The Value of a Growth Mindset in Business.

February 22, 2024

The Value of a Growth Mindset in Business.

May 29, 2023

When I started studying Carol Dweck's theory of growth mindset over a half-dozen years ago, I asked folks at the Growth Mindset podcast (https://bit.ly/48mGeVy) what companies or leaders most invest in a growth mindset. They said, "Microsoft. Their relatively new CEO Satya Nadella believes this could be their strategic competency."

I was surprised to hear this based on Microsoft's reputation as a "know-it-all-culture" during the Bill Gates era of the business. As INC magazine outlined in a recent article, this wasn't just about evolving the learning & development department or seeing this as a quick-fix corporate strategy. It was about psychologically transforming a company culture. I love this case study, especially as someone who's written books about the subject (check out my "PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow").

Many companies are afflicted by a fixed mindset. They see internal and external competition as a zero-sum game, albeit with a lot of financial zeros involved. As a leader with a fixed mindset, you're supposed to optimize your fixed capacity of potential and prove yourself by winning at all costs. But shifting a cultural and personal mindset to a growth mindset means you're focused on improving yourself (not proving) and learning (not winning). Seeing yourself and your company as a work-in-progress, open to taking calculated risks, that is, learning from mistakes, sounds so obvious but is relatively unusual in the CYA ("Cover Your Ass") corporate world. 

Recently, Microsoft surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable publicly traded company. As I've been saying for a couple of decades now, the best leaders aren't experts at B2B, B2C, or D2C; they're H2H. They have the emotional intelligence to understand that Human-to-Human relations can't be found on a balance sheet, yet they are a company's most valuable intangible asset. 

-Chip

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