Our State of Curiosity
Is Curiosity in our DNA?
Since 2016, our Curiosity Initiative has communicated the benefits of increased workplace curiosity. But, are we (as a company) really curious? And, more importantly, how are we doing, when comparing our curiosity with employees from other companies. We invited our colleagues in 23 countries to share thoughts on curiosity’s role in the workplace. Explore the fascinating results and learn more about our commitment to curiosity in a foreword from our Former Executive Board Chairman and CEO, Stefan Oschmann.
Our 2020 State of Curiosity Report is a continuation of research carried out in a 2018 global study – which posed the same questions to 3,004 respondents in the US, Germany, and China. Respondents of the 2018 study came from five different sectors (Healthcare, Public Administration, Scientific R&D, Technology and Manufacturing), and were not associated with our company.
“Cultivating curiosity and creating an innovation-friendly environment are essential for the discovery of ground-breaking inventions that address the most pressing needs of our society.”
We believe that curiosity is key to driving scientific exploration – and, ultimately, the innovations that address society’s current and future needs. This is why we continually seek answers to an important question: What is key to driving a culture of curiosity?
Explore the top insights from our study...
We the Curious!
Curious minds dedicated to human progress, our employees are a whopping 13.7% more curious than those not employed at the company.
Big on Innovation
Our highly curious colleagues also scored well on innovation questions – indicating a direct link between the topic and curiosity.
Culture of Curiosity
Our colleagues across the globe show no significant differences in curiosity – testament to the company’s culture, overcoming cultural differences in the areas of curiosity and working styles.
Our highly curious colleagues scored well on digitalization questions – suggesting a direct, positive link between the topic and curiosity.
Coming of Age
Among our highly curious employee groups, there are fewer colleagues under the age of 25. This may be because they are still adjusting to new positions and corporate environments.
Make it Yours!
A reflection of our curious work environment, colleagues see project ownership and autonomy as key enhancers of curiosity in the workplace.
A Belief in Curiosity
Compared with those not employed at the company, our colleagues think curiosity plays a more important role in tackling global challenges (climate change, world hunger, cancer, access to clean water, and infertility). They more appreciate the value curiosity offers in addressing global issues.
Attracting the Curious
From our most curious employees, there were more highly curious among those who have recently joined the company. This might be because a new environment stimulates curiosity more.
Our world is changing. Every day, we are faced with new challenges and presented with new opportunities. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our globalized world has been challenged by the most significant public health threat of our time. We have seen how crucial innovation is to tackle this crisis effectively. And how important it is that we collaborate both globally and locally to find and deliver such solutions.
Since our founding, everything we do has been fueled by a belief in science and technology as forces for good. A belief that has driven our success since 1668 and that – sparked by scientific curiosity – will continue to be our greatest source of motivation.
With this is mind, we are committed to ensuring that our people are best equipped to innovate. As a result, our quest to understand, measure and assess curiosity across different markets and workplaces (see our previous State of Curiosity Reports – 2016, 2018) has also evolved. In 2020, we conducted a survey among our own employees to better understand our culture of curiosity and its impact on our ability to drive innovation. The more we know, the more we can fuel our innovative strength in a sustainable way. And as we scout for and seize new growth opportunities, we will continue to develop and share strategies such as the ones highlighted in this report, to help our people (re-)discover and leverage their curiosity.
Our 2020 State of Curiosity Report highlights our unique, collective curiosity, our continued efforts to enhance this essential asset, as well as the innovations, the “fruits”, developed by our curious people. Through our efforts and learnings, we hope to set an example for the many innovative organizations around the world seeking to address global challenges. I am very proud of the work we do every day. Breakthrough innovations begin with curiosity, and we are curious minds dedicated to human progress.
Stefan Oschmann, Former Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO
Worlds of Curiosity
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How Curious are You?
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2018 Curiosity Report
Employees from different business sectors in Germany, China, and the USA describe barriers and enhancers to workplace curiosity…Curious?