Episode: 316 |
Dr. Diane Hamilton:
The Curiosity Code:


Dr. Diane Hamilton

The Curiosity Code

Show Notes

Dr. Diane Hamilton is the creator of the Curiosity Code Index, which helps you understand the things that might influence how much you embrace your natural curiosity.

In this episode we discuss Diane’s work helping clients develop action plans to remove the roadblocks to curiosity at work.

Learn more about Diane’s work at:


One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

Will Bachman 00:01
Hello and welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. Unleashed is produced by Umbrex, which connects you with the world’s top independent management consultants. I’m your host Will Bachman and I’m so excited to be here today with Dr. Diane Hamilton, who has a big portfolio of activities. She’s the CEO of tone era. She is the creator of the Curiosity code. She has been named one of the top 50 thinkers in the world by thinker’s 50. She has a podcast and radio show called take the lead by Dr. Diane Hamilton, she teaches Diane, welcome to the show.

Diane Hamilton 00:41
Well, thanks. Well, I’m excited to be here. I it sounds like you focus on a lot of the things that I’d like to focus on. So this is gonna be fun.

Will Bachman 00:48
I’m excited. So tell me, let’s start with the Curiosity code. What is it that inhibits some people from really, you know, experiencing the full possibilities of possibility of curiosity? And what makes some people more curious than others?

Diane Hamilton 01:08
Well, that’s a really big question. I love that you asked it because that was my question. As I started to interview so many people on my show and teach so many students through my courses, I started to notice a big difference between people who are super curious and those who maybe just kind of not so curious. And I thought, well, it would be really fun to write about it in a book. And I hadn’t written a book in a while. And I thought I’d write about it. And as I started to research the book, I started to look for assessments out there to determine the things that kept people from being curious, because I thought, how can you get better if you don’t figure out what’s stopping you? And it was really surprising to me to see that there were assessments that just told you if you’re curious or not, but they didn’t really tell you why you weren’t. So if you weren’t, well, you were kind of out of luck. So I thought, well, this is something I would like to, to determine. And because I had written my doctoral dissertation on emotional intelligence, and I had done a lot with assessments in the past, and I thought, well, this will be really fun to just kind of research what holds people back. So I put in a link out on LinkedIn, just a thread, asking people what holds them back. That was my initial thought just kind of wanted to see. And a lot of people had fear based kind of things that they said, but they were kind of other things. And I thought, well, this will be interesting. I wanted to do you know, all the nerdy PhD stuff of doing factor analysis and that stuff, just to find out what were really the things that held people back. So after years of research and asking 1000s of people and going through lots of questions, I found out there for things that inhibit people. And that keep them from being curious. So are you curious what I am, I’m on the edge of my seat. Oh, you’re I bet you are. The, the acronym for it is fate, if at EA and it stands for fear, assumptions, technology, and environment. And they they’re all kind of interesting to me, I knew fear would be one of the biggest factors that holds people back. Because you know, no one wants to look dumb. Nobody wants to be embarrassed or feel a sense of failure, or loss of control and all that. So that one wasn’t super surprising to me. But then you started to look at some of the other kind of factors that inhibit us. And assumptions are kind of that voice in your head that? Well, I’m not gonna be interested in that. I’ve never liked that in the past. Why is this even necessary? If I do that, they’ll just give me more work. You know, those kinds of things, the things we tell ourselves. And then technology was kind of interesting to me, because it’s kind of the under and over utilization of it. Sometimes, you know, it just does it for you. You don’t want to even figure out why it does or you haven’t been trained or you find it overwhelming. And then environment was probably one of the biggest factors for me. I mean, if you look at environment, it’s your education. Anybody that you’ve ever really known your teachers, your family, your friends, your workers, your peers, your current boss, your past boss, even social media, everybody has an impact on us. So as I went through this, it was really fascinating because if you could figure out what’s stopping you, then you can move forward because you you can create a plan of action. So that’s what I do when I go to organisations. I help them. Yeah, I could train I train both consultants and HR professionals. So if I go in myself, I train their company did to give the assessment kind of like an emotional intelligence test or disk or any of those kinds of assessments that you’ve taken that take about 10 minutes. They’re not a long thing to take, but you get great information. And so it’s been really fun, because they learn to create an app plan to overcome those factors and also help create an action plan for leaders to where they give back to them, what they can do to help the organization as a whole become more curious.

Will Bachman 05:12
So first question I have is, is curiosity going to be a universal? Or is it more of a context specific attribute of someone so I can imagine someone might be disengaged at work, and not that curious about, you know, professionally about learning more about their industry, but maybe they are passionate about baseball, and they want to, you know, learn every single thing about every single player. And, you know, so to what degree is curiosity? Kind of a generalizable, measurable, you know, level of someone like, Oh, this person is a seven out of 10 curious person, versus very context specific?

