Stefaan van Hooydonk
Curious professionals need curious organizations to thrive
Stefaan van Hooydonk is founder of the Global Curiosity Institute and author of the bestselling book: The Workplace Curiosity Manifesto. After working initially in investment consulting and setting up executive education at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in China, Van Hooydonk held executive roles as Chief Learning Officer in fortune 200 companies (Nokia, Royal Philips, Aramco, Cognizant, Agfa, Flipkart). He has lived and worked in Belgium, France, Hong Kong, China, Finland, The Netherlands, India, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom. His last role was that of Chief Learning Officer for Cognizant, where he oversaw learning and development for over 300k associates across the globe.
Stefaan van Hooydonk researches the topic of workplace curiosity in companies. He believes that curious individuals need curious environments to thrive and that especially in times of turmoil individuals and companies need to embrace intentional curiosity. With the help of a number of diagnostics he designed, he creates insights on what drives and what enables (or prevents) individuals and organisations to show up curiously. He consults global corporations and leadership teams towards building a stronger curiosity muscle. He is a regular speaker around the world on the power of curiosity to benefit professionals, leaders, teams, and organizations.
Session Abstracts: The Power of Curiosity
1. The Power of Curiosity
Every person is born with a healthy dose of curiosity. Some people can maintain this level through adulthood, many however see their original strength diminish over time. The same happens with systems like start-ups. Early start-ups have a high predisposition to exploration, only to see that this mindset deteriorates once the company expands, focuses on efficiency, conforms to rigid standards, and finds it harder to learn from mistakes.
Curious organizations are more successful than incurious ones, especially in times of change. Not only are they constantly looking for ways to improve their current operations, but they are also constantly scanning the industrial horizon for new opportunities.
In this session, we will explore what we know about curiosity, why it is important in our professional life and our organizations, and reflect on strategies to get better at it.
2. The Power of Workplace Curiosity for Leaders
The shadow a manager casts on the team is one of the biggest drivers of productivity, engagement, and the feeling of well-being of the team. Those managers who do this well, uplift the team. Those who don't stifle it. The key to effective task management and people leadership is curiosity.
Curious leaders are good at operationalizing the present as well as securing the future. They create psychological safety for the team to thrive. Curious leaders represent a high level of cognitive, empathic, and self-reflective curiosity. They are curious about the world around them, the people they work with, and their own internal conscious and unconscious drivers. They go out of their way to engage with their team, also in times of crisis. They stretch their teams to excel in the present and embrace the future.
In this interactive session, we explore what we know about curiosity, why it is important for leaders, professionals, and teams, what the barriers are and what leaders can do to get better at intentional curiosity for themselves and the people in their care. Every participant will be invited to do a curiosity assessment and will get a report on their individual curiosity profile.
3. The power of workplace curiosity for HR/L&D
Curiosity is hot. The world as we know it is not the same anymore in the post-covid era. Leaders are asking completely new questions in the boardroom. They are rewriting the Leadership handbook. In times of change, Leaders are realising that they need to be both pursuing operational efficiency as well as embrace openness towards an unknown future. Those companies that balance both exploitation and exploration well remain competitive. Yet why is this renewed focus on exploration and curiosity so hard for companies?
Intentional Curiosity is of paramount importance in times of change. The implications of this fundamental change for HR and L&D are vast. Not only does HR/L&D need to embrace this concept within their own ranks and reinvent themselves, they also need to embark on a journey to mobilize with new learning solutions the leaders and employees in their care to get better at curiosity. Furthermore, they have the opportunity to redesign the way their organisations and professionals learn.
In this interactive session, we explore what we know about curiosity, why it is important for the workplace, what the barriers are and what HR/L&D can do to get better at intentional curiosity for themselves and the people in their care.
Feedback and endorsements Keynotes
“Super thanks for a truly inspiring, enriching, and thought-provoking session!”
VP, Customer Experience and Insights @ Executive Networks
Founder and Managing Director @ Innostrat Technologies
“Dear Stefaan, I have just viewed the recorded version of the session about Curiosity. I was overwhelmed by its color and preciseness. Many of the aspects that were brought forward are on our agenda, and the research you presented gives us confidence that we are on the right track. Also, the simplicity you used in describing forces, behaviors, etc. really appealed to me. And the Individual/Team/Organization perspectives align well with the way we understand Lifelong learning in the company context. This session is really valuable for us. Thank you so much for making the effort!”
Head of Learning Expertise @ Volvo Group University
"Stefaan has proven an excellent speaker choice at the events I chair. He is clearly deeply knowledgeable about workplace curiosity and is able to share his expertise in an engaging way with his audience. He backs this up with his global experience as a Chief Learning Officer in large corporations, which provides real gravitas and credibility. There's no doubt that Stefaan is providing leading thinking and practice in this field and I have no hesitation in recommending him."
Donald H. Taylor
Chair @ the London Technology Conference
“Stefaan has been moderating and speaking at several of our HRcoreEVENTS and has proven to be an exceptional added value. His passion, purpose, and personality make him connect with the audience, keep them engaged, and inspire action.”
Managing Director @ HRcoreEVENTS by TENEO
“Stefaan van Hooydonk spoke at our global summits for over 150 learning and development professionals. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Many conference delegates stated that they found Stefaan very poignant and that his message was timely and something the industry wanted to hear. We would not hesitate to invite Stefaan to speak again at our summits, across diverse geographical locations, as he also brings a global outlook having worked in different locations amongst the greatest industry leaders.”
Associate Director @ Global Association for Talent Development (ATD)