Growth Mindset: The Mindset for a Changing World

Do you dread making mistakes? And even more so when someone notices, and blames you for them?!

Guess what? You probably both have the fixed mindset. This mindset expects you to be excellent (or some take it to the extreme ... perfect) all the time. This is the mindset we see most of the time, if not always, when something goes wrong.

This unproductive thinking pattern needs to be broken to be able to learn from mistakes and share them with the team to increase the collective knowledge. In this increasingly fast paced and changing world, we need to collaborate to work through problems and find solutions quickly.

New technology and recent developments such as the impact of COVID-19 are making the world of business so complex and bringing so much uncertainty that no single person on their own can find the solution. No isolated expert, manager or employee can know all the variables that will make up the greater plan and its execution to achieve expected outcomes amidst these challenging circumstances.

Because the world is getting so volatile, we need to be more flexible and adaptable than we are used to. It requires doing things in novel ways and getting out of our comfort zone to allow ourselves to feel vulnerable and uncertain of our abilities because we have just not walked that path before. We need a growth mindset.

We have it in ourselves, but we need to retrain ourselves to take mistakes as opportunities to grow and thrive. But for that to happen, we first need to convince ourselves of the benefit, seeing the “what’s in it for me?” I hope to give you enough reasons to want to develop the growth mindset to be able to more effectively tackle the more complicated issues we are all facing today.

No successful entrepreneur became that way without first committing lots of mistakes. Even NASA failed hundreds of times before it could launch its first rocket, and even then it did not always get it right and lives were lost as a consequence. You will hopefully not experience such a dramatic result from trying to do things differently. I hope, however, that you realise that even the most successful have failures and, although all measures must be taken to avoid them, they are usually not the end of the world.

Although you might be thinking you are nowhere close to being NASA, this does not mean you will not strive for the best results within your organisation and your particular area of work. It is best to fail quickly and learn fast; not only the ‘perpetrator’, but everyone in the team, so everyone, in collaboration with each other, can avoid making that same mistake or using up valuable time working on something that has already been proven to be wrong. Moreover, if you avoid potential ‘failures’, you risk missing the opportunity to rise.

Greatness does not come from avoiding failure, but from having the courage to embrace challenges and keep going despite failure, or rather because of it. Stimulated by visualising the end product, keeping it in mind, you are more determined to get the result you want. You want to fail fast to quickly find the right solutions that will get you to your final product. Maintain a fluid, agile mind to continue the process of innovation and growth.

In these times, there is no place for rigidity of mind. Nor is there time to waste on clinging onto past systems, methods and beliefs. Develop a growth mindset and you are clearly going to gain a great advantage; that of a more resilient workforce, and a resilient organisation, adaptable to the frequent changing circumstances in the world we experience now and more so in the future.

Authored by Dani Rius, facilitator, coach and co-author (with Dr Wayne Duncan) of Mindful Empathy: The Mindset of Success of Leaders of the Future.

If you’d like some help with developing a growth mindset, contact Nicky or Kyran - 03 943 2373 or