Diane Hamilton 05:56
Well, you know, it’s an interesting question, because some of the assessments in the past were like that they would give you a kind of a general number, you know, are you a curious person in general, and it doesn’t go down the rabbit hole as to the type of areas that you would find interesting with what I was looking for was not so much. Are you curious about this topic or that topic? But do you buy into status quo ways of doing things, and because I think when you’re in an organization, if you just don’t look outside, the way that things have always been done, you’re gonna end up being the Kodak’s and the blockbusters of the world. Yeah. And that’s what I was trying to get away from. So, you know, I know a lot of companies that I work with, focus on developing people in all different ways, so that they’re not so tunnel vision, like you’re talking about just baseball, or just whatever, you know, and when you’re at work, you want to be kind of well rounded. So like Novartis, I do a lot of work with. And they actually have curiosity month coming up in September, and they been there all year, they have learning rewarded for different types of things to explore. So, you know, they’re, they’re hoping I mean, they’re not going to be rewarding them probably for studying about baseball, but they would like for them to learn all different areas that might be of value that within their job, for example, and so if they have 100 hours a year that they’ll pay for them to learn different things, so they can go on different sites, watch different videos, do different things. ryzen does something kind of similar. With little training videos, I’ve done videos with them, where they’ve interviewed me about curiosity that they play, and that they could hear just different examples of what people are doing. Curiosity wise to develop themselves, that within the company, you know, employees are sharing stories, seeing them, different companies do many TED Talks, where they explore different areas where they present ideas. And I think that, you know, I think you can be super curious about baseball, and maybe not super curious about what you do in your job. But maybe you should be working something that’s baseball focused or something, you know what I mean, maybe learning about the different things can help you realize, maybe I would like a different type of position within the company, maybe I am more interested in statistics, or if I like baseball statistics, or whatever it is, I think it’s opening up the door to different possibilities that you don’t maybe you’ve only looked into baseball and didn’t realize that there’s other things you might like. And I think that that’s the problem. Sometimes people are not aligned really well with what they would be best at. And that’s why we see, you know, Gallup saying we were losing 500 billion a year in last engagements. That’s because a lot of people might be doing things that aren’t exactly what they would be the best at. And as we’re getting technology replacing us in certain positions. This is the time to find out what would people like to do? What are they interested in doing and how can they best be utilized in our company I’ve interviewed at leaders like peregrines olan, Oda COVID told me that he hires people he could tell that there’s something that they would be great at, but he can’t tell till he starts having them go around the companies see what they’re really good at. And then he designs jobs around them, and what their their key competencies are. So I think that there’s going to be a new way of looking at what people do at work and how we can best utilize them.

Will Bachman 09:30
So it sounds like one way of thinking about curiosity is you know, how interested are people and finding out new ways of doing things you know, protect, specifically at work, more efficient ways, more innovative ways. To what degree is your measurement and definition of curiosity? Is that very much kind of correlated with the Carol Dweck concept of closed versus open mindset. So that it’s, you know, kind of largely, or you know, to some degree saying the same thing, or is it almost orthogonal to that? And, and not correlated? So to what To what degree? is it like? Similar, similar or different than then curled wax? kind of framework?

Diane Hamilton 10:17
Well, you know, I use Carol Dweck work, I used Simon cynics work, I use Dan Pink’s working, I’d looked at all the different top researchers, I think it’s tied in in the open. You know, if you have a growth mindset, that the with Carol’s work he was looking at, you know, what a lot of I felt found interesting is what we say to our kids, when they’re young, or you’re so good at that it comes naturally to you, well, then you’re not going to try as hard as if you say you work so hard at that. And I think a lot of that is that environmental influence that I talked about, of how people around us can impact us. What’s different about my work is not just identifying it so much is creating an action plan to overcome now that we’re in the situation where we’ve had our mindset influence, what can we do to improve it? If you look at some of the top TED talks like Sir Ken Robinson or George land, they have some great talks about creativity, which kind of overlaps with curiosity. As far as what I’ve seen, and what Francesca Gino seen at Harvard, what you know, even Amy Edmondson is work. With collaboration that tied into curiosity, we see that throughout time in education. In your childhood, you, I think we’re educated out of our competencies, as Ken Robinson was saying, and his talk is just you, you certain things are promoted. For we want you to do more math, or science, maybe at a certain point. And when you get into higher education, nobody’s really looking at the creative kind of outlets as much. And I think, you know, we’re gonna see more of that if we get into a certificate based education system where we’re getting rid of the glue, the humanities, that social, the soft skills, and the things that kind of holds it all together. So there’s a lot of things that impact whether we have that fixed or growth mindset that can be environmental, and vary in so many ways. And so it definitely ties into Carol’s work. It ties into all of these people. I’ve had all a lot of those people on my show, Francesca Gino and Amy Edmondson, you know, Daniel Goleman, talking about how it ties into emotional intelligence. I mean, you name it, I’ve interviewed just about everybody who, you know, you could talk to even Albert Bandura, you know, the cognitive behavioral specialist, of course, if I’m a psychologist, so, you know, as I talk to them, we talk about what comes first. And I think what’s really interesting to me, is what comes first and I talk about like creativity, all the things that companies are trying to fix innovation, engagement, and everybody else say curiosity comes first. And so what I look at it, here’s how I see it is say, say, say you wanted to bake a cake. And you have the ingredients and you want it you’re out your your end product is cake, and you have the ingredients of eggs and flour and oil or whatever you’re mixing together, you put it in a pan, you put it in the oven, and you hope to get cake. But if you don’t turn on the oven, you get good, you don’t get cake, right. So in the workplace, if our end product is curiosity is what we, you know, we don’t recognize is the spark is the turning on the oven. So we’re mixing together our ingredients of creativity, innovation, engagement. And we’re hoping for, you know, productivity and increased, you know, income for the company. But we’re not turning on the oven of curiosity, which is the spark, so nobody’s getting what they’re hoping for. So as we talk about all these different researchers and what they’re trying to create, we have to look at this from a really basic standpoint of what’s the spark? And to me, it’s curiosity. And just everybody who’s been on my show who researches all this a great,

