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Curiosity: The kryptonite of cats and the superpower of the project manager

As project managers we are good at decomposing scope to create work breakdown structures, we unpack and prioritise hard requirements. Yet we constantly face the near inevitable budget blow out and schedule overrun, even worse our projects may become insignificant prior to or just after implementation. With changing environments and shifting expectations how does the project manager stay relevant? What skills do we strengthen? Technical skills will get you shortlisted, demonstrating highly developed interpersonal skills may get you an interview, presentation and stealth self-marketing may get you hired. But what gets you rehired and provides better project outcomes? Curiosity killed the cat but can it keep you relevant and competitive? Unrestrained curiosity becomes an annoying time waster, however, if targeted it can become the project managers’ superpower. Best of all we all have it, we just have to harness it. Project managers can harness curiosity as a valuable addition to their project management toolkit. Embracing productive curiosity can lead to better project outcomes for customers and renewed contracts for the project manager. Through an exploration of the extant literature, this paper aims to investigate the linkage of curiosity to both the technical and interpersonal skills required by the contemporary project manager


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Melbourne, Vic.


Australian Institute of Project Management

Place of Publication

Melbourne, Vic.

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


Era Eligible


Name of Conference

2017 Australian Institute of Project Management National Conference