What is a Growth Mindset?
Over 30 years ago, educational psychologist Carol Dweck and her team defined 'fixed' and 'growth' mindsets. They did this after studying the behaviour of thousands of children, to describe the beliefs that many have about intelligence.
While some people believe that intelligence is fixed (fixed mindset), others believe that it can be developed over time, along with skills, abilities and talents (growth mindset). Those with a growth mindset believe success comes from ongoing personal development.
In workplace settings, a growth mindset is one that sees every employee as capable, versatile and able to improve. Individuals are not limited by their current skill set, education and experience.
What does a growth mindset actually look like?
Individuals with a growth mindset are easy to recognise – they are the types of people we often describe as resilient, optimistic and determined.
They tend to;
- embrace challenges,
- believe they can expand their skill set and intelligence,
- see failure as an opportunity,
- are motivated and inspired by successful people, rather than threatened by them, and,
- are eager to learn.
Other growth mindset examples include those who know that results don't define them, believe they have much potential yet to fulfil, are comfortable outside their comfort zones and are patient in achieving their goals.
It goes without saying that building teams comprised of individuals with growth mindsets is more likely to result in success – more rapidly, and more often.
Why is a growth mindset important in business?
The adoption of a growth mindset can have significant benefits for leaders and organisations who embrace the concept. The promotion of a growth mindset within teams encourages learning, development, creativity and new ideas – all of which are crucial in agile workplaces.
In the face of digital disruption and competition, the ability to adapt to new technologies, systems and processes demands innovation. Often, the barriers to creativity and new ideas arise from a fear of failure and judgement, and a hesitance to take risks.
When an organisation moves to embrace a growth mindset culture, leaders and their teams must leave their comfort zones, embrace new ideas and create the change required for the organisation to evolve in a positive way.
Developing a growth mindset
There are many ways that individuals can develop growth mindsets. In organisations, however, this change generally starts with good leadership.
Encouraging conversations and regular engagement between staff and leadership makes a huge impact. Learning management systems (LMS) also foster continuous learning, and have a valuable place within every organisation.
Fostering growth mindset culture is more than simply mentioning it in weekly meetings, or rolling out a company branding campaign without substance and real engagement.
Are you needing help with promoting growth mindset in your team? Get in touch to find out how to foster a growth mindset culture.
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