Will Bachman 14:08
yeah. So right now, I’m wondering, and I imagine some of the listeners are wondering, okay, well, you know, how, where do I fall? Like, how curious Am I currently? What what are some questions that you would have us think about to you know, what, I know that in your book, you have a much more detailed assessment, what what, what sort of rapid fire assessment here have some questions for people to think about? Well, relatively, like how curious Am I Where do I fall on the scale?

Diane Hamilton 14:37
Well, again, it’s not so much how curious are you? It’s what kinds of things hold you back. And in the book, the book is kind of a companion to the Curiosity code index. So you can learn about curiosity, and the basics behind fate fit as we talked about in the book, but they would take the Curiosity code index, to find out the actual things that hold them back and So those kinds of questions are just kind of the things we’re talking about here. Do you? Do you hesitate to ask questions and meetings? If you don’t? Do you sometimes feel like you’re the only one that has a question. So you don’t ask it? Do you tell yourself that this might not be interesting to you? Because you didn’t really like it. When you were young? Do you tell yourself that it’s just you just learned the last version of the software? You don’t want to have to learn the next one? Because it’s too much trouble? Or do you? Did your family say you should always go into a family business? Or did your siblings maybe make fun of your interest because it wasn’t the same as what they were interested in? There’s a lot of those kinds of questions you can ask yourself. And it’s a really fun process to go through taking the assessment just because it’s so different than anything else. And I know you have consultants who listen to this, and I have a lot of consultants. So I trained because I get people certified to give the CCI just like you would be certified to give an emotional intelligence test or disc or that type of thing. And what we do in the process is you’d learn about not that you know, the value of curiosity, how these assessments can help organizations and individuals to overcome these factors that are so critical for their productivity, but they would they also get five hours of Sherm recertification credit when they go through the training. So it’s a really insightful experience to go through it. But I think, you know, if you don’t take the assessment, you’re just wanting to know, those are the kinds of things that the assessment addresses. So you can really kind of go through a personal SWOT analysis, as you look at these results. And think of you know, how can I create an action plan for overcoming these things by making it you know, measurable goals that that smart goals where I can just have a plan, almost kind of like what you do with an engagement survey, where it’s just in your your plan to create ways to open your eyes to new ways of doing things and not be doing it in the status quo way. Because we know that companies really do things very much status quo. That’s what has held up a lot of great innovative ideas. And I often start up a couple of my different talks I give with a thought experiment. I don’t know if you’ve seen this on National Geographic, or some of the other shows that have showed this. But there’s a thought experiment where a woman went into a doctor’s office thinking she’s getting her eyes examined. And in reality, it’s an experiment to see how people go along with status quo thinking. And instead of being in the doctor’s office with regular patients, she’s got everybody around her are actors, but she doesn’t know this. And every few minutes, a bell rings. And as When the bell rings, everybody around her stand up and sit down without any explanation at all. And she just kind of looks at them, like not knowing why they’re doing this. But by the third time she does, they do that when they stand up and sit down for the bell. She gets up and sits down with them. Because it’s it’s just social norm for her at this point that everybody else is doing it. Well, I guess I’m supposed to do it. And so she did. She just gets up and sits down. And they found it really interesting that people will go around, I go along with status quo thinking. So they thought, well, let’s take everybody out of the room and see what she does by herself. So they called everybody back one at a time as if they’re getting their eyes examine and ventually. She’s alone. And they ring the bell. And she still stood up and sat down every time the bell rang. So they thought, well, let’s add actual patients to the room to see what she’ll do. And as they did that people are sitting next to her, she stands up and sits down and the guy next to her, asked her, you know why? Why did you do that? And she goes, Well, everybody else was doing it. I thought it was supposed to. So when the bell rings, the next time, he does the same thing. And everybody does the same thing. And that’s social learning. And that’s kind of what we’re doing at work. We’re doing the same thing. We’re standing up and sitting down to a bell, we there’s a rule, we don’t even know what it was originally or why. And we’re all doing that. And that’s what I’m trying to get people out of.

