Why we cultivate curiosity

Curiosity is a fundamental part of the creative process. Without it, projects would die before they even began ­– and at Six, we’re all for encouraging people to be curious.

I recently joined the 20-year anniversary celebrations at We the Curious in Bristol to learn about what being curious can achieve. At the event, speakers including Gavin Strange (Director and Designer at Aardman Animations) and Sam Saunders (Data Strategy Manager at Dyson) explored the influence of curiosity.

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

At Six, we nurture and embrace curiosity. For us, it isn’t just about bouncing ideas off one another to make projects better. Curiosity is a catalyst for trust, motivation, innovation and – undoubtedly – job satisfaction. It’s about encouraging people to bring their personal curiosity to their professional work, and making us all better for it. 

Take our lead copywriter Charlie as an example. Both he and I have a common background in psychology, and I notice that when he brings that background and curiosity to a project, suddenly new ideas pop up and he sees the task from a different angle. 

Equally, it’s true of Laura, our Strategist with an unrelenting passion for all things environmental, and for Amy, our Account Manager who loves to keep track of the latest consumer trends and forecasts. And those are just three out of more than 40 surfers, fashion-lovers, bike fanatics and amateur bakers. 

The real magic happens when we bring all these personal curiosities together in one room. There are plenty of chances for design and copy to meet strategy. But how many places are there where personal curiosity about things like environmentalism, satirical illustration, behavioural economics, agriculture and linguistics is actively invited into the creative process? Cultivating curiosity allows us all to explore deeper, to ask more questions, to find inspiring angles and to collaborate better.

 “Creativity is just connecting things.” – Steve Jobs

We do everything we can to encourage personal curiosity, because we know how much it can add to our collective work. We run “6 in Sixty” as often as we can, where six members of the team have ten minutes each to present on six related topics. We put on regular sessions of “Lunch and Learn”, where a Sixer has an hour to present on a topic of their choice to anybody who wants to listen – with a free lunch thrown in! You've had a glimpse into one of our recent Lunch and Learns in our header image, which shows designer Sam talking all about the journey of digital design.

On a simple level, too, we just give people space to talk. After all, you never know what might come out of it.