The saying, curiousity killed the cat, means if you’re too curious harm may come to you. That’s true. In some circles curiousity causes problems (say if you’re a bank teller trying to figure out how to steal money) but in the case of corporate training curiousity is worth its weight in gold.
Curiousity opens the gate to learning, it primes participants for wanting to slough off indifference and dive into learning.
Our brains are built to not only be curious but to satisfy that curiousity. It’s called the knowledge gap (read more about it in Dan & Chip Heath’s Made to Stick book). The knowledge gap is what keeps us awake late at night when we know we should go to bed, watching the end of a particularly bad TV show …. simply because we want to find out what happens – who killed the guy, who won the race etc.
A great example of creating curiousity is from the Fast Company article ‘How to Make Corporate Training Rock’. In it, the trainer creates videos, similar to The Office to, get this, help ‘redesign the company’s ethics-and-compliance training program’. Compliance? Snore! Yawn! Yet through the use of humour and pop culture (in this case video clips similar to The Office) they created a knowledge gap that employees were ridiculously keen to fill, vying to be the first one to see the next video installment.
How did it affect compliance? Unfortunately the article didn’t say, however my guess is that with that kind of priming, that kind of curiousity, the cats were sitting fat and pretty.
How can you create more curiousity with your training?