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Strategic Curiosity® Model

We begin with an online diagnostic to assess your 3 Prerequisites for curiosity and other factors that influence your effectiveness.  Results are discussed with you, then used to customize coaching or group education.  Within each module, you will cultivate and practice 7 Mental Habits that are catalysts for...



  • Self-awareness & Emotional Intelligence

  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

  • Accuracy & Attention to Relevant Information

  • Systems & Integrative Thinking

  • Enhanced Learning & Creativity

  • Ethical Decisions

  • Productive Relationships

  • Behaviors that improve the bottom line!

Improve Quality, Reduce Costs, Develop Talent, Create Possibilities, Drive Competition!
by mastering 7 mental habits that fortify business frameworks and your behavior. 
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The Strategic Curiosity Model® 3 + 7 = Results!

We begin with an online diagnostic to assess your 3 Prerequisites for curiosity and other factors that influence your effectiveness.  We discuss confidential results then use them to customize coaching or group education.  You will practice and master 7 Mental Habits that improve...



  • Improved Quality & Accuracy

  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

  • De-biased Decisions

  • Emotional Intelligence

  • Innovation

  • Systems Thinking to Drive Strategy

  • Productive Relationships

  • Bottom line results!


Strategic Curiosity® Model + Expected Outcomes

The 3+7 Strategic Curiosity® model is derived from breakthroughs in neuroscience that help you overcome 3 barriers to curiosity and develop 7 mental habits that accelerate performance. Coaching and consulting engagements are customized to address you and your organization's specific challenges and goals.


Formats: Keynote Address, Individual & Group Coaching (on-line option), Executive Education, Professional Retreats, Organizational Change Intervention.  

Barriers               Habits
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Business Impact


Leadership Development

  • Enhance wisdom, critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making.

  • Analyze and synthesize complex information. 

  • Gain insights that enable you to better lead and leverage talents of others

  • Use reflective practices to maintain poise under pressure.

Talent Development

  • Better manage and use your brain to achieve work goals.

  • Astutely use time, information and resources.

  • Liberate yourself by empowering others to be more curious. 

  • Encourage adaptability.

Quality, Safety & Process Improvement

  • Reduce mistakes

  • Identify and resolve process failures

  • Routinely use robust information to drive decision-making.

Positive & Inclusive Relationships

  • Increase self-awareness & emotional mastery.

  • Reduce thoughtless acts, unproductive conflicts, biases, and poor decisions.

  • Increase cooperation, collegiality, and social learning.

  • Use positive, proven strategies to manage bias.


Innovation & Creativity

  • Train yourself to produce uncommon insights that fuel progress.

  •  Act with the “big picture” in mind.

  • Create a culture of questioning to boost experimentation and change. 

Strategic Advantage

  • Rigorously evaluate your competitive landscape.

  • Identify, create, and seize growth opportunities.

  • Chart a path for ethical progress.

  • Leverage the renewable benefits of curiosity to differentiate your firm.

Strategic Curiosity® is a framework that guides leaders' purposeful search to enhance professional insights and skills, and it helps organizations overcome inertia to promote learning, innovation, collaboration and competitive strength.

       What new capabilities have you acquired?  What do you do now that you didn’t do before?


I listen more.  I pause and think about things more broadly more. ... If I’m presented a problem and I have the time in my office to reflect on it, then I can do it. If I’m presented a problem with a group and we’re working on it as a team, I reflect more before going into a meeting before I work with them. And I think more about the questions that I ask .

"Valerie's highly engaging facilitation style quickly had all members of the audience participating and thinking hard, developing a study intensity of unusual quality. Valerie was able to get participants to look at targets of interest, helping us see details that we had previously missed. Strategic Curiosity® thus came alive as a way of seeing beyond what our biased lenses were able to detect.  Complementing her creative work with explanations reaching into the domain of neuroscience Valerie made a compelling case for ‘seeing the full picture’, rather than seeing the world through the lenses of our installed biases. Valerie’s ability to draw ‘intense thought’ together with ‘artistic imagery’ and ‘personal discovery’ made for a unique and thought-provoking piece of study."

I enjoyed spending time reflecting in a new way with other leaders.

Horst Abraham 

President, Paragon Group

How can high potential professionals become high performing leaders? Strategic Curiosity®

Strategic Curiosity®  helps leaders transcend the constraints of organizational culture, professional routines, unconscious decisions and "lazy thinking" that hinder performance. To do that, Strategic Curiosity®  training equips leaders with a unique set of mental, behavioral and emotional skills to effectively navigate volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous circumstances, by taking reflective action. 

