Written by Cari E. Guittard, Professor of Global Management, Corporate Diplomacy, and Women’s Leadership at Hult International Business School, for the Huffington Post “What is your curiosity quotient?

When I engage my Hult business students on elements of strategic influence, I first ask them to think about those in their life who have deeply influenced them and why. When I look at my own list there is a common thread that runs through each of these individuals – irrespective of age, gender, or cultural background – those who have deeply influenced me over the course of my lifetime have high curiosity quotients. Their minds are ever hungry and they are always learning, seeking and sharing new knowledge. Perhaps this is because I myself have nurtured an insatiable curiosity from a young age. One of my nicknames growing up was ‘data’ and I wore the name proudly, absorbing weird and unusual facts, figures and insights about a seemingly endless array of topics. This hunger to acquire new knowledge continues to this day. The more I learn the more I realize there is so much more to learn, so much I don’t know about so many things. Working globally throughout my career, I’ve come to deeply value this quality in others and believe a high curiosity quotient (CQ) is an essential global management and leadership quality.

CQ as The Ultimate Tool for Global Business

In business traditionally there has been a disproportionate focus on IQ, intellectual quotients and to a lesser extent EQ, emotional quotients. Recent research however is emerging that is demonstrating the importance of CQ and Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a leading authority in personality profiling and psychometric testing, penned a brilliant blog piece this week in the Harvard Business Review detailing the merits of a hungry mind. When it comes to managing complexity, Dr. Chamorro-Prezumic argues that CQ is just as important when managing complexity in two major ways: increased tolerance for ambiguity and a higher investment over time in knowledge and expertise acquisition which leads to a nuanced, sophisticated way of thinking over time. “CQ is the ultimate tool,” he argues, “to produce simple solutions for complex problems.” And as Thomas Friedman noted in his article from last year It’s the P.Q. and C. Q as much as I.Q, “…the skill required for every decent job is rising as is the necessity of lifelong learning… those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.”

Most importantly Dr. Chamarro-Premuzic drives home the point that while “IQ is difficult to coach, EQ and CQ can be developed.” We should all seek to increase and nurture our CQ as well as celebrate those teachers, coaches, mentors and executives who inspire this development in others.

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post, “What is your curiosity quotient? Professor Cari E. Guittard is the Professor of Global Management, Corporate Diplomacy, and Women’s Leadership at Hult.

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