Some promising strategies for anyone looking to nurture intellectual curiosity.

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One of the mistakes that people tend to make when choosing colleagues is selecting for credentials, rather than curiosity. This can work for status games but breaks down if the job requires working together for longer than a few months. For long-term endeavors, I believe that curiosity is a much better indicator of success.

This mistake seems to be so common because credentials are an objective measure of ability, whereas curiosity is dependent on the topic in question. Choosing who to hire is expensive, and credentials provide a paper trail that limits the downside of making a decision. If a well-credentialed candidate turns out to be a dud, hiring managers can throw up their hands and say, “how was I supposed to know, they looked so good on paper.” Curious candidates may be more qualified, but pose a greater risk to the individual responsible for hiring if the curiosity is feigned or misaligned with the work. …


Philip Mohun

Data Science and Productivity

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