This is one of a series of posts we’re running this summer about the Collective Next Cards.

Be Curious card

At Collective Next we’re encouraged (and expected, honestly) to approach our work with a wide-eyed curiosity. We have a way of looking at things differently. We’re a diverse and passionate group of illustrators, sculptors, chefs, surfers, miniature village architects, musicians, karaoke champions, actors, writers, painters, costume makers, runners, world travelers, and generally clever DYI-ers. We are curious by nature; we don’t need our company onboarding handbook or training manual to tell us to be curious.

We’re surrounded by cool artwork, quirky and inspirational office décor. We’re enveloped by a culture that fosters curiosity, creativity, and collaboration. Our open office design spurs sudden brainstorms, fosters healthy eavesdropping, and promotes blatant butting in. We’re curiously nosy. We question each other and curate an environment that encourages feedback. We challenge and support each other. We push each other and our clients. And our work is better for it.

We get paid to think differently. We show up and clients expect us to be the “creative” ones (sometimes we notice sighs of relief when we walk into a room). We trick them into realizing their creative potential by pushing and prodding, asking critical questions, often the ones that are the scariest to consider. Our curiosity sparks theirs.

You may not work for a company like Collective Next where creativity, curiosity, and collaboration are built into the fabric of our work. But, wherever you are, here are a few tips for cultivating an inquiring mind.

1. Keep an open mind. Don’t be married to your ideas and perceptions.

2. Ask questions (always) … and never stop (seriously).

3. Be daring. Take a different approach. Don’t be afraid to flip a concept sideways or deconstruct it just to see what would happen if you tackle it from a different vantage point. 

4. Have fun! Let go of your serious self for a minute, propose a seemingly crazy idea or two, and see what happens.