunately, we’ve had decades of experience in retail consulting during which to find the right balance. Rather than simply following every tangent (like toddlers do) we’re using curiosity in a pointed manner, to help us discover core problems. And then get to the work of solving them. This balance, aligned with rapid action, means increased value for our clients.

Our consulting firm helps ambitious companies accelerate digital transformation and increase the ROI of their digital marketing efforts. Contact us to discuss your business needs. Other Articles in this series:

Man vs. the Machine: The Future of AI in Retail and Digital Commerce

How a Holistic Vision Can Help You Solve More Business Problems, Faster

The Importance of Strong Digital Leadership in 2022 and Beyond

Curiosity and CQ