Will Bachman 19:20
Yeah. Walk us through some of the ways let’s say we want to know okay, I’m convinced I want to increase my level of curiosity and an attack some of these barriers that are holding my curiosity back. Let’s walk through each one of the FA t. So fear How can I kind of reduce, reuse the degree to which fear is holding me back my curiosity?

Diane Hamilton 19:44
Well, I think it’s really important to recognize what you fear, is it failure? Is it embarrassment? Is it that loss of control, has somebody in the past said something to I had a boss asked me to do something and I said sure. I’d be happy to do that. I’ve never done that. How do I do that? He looked at me and he said, Well, I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear that. So what does that do? That tells me, you know, next time I better lie and pretend I know something, you know, don’t say anything because he’s, he, he’s gonna shut me down. People get a lot of that stuff at work, you hear that? Don’t come to me with problems unless you have solutions, which sounded good, like you were going to get rid of whiners. But sometimes people recognize problems, but they don’t have the skills to give you the solutions. So I think you need to recognize list some of the things that kept you from asking questions in a meeting, in just in general at work, what keeps you from exploring new things, and create, as I said, kind of a personal SWOT of ways to overcome those threats and, and develop opportunities of learning new things. Sometimes you might fear asking a question that they’re going to shut you down. And so I think it helps even for leaders, you know, at this point, they don’t want to look dumb either, right, everybody’s got that fear. So just, you know, prefacing what you’re going to say to somebody the next time, I know normally, I wouldn’t ask this question, but I’m trying to develop my level of curiosity. So if everybody understand already knows the answer to this, I apologize, or whatever you can say something to soften it. But hey, I’d like to know the answer to and then ask a question you would normally ask and, and start small, you know, you don’t have to ask a huge question. It could be something that you feel comfortable doing. Sometimes it’s just, you know, presenting something at meetings that you normally wouldn’t have presented, one of the best ways to get a sense of confidence is to teach something, and because you learn it to such an extent. So if there’s something you fear, looking dumb, presenting, just kind of create a little background of research in your mind, you can create your own presentation of ideas you’d like to talk about in meetings. And that’ll help give you the foundation that a lot of the fear is that you don’t know things. And so researching things that that make you feel intimidated can help you with that. So that’s one of the things you can do for fear. assumptions. When if you think about assumptions, it’s like,

in front of an audience, and I’ll hold up a glass of water. And I’ll say, you know, How heavy is this water, and sometimes they’ll yell out eight ounces, six ounces, or whatever, they yell, right. And what I say is, it really doesn’t matter. It’s how long I hold it. And because if I hold it for a minute, it doesn’t bother me. If I hold it for an hour, my arm starts to get tired. And if I hold it for a day, well, my arm feels paralyzed. Well, it’s very similar when you’re talking about the our thoughts, you know, you hold on to something for a minute, that fleeting doesn’t bother you, you hold on it for a little longer, it starts to, to nag at you, and you hold on it too long, eventually, you know, it paralyzes you. So I think that that’s why we have this, like disinterest in things is apathy, finding things unnecessary. So if, if there’s things at work that you haven’t explored, think about what you tell yourself, why don’t I want to maybe have that job? Do I think I won’t be good enough at it? Do I think that it’s too hard? Do I think they’re not gonna they’re gonna give me work and not pay me for whatever it is, think of the things you tell yourself of why you don’t explore different areas at work, a lot of it is just us telling ourselves that if we can’t do it, it’s too hard. We tried it in the past, or no one will help us. And then you have to come up with a plan for how to overcome those things. Well, maybe you get a mentor, maybe you get somebody to support you, you know, and and so those are the kinds of things you can work on for assumptions. For technology. It’s it’s a lot of it. Like I said, you know, it does it for you, you’re not trained, you’re overwhelmed, you’re overwhelmed by it. But I think you know, we could have some of the best math minds in the world, but they wouldn’t know they were if we just hand them a calculator and don’t tell them how to do the math behind it. Right. So some of us have over relied on technology so much that we don’t know how good we could be at it. And some of us are just too overwhelmed by it to even try it. And that we could be really doing great things with it if we did. So what we need to do is have low tech days and high tech days where we catch up and we learn, you know, on the high tech days, and low tech days, we learn how to do things without it just to see, we know what What don’t we know that we could No, that’s foundational. So I think that’s what I found very interesting about technology, and environment. environment. As we talked about Carol Dweck ‘s work a lot of that is environmental kind of things, you know, a lot of what we grew up with, with people what they said to us what, how they created this fixed or growth mindset. And if we don’t recognize the impact that others have on us, that’s that’s real big problem. So we have to look at why, you know, we’re not exploring our curiosity based on our relationships. What did your family say to you that maybe held you back? What would have your you know, your boss or your last boss, you see me You don’t even know if you’re a leader, if it’s their last boss that maybe said that the things that are holding them back. So I think that, you know, as, as you go along, and you have friends and people around you, you kind of want to be not, you don’t want to be the difficult one who doesn’t want to do things. So you tend to go along with the crowd, even social media, you post something and people don’t like it, what do you do? You take it down, right? You don’t, you don’t want to be the one who’s got the thing that nobody thinks is great. And we’re getting to be that society where there’s so much social pressure. So I think these are all really important things to go through one by one, and create ways to overcome them. I’ve also created a free course, if you go to develop curiosity comm you can go through a lot of this stuff, I have a lot of the videos, a lot of the chapters from the book, and a lot of the book is cracking the Curiosity code, but you can get a lot of the content on develop curiosity.com to kind of get you through the thought process of how all of these things tie together. And just the background or curiosity in general to help you explore it in more depth.

