Curiosity is the cornerstone of creativity.
You’ve probably heard about curiosity killing some feline friends (or foes depending on how you personally feel about them), but is there really any evidence to back that up? Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious,” and we’re pretty sure curiosity had nothing to do with his death. In fact, we’d say curiosity had more to do with his Nobel Prize and notability. Then again, he was a human, not a cat.
Oh, hey, you’re human, right? (We’ll take your word for it, no need to pass a CAPTCHA test.) Maybe it doesn’t matter much what curiosity does to cats because we know how powerfully it enriches humans.
From our experience in video development, we’ve learned that curiosity is a necessary piece of the puzzle. Creative teams have to be curious because seeking and gaining as much knowledge as possible about a topic, industry, client problem, and audience increases creative capacity. The team needs to have understanding beyond the problem you are asking them to solve, digging deeper into why there is a problem, the larger context the problem exists in, what has already been done to solve it and to what degree it was successful. Equally important is curiosity about the audience: where can we find them, when are they watching video, and how can we get them to engage? Then, the video production team can use that information as a foundation to build a strategy around.
Conversely, creative teams who come to the table first with conviction or tunnel vision about a problem do a disservice to the project and client. Solving a problem without considering what lies beneath the surface doesn’t leave room for exploring the possibilities.
Humans are born curious. To put it simply, curiosity is just the desire to know. It’s one of the factors that lead humans to discover, innovate, and evolve. Curiosity makes us ask questions that lead to experiments and new information. What would happen if we tried this? Why does this consequence follow this action? How could we get a different outcome?
Curiosity is the cornerstone of creativity and creative problem-solving—they simply can’t exist without the innate pull from curious minds. It is that kind of open-mindedness and humility that allows us to explore what we don’t know.
In the end, human or otherwise, curiosity is the foundation of creative problem-solving. We need it to get the job done and advance toward our goals. So as you embark on your projects this year, remember to stay curious!