Change is the only constant, the old adage goes, which might explain why today’s organizations are so focused on adaptation.
After spending several months interviewing 20 global organizations about growth mindset, the NeuroLeadership Institute has identified six business reasons an org might look to put the concept to use, which we’ve summarized below. (Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.)
1. Digital transformation (38% of sample)
The most popular reason an org might focus on growth mindset was to stay agile in the face of technological uncertainty. Big data and artificial intelligence are rapidly becoming commonplace, and organizations of all kinds — mid-tier companies and corporations alike — are looking to keep talent ready to change on a dime.
2. Business improvement (19% of sample)
Some organizations used growth mindset to introduce leaner methodologies into their work streams, restructure teams, or implement new business strategies. These orgs wanted to be more agile, too, but focused more on improving internal operations than adapting to market forces.
3. Growing up (13% of sample)
Growth mindset meant just that to some organizations: growth. Maturity stood out as a major reason for organizations that were smaller and looking to expand quickly and sustainably. Financial pressures, internal turmoil, and other setbacks often accompanied these efforts.
4. Reinvention (13% of sample)
Organizations focused more on pivoting in some form used growth mindset to change their culture, rebound from financial troubles, and shift gears after a shakeup in leadership. Among these organizations, especially, growth mindset represented a way to see challenges as opportunities, not threats.
5. Performance management transformation (13% of sample)
For some organizations, growth mindset was instrumental in overhauling the way they interviewed and hired candidates, and evaluated employees. Instead of asking employees to prove their worth, orgs can use growth mindset to see the value in improvement over time.
6. Quality enhancement (6% of sample)
The university in our sample was the lone organization to use growth mindset for accreditation. It saw the concept as the means to enhance the quality of its program for the benefit of current and future students.
Why one organization might embrace digital transformation over reinvention is a product of the industry and size of each enterprise. A major takeaway from our research is that organizations mold growth-mindset efforts to fit their needs. What works for one might not always work for all, so look for the process in your org that may need growth mindset the most.
This article is the third installment in NLI’s new series, Growth Mindset: The Master Class, a 12-week campaign to help leaders see how the world’s largest organizations are putting growth mindset to use.