The 4th Option Junto
#37—Francesca Gino: Embedding Curiosity in Your Workplace

#37—Francesca Gino: Embedding Curiosity in Your Workplace

Francesca Gino is an award-winning researcher who focuses on why people make the decisions they do at work, and how leaders and employees have more productive, creative and fulfilling lives.

She is the author of Rebel Talent: Why it Pays to Break the Rules in Work and Life, Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan and numerous articles that have been featured in HBR and other top publications.

She is the Tandon Family Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School, and also affiliated with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, as well as the Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative at Harvard, and the Behavioral Insight Group. She co-chairs HBS Executive Education programs on Behavioral Economics (focused on how to apply behavioral insights to organizational problems) and Driving Profitable Growth.

Gino has been honored as one of the world’s Top 40 Business Professors under 40 and one of the world’s 50 most influential management thinkers by Thinkers 50. Professor Gino has won numerous awards for her teaching, including the HBS Faculty Award by Harvard Business School's MBA Class of 2015. Her studies have also been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, Newsweek, Scientific American, Psychology Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and her work has been discussed on National Public Radio and CBS Radio.

In this podcast, she shares:

  • Why curiosity is so critical for your career and the future longevity of your organization

  • Simple, practical tips you can take to express more creativity and curiosity at work

  • And similarly, how your organization can unlock greater curiosity throughout

  • Her definition of a “rebel” and why you should consider becoming one


" I collected data on hundreds of employees who are starting new jobs or new roles, and sure enough, across the see curiosity being pretty high, but you go back to the same people nine, ten months later, curiosity had dropped by at least 20%. And so it raises the question of: What is happening? Why are people are losing their curiosity? And I think that again, there is the same fear of a new role, a new place , "others are going to judge me if I try to do things differently," we just follow the usual ways of working."

-Francesca Gino


  • Episode Timeline:

    00:00—Introducing Francesca + The topic of today’s episode

    2:30—If you really know me, you know that....

    3:43—What is your definition of strategy?

    4:45—What are you most known for?

    6:29—The importance of asking 'why' or 'what if' in an organization.

    8:12—How can you encourage people to feel comfortable being curious?

    9:33—How do you make learning goals that encourage being curious?

    10:43—For someone in a strategy role, what is a way to embed curiosity into the organization in a systematic way?

    12:27—How do you distinguish between a learning objective and an outcome objective for your team?

    14:42—Building your curiosity muscle

    16:49—Could you tell us about your idea of "rebel talent"?

    17:30—What are you working on next?

    19:05—How can people connect with you?


  • Additional Resources:

The 4th Option Junto
The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.