Scaling Innovation? Grow Your Mindset.

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Does your organization have a culture of creative problem solving? Risk taking? Innovation? Will it thrive and flourish over time?

These are the questions Stanford University professor and researcher, Carol Dweck, and her colleagues are trying to answer. To do this, they’ve taken what Dweck learned from decades of studying fixed versus growth mindsets in individuals, and they’re applying it to organizations. Essentially, they’re asking, can an organization, like an individual, have a fixed or a growth mindset?

To find out, Dweck and her colleagues recently asked employees at seven Fortune 1000 companies to assess their organization’s mindset – fixed versus growth – and its impact on them.

First, they asked employees the extent to which they agree with statements like the following: “When it comes to being successful, this company seems to believe that people have a certain amount of talent, and they really can’t do much to change it.” As you might imagine, high levels of agreement indicate a fixed mindset, while low levels indicate a growth mindset.

Next, they surveyed employees to determine the impact of organizational mindset. Their questions focused on organizational culture, employee satisfaction, level of collaboration, innovation, and ethical behavior.

Here’s what they found.

Employees in growth-mindset organizations are

  • 47% likelier to say that their colleagues are trustworthy;
  • 34% likelier to feel a strong sense of ownership and commitment to the company;
  • 65% likelier to say that the company supports risk taking; and
  • 49% likelier to say that the company fosters innovation.

Leaders of growth-mindset organizations are more likely to

  • Speak positively about employees
  • Rate employees as innovative, collaborative, and committed to learning and growing
  • See management potential in their employees

When it comes to hiring, growth-mindset organizations tend to

  • Value employee potential, capacity, and passion for learning
  • View employees as people who love challenges, seek growth, desire collaboration

Applying Dweck’s original research to organizations is a great way to scale the concept of mindset to achieve big goals. It’s also a powerful way to rethink organizational culture.

How interested would you be in finding out about your organization’s mindset?

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