Curiosity may have killed the cat, but a growing number of researchers are recognizing that, in organizations of all sizes, instilling a culture of curiosity may be just what is needed to invigorate the business and drive growth. In the first of a four-part series on the benefits of cultivating a culture of curiosity, today's edition of Promotional Consultant Today uncovers the traits that define curious employees and leaders.

In the Fast Company article "8 Habits of Curious People," Hal Gregerson, founder of the 4-24 Project, notes that for adults "Answers are more valued than inquisitive thought, and curiosity is trained out of us." He explains that we are born curious, but in school we are rewarded for answering a barrage of the teacher's questions in a matter of seconds each. And most of us never un-train ourselves and rediscover the benefits of curiosity.

What do those who have rekindled curiosity look like? In his Leader's Beacon post, "5 Traits of Curious Leaders," leadership author and speaker Doug Dickerson attributes these characteristics to those who have cultivated their curiosity:

They have an unquenchable appetite to learn. Employees and leaders who are curious are constantly learning all they can about their product, customers, competition and the future of the industry. They aren't satisfied with just what they already know.

They are not afraid to take risks. Curious employees and leaders don't just imagine things in a new way, they seek to step out and try what is new. If they fail, they are ready to get back up and keep trying.

They are explorers. Curious employees and leaders find the exploration along the way as exciting as the reward. They are the ones who look to discover new paths and open new doors.

They often walk alone. Curious employees and leaders don't like to sit still and their desire to constantly question the status quo and keep moving forward can be misunderstood by others in the organization.

They cast the vision. Curious employees and leaders are the ones who envision what can be because they often have been imagining, learning and living the vision in front of others.

In tomorrow's edition of Promotional Consultant Today we will explore the benefits of having curious employees and leaders in your organization.

Source: Doug Dickerson is an internationally recognized leadership author, columnist and speaker. He contributes to the Las Vegas Tribune, Executive Secretary Magazine, BizCatalyst360 and the Daniel Island News (South Carolina) just to name a few.