Collaborative Innovation: What Turns It Off And What Turns It On

Collaborative Innovation: What Turns It Off And What Turns It On


I propose that curiosity is comprised of three irreducible facets that collectively produce the necessary psychobiological state to revive our natural disposition for social interaction and collaboration, and the subsequent benefits of collaborative creativity and innovation.

The three facets of curiosity are: Curiosity of Information (CFI), Curiosity for Play (CFP), and Curiosity for Meaning and Possibility (CFMP). Although these facets can be differentiated for discussion and examination, they are three aspects of a single quality, where each can be the dominating facet at a given moment, but activation of one facet can facilitate the activity of another. It is the isolation of one facet that changes the nature of its function to something other than curiosity. Seeking only information, for example, can produce stress which turns curiosity off, as described above.

•CFI is the application of curiosity to something specific. This is curiosity for what is not known, to fill a lack of knowledge, of understanding, of experience or of perception. Curiosity, though not dependent on the cortex, can be generated in response to top-down thinking. Determining what to be curious “about” becomes a cognitive, rational process.

•CFP is a wonder, an interest, a fascination in whatever is happening now. Play is utilized to enable serendipitous and unexpected emergence of learning, realization and insight. CFP is a pleasurable and playful aspect of curiosity that is often seen in children, but also in adults when the weight of responsibility for past or future is lost in the pleasure of playful exploration. Play is different from organized game-playing in that it is unregulated, undirected, and self-organizing. Information emerges from the experience.

•CFMP is the facet of curiosity that seeks something beyond the information, whether discovered (CFI) or emergent (CFP). CFMP is characterized by a sense of wonder and fascination about what is possible because of the information being revealed or the insight that spontaneously emerges. CFMP utilizes our natural creative capacities for metaphor and representation; our instinctive drive for meaning, self-reference, group-reference and innovation; our sense of wonder for what else might be possible and what might be created.


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About the Author

Richard HillRichard Hill, MA, MEd, MBMSc, is a practicing psychotherapist/counsellor, author, educator, and professional supervisor. He is acknowledged internationally as an expert in human dynamics, communications, the brain and the mind. He speaks on the topicss of neuroscience, psychosocial genomics, and the impact of curiosity on brain, behavior and well being. His recent book is with Ernest Rossi, PhD, The Practitioner’s Guide to Mirroring Hands, which describes a Client-Responsive Approach to therapy. He is Past-President of the Global Association of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies (GAINS); Patron of the Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists; and Managing Editor of The Science of Psychotherapy monthly magazine. He holds Masters degrees in Arts; Education; and Mind and Brain Sciences. His other books include, Choose Hope and How the ‘real world’ Is Driving Us Crazy!

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