What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a growth mindset? Is it the willingness to learn? or the essential behavioral traits? Is it the necessity of coaching or mentoring? Or is it the need for an enabling eco-system? At People Matters Pre-Conference, a team of senior HR professionals led by Ms. Kiran Brar, Philips Lighting brainstormed about what a “growth mindset” means in companies today and the kind of solutions or interventions that are needed.
Fixed vs Growth
While a fixed mindset views talent and capability as being limited, a growth mindset is one that recognizes that everyone is capable and can get better. This concept was popularized in the book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University. According to Dweck, “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.”
For organizations operating in a digitally disruptive marketplace, the imperative for skilling and re-skilling is now a business need. This means companies need to not only understand their employees’ strength areas but also understand their passion. The focus, therefore, is on creating the right culture or ecosystem that would align the employee’s aspiration to the business need to grow.
Best practices across employee lifecycle
There are a number of interventions that organizations are turning to. And these solutions are not necessarily the mandate of the learning function alone, as creating a culture of growth mindset impacts different activities throughout the employee life cycle – right from talent acquisition, learning and development, and performance management.
Sharing an example of how to encourage a growth mindset while mapping people to jobs, a business leader noted that in their company, after going through an exercise of identifying people’s strengths, employees were encouraged to write their own job description. For example: If a software programmer was really good at planning, his or her role was to build on that capability and help in project management in their team.
Performance management is another area that companies are focused on. According to one HR leader in the banking sector, the focus is on creating a 50-50 measurement on two questions: 1) What is the consistency of the performance? and 2) What is the employee doing in order to bring value? In the learning and development sphere, companies are increasingly asking employees to design their learning roadmaps with a focus on continuous learning.
With a business culture that is focused on a growth mindset, companies also need leaders who are willing to step the extra mile and ensure that they are adequately supporting these interventions and ultimately driving business change. With an increasing number of jobs facing the automation test, organizations need to identify ways of tools and systems to architect a learning culture.