Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fundamentalist Or Curious?

Todd Defren posted a video recently from Seth Godin about Curiosity. I watched it several times and was struck by its implications for me personally and with regard to client service. It would be difficult to watch this video and not ask yourself some hard questions about whether you tend to be fundamentalist or curious in your approach to life and work.

Godin says, "A fundamentalist considers whether a fact is acceptable to their faith before they explore it. A curious person explores first and then considers whether they want to accept the ramifications."

Honestly, I guess I'm curious in some areas and more fundamentalist in others. One would imagine that's pretty natural. We all tend to be drawn to people, programming, and ideas that validate rather than challenge our view of the world. While fundamentalism may make us feel better from time to time, Godin's video is a compelling reminder of the importance of curiosity - particularly in a world that is changing so quickly. Being a curious person, and being that person more often, is something we owe to ourselves and our clients.

When it comes to client service excellence, assessing one's curiosity can be essential. As you consider your role as trusted advisor, are you diligently exploring new ways to work? Seeking new resources? Challenging the proven strategies of yesterday with the promising approaches of tomorrow? If you're not, you should be. That's what your client is paying you to do.

Conversely, it's important to assess your clients' curiosity quotient by understanding where they are more fundamentalist and where they tend to be more curious. It could mean all the difference in the world in the approach you take when trying to convince them to adopt your next great new idea.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it will make you a better person and a more valuable professional.


  1. I also posted Seth's video from Todd's blog. I admire Seth, and hope I can have half the curiosity he has.

    When I was in high school, my advisor told me that I marched to the beat of my own drum, which mean that I tend to go against the grain of what most people do. I think there's merit to that. For the longest time, I've been told and for the post part, I led people to believe that I'm conforming, and I'm accepting. And I've lost touch with who inspiring and energizing it is to "quest the norm", be curious about the unknown, try new get the picture.

    So that's what I set my mind to. As I finish the last few weeks of my master's degree and complete my thesis, I'm going to start asking more questions, brush the dust off of my proverbial drum and start beating it again.

    I'm going to fuel my curiosity once more...stay tuned to my blog for updates.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I just finished my Masters quite recently so I have some idea of what you're going through. Lifelong learning and curiosity may not be one in the same, but we should aspire to both. Best of luck completing your degree and continuing your journey.



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