Will Bachman 26:26
Let’s let’s take a sort of a made up with practical example. Let’s say that a 23 year old is hired at a midsize company with maybe 100 employees in an assistant marketing manager role. Right? right out of college. And you know, there’s the sales group, there’s the operations production group that right, you know, the office is right there at the factory. And maybe even more so in a larger company, but but even in this company, typically that person expected to come in and kind of interact with their immediate boss, and maybe the other people in the marketing department, but it would, it would just feel like really odd to most people at that company, or most people in general, for that person to come in as like a junior person and say, I want to just understand everything about how this company works. And to, you know, grab time with the, you know, accounts payable clerk at lunch and say, Hey, I know I’m in marketing, but I really want to understand how does accounts payable work? Like? How do you get the bills? How do you put them in QuickBooks? How do you pay them and and then work with the production manager? Could you walk me through the factory, I’d really like to understand how our products are made. And talk to the r&d person, hey, how our products used, I would just want understand everything about it. People would say, Hey, you know, you’re out of place, like, what are you doing trying to, you know, run around the whole company, just do your job focus on that. Right? I mean, that would just feel very odd to most people, for someone to come in and start, like going around, it’s going to the salesperson, like Tell me about your you know, all of our customers and how do you talk to them? How, but then that might be so valuable for the company, if someone actually did that, to look into end on processes and say, Wow, you know, now that I understand cash to, you know, order to cash and all these processes end to end, there’s some big opportunities. So what would you How would you would advise a company, like our soap company here to do to make that more of a norm and not some oddball thing to do?

Diane Hamilton 28:41
Well, as you know, if when you’re dealing with companies, culture starts at the top, I mean, you really have leaders who encourage or discourage certain behaviors at work. So a lot of the companies I’m talking about it comes very high up in the company that we want you to do this kind of thing. We want mentorship, we want cross training, we want certain things where people are don’t feel odd. And I think a lot of that is the and this question comes up a lot is if What if the leaders don’t buy in and the company’s got this really close culture, you’re gonna have some companies where you’re just not going to be able to do it because of that. The, you’re under the thumb of a certain kind of leader. And that’s a point where a lot of people decide, well, is this the right company for me if I want to grow and become something better, but you know, most I mostly what I find is people appreciate that, that if you you know, of course you present it, like I’m looking for mentoring opportunities, I’d like to do more, you know, to to expand my role on the company, and you talk to your leader about this, you know, I’ve learned that curiosity ties into the overall success of the company. And so this is what’s in it for you if I can be more well rounded, you know, maybe I can help in different situations and I think it’s it comes in with discussing this with your leader of why you’re doing this, and what opportunities you’d like to see. And you’re going to have some companies where, where they will be like that they will shut you down, they’re gonna have a difficult culture, and that might not be a good fit. But I think what I’ve been finding is that a lot of people are much more open to this they’re seeing, especially with COVID, we’re seeing that you might have to learn to do things in different ways. And no, they’re all recognizing that you have to be curious and collaborate and work in a community of different settings than you’ve ever had to work in, in the past. So I think it’s, it’s being humble about how you go about it and not demanding is is critical, you know, you’d no entitled kind of attitude that I’m, you know, allowed to spend bedtime wasting your day. But I think it’s, it’s the, hey, I’d like to learn a little bit more kind of mentality where you’ll you’ll have people open up to you, especially if your leader backs you.

Will Bachman 31:07
What are some of the, could you go back to some of the clients that you’ve served on these kind of curiosity enhancing projects, and talk about some of the initiatives or action plans that you help companies develop?

