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Knowledge Kernel

Growth Mindset

Uncover the power of a Growth Attitude, where adaptability and innovation create a culture of continuous learning and transformation. Explore how organizations can support this shift, from controlling responses to embracing discomfort and acknowledging emotions. Learn why growth-oriented individuals perceive their evolution as ceaseless, applying lessons for lasting change.
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Growth Attitude means related, but different things to each of us.

Based on our experiences and conversations with our colleagues, the definition of Growth Mindset varies by team and organization. Therefore, for the sake of clarity, many organizations create a context-specific definition that includes a list of skills that represent their version of a growth mindset.

To us, the foundation of growth lies in the belief that people can and do change. We reframe the idea of Growth Mindset as Growth Attitude because as human beings, we experience not a mindset, but an attitude towards ourselves and others.

What is clear is that having an attitude of adaptability, showcasing innovative thinking, and being open to reskilling and changing over time is a start. However, organizationally, a business community needs a support system to realize this. The contrast between a fixed and growth mindset has been well researched recently by Carol Dweck and emphasizes the importance of self-image, how we perceive ourselves, and its relation to success.

We also see the relationship of systems coaching whereby the context is shaped to support this goal and unlock the full potential of its members. If an organization values forward-thinking, learning from mistakes, and believes that we can grow and change, then they want and need to establish systems that enable and guide their leaders and members on how to achieve this.

Six Experience-Shaping Design Considerations

Control the how, not the what

‘Life is uncertain,’ and individuals inclined toward growth adopt a resilient attitude, understanding that the only thing they can truly control is how they respond to life’s twists and turns.

Focus less on ‘who is to blame’ and more on ‘how do we move forward’

Those focused on growth have the ability to quickly transition to forward-moving actions. Growth-oriented individuals tend to be highly effective, particularly in crises, focusing on understanding “what went wrong” instead of “who did it.”

Comfort with discomfort

Entering unfamiliar territory, undergoing major personal and professional changes, can lead to destabilization, discomfort, and anxiety. Those developing a growth attitude understand that discomfort is a part of the process. Growth is many things, but it’s not comfortable.

Acknowledge emotions but don’t make decisions based solely on them

Those on a personal and professional growth trajectory allow their whole selves to influence their decision-making. They make decisions grounded in a broader understanding that encompasses emotion, logic, context, and knowledge.

Recognize that there is no end to growth

Unlike professional or personal goals, growth cannot be ‘achieved.’ Those with a growth-oriented perspective understand their own evolution as continuous, rooted in the ongoing learning process that will span their entire lives.

Learn and apply what you’ve learned

Individuals with a growth attitude allow self-learnings to penetrate their deeper self and effect real, lasting change. Over time, as they become more comfortable with change, growth-oriented people will adapt and transform, and sometimes make apparent reversals in their lives, based on what they learn.