Developing a growth mindset is the most effective way to realize the full potential of your business. But first, let’s define what a growth mindset is and why it’s so important.
What Is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is the concept that through dedication and hard work, people can develop their talents and improve their skills. A fixed mindset, in contrast, is the belief that one’s knowledge or skillset is static and can’t change.
Individuals rarely fall into a purely fixed or growth-oriented mindset. But cultivating the latter is important, especially if you’re trying to build and scale a business.
Why is a Growth Mindset Important?
Instilling a growth mindset benefits both businesses and individuals. Encouraging effort, curiosity, resilience, and gratitude can transform a company culture and unleash new advances.
Empowering your team to drive growth, for example, makes them more likely to innovate and discover new solutions. They're also less likely to go through the motions at work or feel stuck in a rut.
And if you can adopt these traits yourself and lead by example, the opportunities for growth will be unlimited. So let’s examine five ways to develop a growth mindset for your business.
1) Pursue Challenges
If one saying could sum up the growth mindset, it would probably be “obstacles are just opportunities in disguise.”
As Psychology Today notes, one hallmark of a “fixed” mindset is a fear of failure. Some people avoid challenges because they’re worried about failing or losing face. But they're really cutting themselves off from one of the most important teachers — experience.
With a growth-oriented mindset, however, you see challenges as chances to test your skill, learn something new, and overcome doubt. Instead of working around problems, you work through them and become better for it.
2) Keep Learning (and Ask Questions)
Another core principle of the growth mindset can be summed up in four words — be comfortable being uncomfortable.
Seeking and overcoming challenges requires new ideas and solutions, which in turn requires continuous learning. For entrepreneurs, this might mean finding a mentor or expert who you can turn to for answers. Empowering continuous learning for employees might mean paying for extra classes or training.
In short, to drive success and create value, build an environment where questions are welcome and learning is encouraged.
3) Focus on Effort
If you’re always trying to learn and overcome new challenges, there’s only one guarantee — you won’t be successful every time.
That’s why an important part of the growth mindset to focus more on effort than the outcome.
If you put in the effort to land a new client and fail, for example, the lessons you learn will be much more valuable than if you didn’t put yourself out there in the first place. And when another opportunity comes along, you’ll know what’s required to reach the finish line first.
4) Be Persistent, But With Purpose
The ability to get back up after a failure or setback is essential for a growth mindset. But new challenges require more than just persistence. Attacking a complex problem with increased effort alone is unlikely to change an outcome.
That’s why it’s important to temper your persistence with perspective — and purpose.
Like your knowledge and skills, setbacks and failures are only “fixed” if you allow them to be. Just as obstacles are opportunities for growth, they’re also opportunities for reflection. Revisit the original goal that set you on this path — is there another way to reach it? Moving forward purposefully while adapting your approach when necessary can fuel even greater achievements.
5) Pursue Feedback
As we mentioned above, constant learning and asking questions are essential to a growth mindset, as is finding comfort in being uncomfortable. Asking for, and being open to, feedback is a natural extension of that principle.
As Entrepreneur points out, the sole purpose of feedback is to improve performance by determining what’s working and what isn’t. Refusing feedback, or being unwilling to change, are traits of a fixed mindset and will hamper your ability to grow.
Applying a Growth Mindset to Your Business
Entrepreneurs and investors learn quickly that the only constant they can rely on is change. Solutions and formulas that worked yesterday could be obsolete tomorrow.
But if you’re always learning, overcoming and adapting to challenges, and putting in a persistent but purposeful effort, change is no longer a bug — it’s a feature.
Also, embedding growth mindset principles in your company culture can drive success throughout your organization. Employees who are empowered to improve will be more motivated and willing to share their knowledge and experience in a growth-oriented environment.
And finally, developing and demonstrating a growth mindset can inspire everything from better performance to unexpected innovation.
So get growing! ????