Diane Hamilton 31:26
Well, it’s some of the things we’re talking about. You know, as I mentioned, with Novartis, they have 100 hours of training at different things that they pay for, I think we know a lot of them are starting to do many events where employees can present information, at meetings or at like little mini TEDx events I’ve seen them do, I think that that can be critical, I think I’ve seen a lot of small training bits and pieces that companies have made to develop different areas where people can, can learn in bite size videos, and not really long, super boring training videos. But like, little bite sized kind of content has been really helpful. One of the things I think is written most helpful when I do these training, courses within companies is the first part of the training that, you know, I do with consultants as well, you know, when they learn how to become certified, is, you know, you first go through going through the CCI, the Curiosity code index, and go through all of their, their different issues, and everybody creates their action plans to move forward. But then the second half of the training involves creating an action plan for leadership, to help them come up with ideas, like these kinds of things, to improve curiosity and tie into all their their pain points. So if they’re having problems with maybe collaboration, or teamwork, or, or critical thinking and innovation, or whatever their top hot buttons are, we go through and have everybody within the training course, come up with different ideas that leaders can do to help them become more curious and help those as end issues and the outcomes. So what I think is really kind of critical is that companies like Disney did that they had, for example, they had high turnover in their laundry division. And of course, who wants to work in the laundry division doesn’t sound that great, right? And you’re thinking, Well, what can you do about it? Maybe, but what they did was they went to their employees, and they said, Well, how can we make your job better? And what they found, which was really interesting, because you would think you know, that it’s not going to be anything you can do much about, but really, people make gave him back some wonderful ideas of things that they could do. Maybe put an air conditioning vent over my station, so I get some air while I’m working on this or create a table that goes up and down to my back doesn’t hurt. And as you think about these things, that they really are doable things. And when we come up with some of these ideas, I think a lot of leaders hadn’t thought of these ideas, right? So you go to the horse’s mouth, and you’re, you know, with employees, and you’re getting like real world usable things that that are implementable. And so that’s what we’re doing. And I think with Disney, they lowered they had turnover at 85% and went to 10% and they saved over $100,000 just from doing that annually. Okay, so I think that that’s the kind of thing that if leaders actually recognize the value of going to employees and finding out what would help if critical thinking is it maybe you might suggest that I create some kind of a presentation to give and weekly events where I learned things that I normally wouldn’t have learned. And I share it with everybody else, that something that everybody needs to know, there’s different little activities that people have come up with that have been really fascinating, based on what the overall goal is of the organization. So when they create this report that the consultant or the HR professional, or me, or whoever, you know, whoever or if I’m doing I should say, I, we, we get this report, we combine what everybody says. So it’s, you know, anonymous, but leaders get right from the horse’s mouth, just like Disney did the feedback. And hey, this is how we can help improve our savings. And this is how we can make people more engaged or, or productive. And so that’s what that’s what I think they really getting from this.

Will Bachman 35:49
I wonder if there’s almost a tension behind between curiosity, at least this way, I kind of think about curiosity, and very kind of goal oriented and goal oriented goal orientation. So to me, curiosity is almost defined by the idea that it some degree, it has something to do with play, and it has something to do with being interested in something kind of for its own sake, just to figure it out. And so being interested in like, just learning about new tools, because they’re, they’re kind of just interesting, or learning about some subject matter, that you don’t know anything about reading books on topics that you don’t know much about, or, you know, wanting to travel to places to experience something new. And it seems that kind of a focused objective of Okay, how do we reduce the turnover in the laundry department? That seems like almost a more kind of traditional management, consulting, problem solving exercise, where as part of the curiosity, this way I had thought about it is almost the serendipitous nature of it, you’re you’re you’re going almost on an adventure, where you don’t really even know what the potential payoffs would be, and you’re doing it for its own sake. Would you agree that there’s some sort of tension between those two definitions? Or where am I kind of not using the same curiosity definition as you are?

Diane Hamilton 37:29
Well, I think that there’s a lot of aspects to curiosity. So you’re right, I think that you know, there is kind of fun, aimless curiosity to get to the bottom of Candy Crush. But there’s also the curiosity of learning everything about one particular subject, there’s also it’s such a broad term, that’s why I tie it into more getting out of status quo, thinking at work, and getting into getting people out of just this comfort zone of what they think is a comfort zone of just avoidance of things. And I think that I didn’t have it be overall curiosity, outside of work, including, like, let’s learn more about sports, let’s learn more about, you know, how to make origami or whatever it is, you know, I think that stuff’s all great. But my focus was on the business world of how we can make the workplace be much more collaborative, more interesting. People can cross over and do different things. And we’re not, we’re, you know, everybody’s trying to be more innovative. And it’s, it’s the kind of thing that it’s great to read the newspaper and read a different section and become curious about different things. And I want to do both aspects of that, because that could maybe open up the world for new ideas that you hadn’t considered to present at work, because the more you know about different things, the problem is, you know, we want to avoid that siloed kind of thinking. And in my book, I wrote about a hospital in London, where they were having problems transferring people from after surgery to the ICU. And today we’re having people die because they weren’t doing it efficiently. And they kept trying the old tried and true ways of doing things. And they go through everything and their checklists of what’s worked in the past, and it just couldn’t make anything get better. And so the the executives are watching a Formula One racecar event one night, and they look at this Ferrari team, take apart the car, put it back together and seven seconds without like any problems at all. And they’re thinking, well, how can they do that, and we can’t just move a page from here to here. And so they actually hired them to come the racecar team to come to the hospital to watch their procedures to give them some input. So they reduced their turnover issues dramatically. I mean, when the people dying is a trend, transferring them from one area to the X to the next, just because they’re getting some fresh eyes outside the box. Thinking and that’s what I’m trying to get across with this curiosity just get outside of your cubicle get outside of your, your silo get outside of just that one way of doing things. And why aren’t we doing it this way? Well, you know, asking questions, I had Zander Lurie, on my show, who’s the CEO of survey monkey. I mean, they change their address at their company to like one curiosity way or something like that. Because everything they do is about asking questions and exploring, they have skipped level meetings. I mean, you don’t always have to only talk to your boss, maybe talking to somebody else. And getting it in these different ways of doing things is what I’m my curiosity focus is it’s it’s much more about being interested in lots of different ways of doing things in lots of different settings, not just at work, of course, but it’s not just can I learn a new sport? Or can I learn a different hobby, I mean, that stuff’s great, it makes you more well rounded. But I think in the workplace, my goal is to get people to think of new innovative ways of doing things.

