The subject of growth mindset fascinates me and as someone who was probably late to start investing personal time in my own curiosity and development, I am really enjoying its surge in profile and relationship to my own expertise in recruitment, talent management and leadership development.
For a simple but fantastic introduction to really understand what a growth mindset is all about, I thoroughly recommend you read Matthew Syed's 'Black Box Thinking' book. It brings growth mindset to life by comparing the fixed mindset of the healthcare industry to the growth mindset of the aerospace industry and highlights the impact on the performance of each.
I have been partnering a global US technology company for the last 12 years and have been part of their amazing transformation from fixed to growth mindset. They were a 'steady eddie' organisation delivering predictable performance every year, manufacturing high-quality products and delighting customers. Their workforce was extremely stable and their culture tended to support a 'job for life' mentality.
A new CEO joined 13 years ago and decided that good wasn't good enough and set about to deliver his vision for a high growth, high-performance company that led its market sectors through high investment in innovation and employing the best people and leaders they could find. It has been fascinating to witness and be an integral part of their journey at first hand, from the extreme pain in the first few years, to the new culture embedding itself and now to a company that has a very powerful employer brand, that high calibre potentials and experienced leaders all over the world want to join and that has ultimately become a high-performance environment that pushes the boundaries in every way and has nearly tripled its $1 billion sales from 12 years ago.
I have seen first hand how a company with a growth mindset has grown far faster than any of its competitors. It relishes my team challenging it and has an insatiable appetite for innovating its talent acquisition process.
I am a strong advocate that companies will benefit immeasurably from having a growth mindset.
Based on a multi-decade program of research originated by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, an individual’s growth mindset is best defined by comparing it with its opposite, a fixed mindset. Drawing on Dweck’s characterization in her 2007 book, Mindset… “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.” Contrast this with… “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”