March 27, 2019

Recently, I [Erin Holbrook] attended an SSIR webinar on building a culture of curiosity, especially in this age of the culture of genius. I had never heard this expression – culture of genius. Two years ago, TechCrunch defined it as a “mindset [that] manifests as a culture that views brilliance as critical to success,” where “intelligence, talents, and abilities are fixed traits.”

At first, this bothered me. At VIA, we call ourselves experts, but this is not due to innate genius. Instead, our passion for continuous learning allows us to combine what we already know with the latest information and methods. As a Research Associate, I am given numerous opportunities to grow and develop. Fortunately, our clients are also willing to let us grow, experimenting with new reporting techniques like PowerPoint reports or testing new methods like Ripple Effects Mapping or Journey Mapping. Being an expert is not about knowing everything, it is about being excited and able to learn constantly… from clients, stakeholders, communities, other evaluators, researchers, and people from all sorts of fields. This value for curiosity is just another reason why I love working at Via Evaluation.

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