Will Bachman 41:05
Yeah, I love that. And I can imagine that, you know, putting some structures in place that kind of help drive that and get people out of their routine can be so important. So at a company, it might be something like setting some expectation, like, hey, once a week, you’re required to have lunch with someone from a different department that you haven’t met before. Right, or, you know, as an individual, I found that, you know, starting some kind of content creation vehicle, I mean, we both have shows, like, you know, having a podcast, where it’s a guest format, like drives you to go and meet someone new and have a discussion. And if you have like that regular slot, you know, it kind of forced it into your schedule. I’d like to turn a little bit and hear about your, about the, the Diane Hamilton production function. So you have so much going on, you have this radio show, you are running a company, you’re writing your speaking, could you walk us through kind of a typical day or typical week? I understand that not every day is the same? But, you know, do you have some morning routines that you follow? Do you have some habits or practices that you’ve developed over time? That, you know, kind of intentionally would love to hear sort of how you manage your week? What your schedule? Well,

Diane Hamilton 42:30
you know, it’s such a strange time to answer that just because the COVID situation in April, I cancelled five trips alone. So you know, but I’ve always worked virtually, in so many ways that it’s not been as difficult for me as maybe some other people what’s going on now. But I have a very, I’m pretty structured kind of, in my day, just because I have so many different things, I put a lot of things into my calendar. So because it’s just so hard when you’ve got 10 different things you’re doing in terms of companies, in addition to teaching for five universities used to be 10 universities at a time, I still have, you know, a couple different companies, I run them on a bunch of board of advisors and different groups that I have meetings constantly for and then I interviewed, either, you know, a couple people days sometimes, and I’m on other shows like this one a couple times a day sometimes. So I usually I get up at like four in the morning. So I’m kind of an early riser. And I have my morning routine where I do a little of you know, mindfulness kind of stuff. I’m not really a big meditation person. But I do a little bit of that when I first wake up in the morning, and to get my day going. And I I start off and I have my my different focuses on different things. I try to get all my teaching done first thing in the morning. And so usually, when people are starting work at eight o’clock, I’ve already taught for all my universities and done all my stuff. That’s that’s education related. And then I spend my day working on these different shows and planning different things. So you know, I work with, like, after this, I will have a big interview. They’re interviewing me for something that’s a big webinar for gearheart, Shatner’s got a huge selling power magazine that he does. And so we’re doing part of a big kickoff with him for his event. Later today, I have another production that I’m working on that’s teaching people how to do podcasts and radio shows and television Media Production I’m doing with Dr. Gilda, who’s a famous person from the Sally Jessy Raphael shows and different things. So I’m working on that later today. I mean, every day is so unique because I do so many different things, the things that are kind of everyday things or the teaching and the radio shows pretty much happen all the time. Whether I’m traveling or speaking those those vary like for Novartis is curiosity month we’re doing a teaser video that you know, got a plan doing things like that, and then I’ve got big speech I’m giving them coming up. So it’s just every day is unique. That’s what makes this so much fun. Because every day is is a new experience, but I do, I am structured in the fact that my calendar, I have like every hour, you know, I make sure everything’s on the calendar so that I don’t miss things or, you know, overlap at all. Yeah,

Will Bachman 45:25
walk us through that, that just that morning routine, like, you know, you wake up at four, what does your morning look like between four and 8am? sort of almost minute by minute, I’d love to hear Oh, do you have coffee? Do you tea? Do you like how long do you do the meditation? exercise? Do you know do you write your to do list like what’s what’s that morning look like?

