Lancefield on the Line

Prof. Francesca Gino: How can you encourage curiosity and rebel talent

October 06, 2021 David Lancefield Season 1 Episode 2
Lancefield on the Line
Prof. Francesca Gino: How can you encourage curiosity and rebel talent
Show Notes Chapter Markers

How do you respond to a world that feels more complex, and uncertain? Put your head in the sand, do the same, peddle faster, hoping it goes away? As silly as that sounds, many executives and professionals do this even while they talk eloquently about their context.

A better approach is to double down on your curiosity. At work this means being more curious about the needs and expectations of your customers, the dynamics of the workplace, the wider system you operate in and your own ways of thinking.

There are obvious things you can do: ask more questions, seek out new people to spend time with, learn new skills, spend time in new places (virtual or physical). It means being able to handle the feeling of being uncomfortable and out of your depth. It also means opening your mind to new possibilities, overcoming your limiting assumptions.

Curiosity is the topic I discuss with my guest Francesca Gino, Professor at Harvard Business School. I've long admired her work. I selected her superb book Rebel Talent in my review of the best Strategy Books in 2018 for Strategy+Business.

Links to further resources

Francesca Gino is an award-winning researcher who focuses on why people make the decisions they do at work, and how leaders and employees have more productive, creative and fulfilling lives. She is a Professor at Harvard Business School and the author, most recently, of “Rebel Talent: Why it Pays to Break the Rules in Work and Life.”

For more details of her work see:

My newsletter Flashes+Sparks provides stimuli on how to lead your team, organisation or self more effectively:

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What her research on workplace productivity and engagement tells us
The impact of leader sentiment and internal strength in dealing with the challenges of the pandemic.
How we sustain “better” behaviours in the post-pandemic period
The biases she would be alive to if designing a workplace from scratch
How to have effective productive disagreement in a virtual environment
Is nurturing Rebel Talent a perpetual state of beta?
How she rebels in Harvard Business School
How she measures her own impact
Leading her life without trying to be perfect all of the time
The frontiers of research in behavioural science
What her research tells us about the design and execution of strategy
The relationship between strategy and culture