- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, starts Curiosity Lab Partnershipprogram
- Goal is to prove one can increase curiosity
Darmstadt, Germany, May 31, 2017 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced the start of an experiment entitled “Anyone can become more curious”. Driven by the company’s curiosity initiative, which measured and described curiosity in detail in various countries such as the United States, China and Germany – the question now is if and how one can increase curiosity so as to ultimately lead to more or better science-driven behavior. The experiment is set to last six months and altogether involves three teams from the management consultancy Porsche Consulting GmbH, Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany, the prestigious research institution Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
“Curiosity is our driving force and we now seek to empirically demonstrate that anyone can increase their own level of curiosity,” said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “We are convinced that along with optimism and confidence, curiosity can help find solutions to many of the greatest challenges facing mankind.”
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is partnering with teams from Porsche Consulting and the Weizmann Institute of Science to field-test evidence-based organizational practices, created to enhance all four dimensions of curiosity: inquisitiveness, creativity in problem solving, openness to other ideas, and distress tolerance, within the participating partner teams. The Curiosity Lab Partnership program is designed to show the impact curiosity has on meaningful business outcomes.
“We’re living in a time of revolutionary business where curiosity is not a choice, but critical to business success. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has given us a path forward, we are curious to participate and of course and to learn the results of this experiment,” is how Claus Lintz, Partner at Porsche Consulting explained why his team of consultants for the aerospace industry is participating in the six-month experiment.
The three teams of up to 15 people each are working in completely different areas. The Porsche Consulting team is active on a client project in Australia, while the participating Weizmann Institute team is focused on safety in the working place at the Weizmann Institute in Israel
“Curiosity is the lifeblood of the Weizmann Institute of Science. We create trends, we don’t follow trends. The path forward to become more curious is set. The return on investment is clear: more curiosity, more trendsetting,” said Paz Barnett, Assistant to the Vice President for Administration and Finance, Weizmann Institute of Science, and head of the second participating team.
Lastly, the third team recruited for the curiosity experiment is working at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in research and development of LED (light-emitting diode) lighting.
A curious organization is an innovative, productive, and successful organization that can better differentiate itself from its competitors. “I am convinced the Curiosity Lab Partnership program can lead to game-changing ideas that will differentiate a business in a competitive environment,” said Ingo Köhler, Head of Research and Development Lighting within the Performance Materials business sector at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Köhler heads the team of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in the Curiosity Lab Partnership program.
During and after the six-month period, data will be collected in all three teams and analyzed to understand changes in employee curiosity, employer support for curiosity, and the innovation environment. This quantitative data, combined with the qualitative data collected at monthly check-ins, will eventually support the hypothesis that one can increase the level of curiosity in the participating teams.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will monitor the progress of this experiment during the six months and will report the outcome after a thorough analysis of the collected data. During the experiment, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will regularly update curiosity.emdgroup.com with approaches from the Curiosity Lab Partnership Program. These approaches are also meant to be used by visitors to this website and for applications designed to drive or increase the curiosity of the readers themselves.