Diane Hamilton 45:44
Well, my exercise a lot of times is later in the day when I’m talking on the phone to people that who know me and that don’t mind that I’m on the bike while I’m talking to multitask my exercise. I have an indoor kind of gym here in my house. So I usually do an hour of exercise later in the day, and later morning, usually. But my first thing I actually my husband and I have a routine, he he shaves while I’m in the bathtub, and I talked to him and I he, you know, we have our talk of the day of what’s going to happen. He gets to take his shower. And while he takes his shower, I turn on my meditation. I do the calm app, and I listened to the guided meditations on that for you know, 1015 minutes while I relax. And then I get up and I go and I grade some of my courses for the different universities and answer email and then I eat breakfast about 530 and then I get back to it. My day really starts full blown around six after breakfast, I would say and I drink I hate to say it, I drink a couple diet cokes, which are bad for me. But I’m really healthy other than that. I’m trying to give up. Because I copy I get to buzz I can’t drink. It makes me too buzzy. But that’s kind of my day. As far as the morning I go through all my emails and respond to everything. First thing because I don’t want anybody to wait. I’m one of those people that if you email me, if you haven’t heard from me in 24 hours, I’m probably dead because I don’t want I don’t want anybody to have to wait.

Will Bachman 47:23
And do set aside. And I’m curious, do you do anything? Or what do you do? intentionally to kind of incorporate curiosity into your day? Do you set aside time to, you know, read something outside your field? or listen to a new podcast? or walk somewhere different? Or, you know, do you? Do you structure anything to intentionally get some serendipity and curiosity in your day?

Diane Hamilton 47:51
I always do. Yeah, I always create something that well, first of all, in the paper in the morning, I tried to read an article I would never read, I read the Wall Street Journal every day. And then I’ve tried to read outside source, I randomly pick things on my iPad to read that I normally wouldn’t read. I tried to do a lot of different courses, I take a lot of like right now I’m developing courses, massive, open online courses in in Europe and different things like that. That’s another thing I work on a lot. These courses I create. But so but I learned a lot about how to do things that I don’t know how to do. So when I had to do factor analysis, I would take courses on learning factor analysis, or if right now I’m trying to develop a web page for a course I’m having to learn all kinds of things about web page, how to incorporate different things that normally my web page people would do, because I don’t like to rely on other people. So I’ll learn how to incorporate different plugins in WordPress, and teach myself different things that could be useful in case I need them later. And then a lot of times I find out I really like to learn those kinds of things. And then you don’t maybe need so many people to help you do things at once you know how to do that. So I try to find the things that I have to hire people to help me do and I try to learn them for myself to see if I would be better doing it myself or outsourcing them. So I I factor in different things that maybe I’ve never liked in the past. I’m not a huge history buff. So I read more about history now and then to be more up on things that I thought I didn’t like as a kid. And I find that I like it better as I get older. And I think a lot of it is, you know, you tell yourself whoever taught you didn’t make it too interesting. And maybe now it’s interesting to me as I’ve gotten older. So I think I try to incorporate the things that I’m not great at. I try to keep up with maybe sports, things that I normally wouldn’t because I have people on my show who are you know, from the sports world. So that’s one of the things that kind of forces me to learn new things is having a radio show because Cuz I have people on every day I might be talking about taxes in Europe one minute and then Bitcoin the next minute, and then you don’t I mean, things I wouldn’t know a whole lot about. So I think it’s kind of fun to force yourself in a way to learn different things, because you’d be become much more interesting at cocktail parties, that’s for sure. But it also opens up

Will Bachman 50:20
a world of opportunity. That is incredible. Diane, I know we’re out of time, what is the best place for people to find you, either on Twitter online website, what’s the best place for people to find out more about your work?

Diane Hamilton 50:35
Well, you can find everything at Dr. Diane Hamilton calm and that’s just Dr. Di ANEHMI lT o n calm. I’m at Dr. Diane Hamilton on all the social media sites, and social media, I mean, everywhere. But on my website, you can get to the Curiosity code, index, as well as cracking the Curiosity code book there. But I also have a new book coming out the power of perception and the perception power index is already available on the website as well. If they’re consultants, and they want to become certified, they can become certified. It’s asynchronous, it’s just a half day course they can get that everything’s, if they can go to the Curiosity information on my site, they can actually just go to curiosity code calm as well. But if they want a free course, developing curiosity and learn more about it, they can develop curiosity.com. So there, everything’s there, though, on my website, if you just go to Dr. Diane Hamilton calm and if it’s not at the top menus, you can scroll down to the bottom and find out more resources there. And it’s all easy to find.

Will Bachman 51:36
We will include those links in the show notes. Thank you, Diane, thank you so much for joining today.

Diane Hamilton 51:43
Oh, well. This was so much fun. I love that you have curiosity is your main thing that you list on LinkedIn and I was very excited to talk to you and your audience.

Related Episodes


AI Project Case Study

Paul Gaspar


AI Project Case Study

Astrid Malval-Beharry


AI Project Case Study

Julie Noonan


AI Project Case Study

Markus Starke