At Connecting Industry Talent, we are privileged to work alongside many different companies and gain insight into their differing workplace cultures. Increasingly we see many moving to a culture that embraces a ‘growth’ rather than ‘fixed’ mindset. Usually, we think of this being a characteristic in individuals, but when I see whole teams adopting this approach to working, their results are enviable.
The concept of the ‘growth mindset’ was originally presented to us by Dr Carol Dweck, a Professor of Psychology at Standford University. In summary, individuals with fixed mindsets believe that their success is confined within the range of their abilities – they are good at something, or they are not, and that fact can’t be changed. Those with growth mindsets believe their success is linked to effort, overcoming obstacles through learning.
When workplaces are led by individuals whose mindset is naturally skewed to growth their ability to influence their co-workers to the same way of thinking can be very powerful. High performing teams are generally not afraid of taking risks, such as trying new processes or tools to enhance their ways of working. They set themselves BHAG’s* (big hairy audacious goals) that energise the company and stimulate employees to perform to their best ability. (*Read Jim Collins book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies for more on what makes a company great.)
There are a couple of areas you can look at in your own company to determine which mindset you are operating from.
First, how is information shared in your company? Are the leaders and managers custodians of decisions and priorities until it’s the right time to flow that information down? Or does everyone have the opportunity to contribute their information to aid decision making?
Secondly, how do you gauge productivity? Do you measure your team's performance with timesheets and tick lists? Or do you trust that everyone understands the BHAG and is focused on its achievement?
The thing I find interesting about team mindsets is that it is possible to move from a fixed to a growth mindset and lift the performance of the whole company. Dr Dweck explained in one of her articles that leaders and managers can signal to their employees what types of mindsets are valued in the organisation and those that embrace a growth mindset see their employees feeling empowered and committed.
To cultivate a growth mindset within your workplace, think about embracing some of these concepts into your company culture:
- Value hard work and perseverance to constantly improve
- Provide opportunities for employees to learn new skills.Encourage them to share their own, and respect others, points of view
- See failures as learning opportunities, encourage team and individual accountability, using feedback to inform learnings and drive inspiration to improve
- Don’t be afraid to try something new, this is how you innovate!
I endeavor to operate from a mindset of growth within Connecting Industry Talent, and the journey is exciting, sometimes scary, but ultimately rewarding! If you’d like to compare notes, please get in touch!
Director and Business Talent Scout
Connecting Industry Talent
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