Reactive vs Reflective Leadership​

Our culture rewards swift action. That is why, too often,  leaders quickly process information based upon experience, gut instincts or emotions that can lead us astray. The perils of reactive or automatic thinking are well documented and include short-term thinking, poor decisions, perceptual biases, avoidable errors, and emotional volatility. All have costly implications for an organization's adaptive capabilities, talent utilization and retention, work processes and long-term survival.  ​As I searched for solutions to “lazy thinking” that emerged from our hospital study,  I discovered the science of curiosity and its value-creating potential.

Research shows that curiosity creates value!

But not all curiosity is equally valuable. In fact, some curiosity can be detrimental. Generally speaking however, research shows that curiosity primes the brain to learn; more targeted Strategic Curiosity®  creates exponential value for organizations, teams and individuals.

Organizations & Leaders

  • Adaptability

  • Change Management

  • Innovation

  • Learning Culture

  • Quality Improvement & Safety

  • Problem-Solving

  • Boundary Spanning

  • Strategic Planning

  • Ethical Decision-making

  • Competitive Advantages

Teams & Relationships

  • Collaboration

  • Inclusiveness

  • Reduced Aggression & Conflict

  • Cross-functional Teams

  • Process Improvements


  • Self Awareness

  • Mental Agility 

  • Critical Thinking

  • Problem-Solving

  • Creativity

  • Enhanced Mood

  • Capacity to Learn

The Challenge


Curiosity is decreasing in the U.S. and digital technology is accelerating the decline.


Lazy thinking leads to...

• Carelessness

• Preventable Errors

• Faulty Judgment

• Unethical Decisions

• Unconscious Biases

• Aggression & Conflict

• Disengagement

• Under-utilized talent

• Stagnation

Hidden Costs to Your Business

We are biologically predisposed to be curious, which is why children naturally ask a lot of questions. Over time however, we stop asking questions and instead focus on having the "right" answers. Many factors dampen our curiosity (e.g., professional education, testing, work culture) but it is possible to revive and strengthen that muscle with training, coaching and practice. 

Goals & Methods


The ultimate goal of Strategic Curiosity®  is to create high performing organizations, sustained by a learning culture (X axis) and inclusive work climate (Y axis). This goal is achieved by cultivating leaders and team members that astutely process complex and ambiguous information (X axis). Individually, this requires mental effort; collectively this requires a culture that values learning and learning from one another.


The extraordinary advantages of a learning culture are only achieved however, when different people and perspectives are included (Y axis inclusive culture). Creating an inclusive climate requires more than diversity hiring and bias training; it requires conveying positive regard. Studies show that positive regard is like a magic elixir in relationships; it  inspires people to actively engage, contribute and flourish.


Together, a learning culture and inclusive climate encourage critical thinking, high quality collaboration,  creativity and the conditions for exceptional performance. BUT their prerequisites, astute information processing and positive regard, do not come naturally. Those skills are only cultivated as we become strategically curious.

Strategic Curiosity® seminars are an elegant, evidence-based approach to cultivate critical thinking, creativity, social learning and positive regard.  Training methods are derived from breakthroughs in neuroscience, psychology, management, and behavioral change research. Those insights are translated into “cognitive calisthenics” that build your "behavioral muscles." As the workout metaphor suggests, the effects of Strategic Curiosity® are realized with practice and time.



Conceptual Model & Training Modules


Each Strategic Curiosity® training module provides distinct value. Different types of curiosity, as well as specific learning and change goals, are achieved with activities, readings, simulations, dialogue and homework. Learn more...


The conceptual model  above (Figure 1) illustrates the learning sequence, with each module building upon the previous one, so that learning is cumulative, reinforced and is diffused throughout an entire team or organization.​ Orientation typically occurs in during a keynote address, indicated by the dotted green line. During the Introduction to Strategic Curiosity™, cultivates basic skills and increases self-awareness (yellow triangle). Advanced Social Curiosity strengthens interpersonal awareness and factors that influence relationships and social learning (red square). Ultimately, Team Building & Culture Change activities transform individual and relationship skills into a culture of curiosity learning and system-wide change (blue rectangle).

Think of Strategic Curiosity® as “cognitive calisthenics” that build your "behavioral muscles."

Intro to
Strategic Curiosity
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