Three ways to create a Growth Mindset Culture

Do you work in a Growth Mindset Culture?

If you hear these types of statements…..

  1. “In this company, there’s a lot of cheating, taking shortcuts, and cutting corners.”
  2. “In this company, people often hide information and keep secrets.”
  3. “Everyone wants to be the superstar by any means possible.”
  4. “We will never figure this out.”

…you do NOT have a growth mindset culture. These are more fixed mindset statements.

Bottom line – Corner cutting, problems with ethics, siloing, individual improvement/success at the expense of others happen too often.

If you more often hear the following:

  1. The company generally supports me even if I fail
  2. People are encouraged to be innovative in this company – creativity is welcomed
  3. We have not figured this out…but, we will

Congratulations! You have and should continue to cultivate a growth mindset within your organization.

Bottom Line – Greater trust, greater belief in innovation, greater risk-taking, greater engagement are the norm.

You possess a growth mindset if:

  • You have faith in the ability to develop through learning
  • You continually find ways to help team members develop
  • You believe in teamwork
  • You believe that you can’t do it…yet

growth mindset
How to foster a growth mindset culture

1. Recognize the value of improvement

  • Always be on the lookout for opportunities to recognize when someone improves.
  • Encourage improvement whenever possible.
  • Apprenticeships, workshops, coaching sessions are generously available to all.
  • Well-placed support and growth-promoting feedback offered on a regular basis; during 1:1s, weekly meetings, and ad hoc.

2. Focus your team on performance over time

  • Think about how you can start seeing and treating your employees as your collaborators – make offering help a two-way street. For example, ask how they would handle something that you are working on.
  • Make a list of growth possibilities and try them out. Do this even if you already think of yourself as a growth-mindset boss.
  • Create ways to foster alternative views and constructive criticism. Assign people to play the devil’s advocate, taking opposing viewpoints so you can see the holes in your position. Get people to wage debates that argue different sides of the issue.

3. Share stories of mistakes and learning

  • Start your weekly meetings off with good news AND a learning story.

IMPORTANT – The leader goes first and often until the team members feel safe to offer their own stories on a consistent basis. IMPORTANT: Your personal stories will have the most impact as they will see that you are vulnerable and recognize that you make a habit of continual improvement.

Here is a four-minute, Carol Dweck video on Mindset, Motivation, and Leadership

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Published by Bill Flynn

Gazelles Member Advisor and early stage startup specialist with a proven track record with 16 Boston-based startups (9 to date with 5 successful outcomes, advisor to 7 others); SMB to Fortune 500 companies. 20+ years of Senior Sales, Marketing and GM experience in industries including mobile advertising, security, digital advertising, e-commerce and IT. Core Competencies: Player/Coach, Metrics-driven, Execution-based philosophy, Life-long learner

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