Cultivating a growth mind-set is one of the key attributes of an effective change agent - as we will hear in more detail at Thursday's School for Change Agents with Helen Bevan.
What do we mean by a growth mind-set? According to Professor Carol Dweck, it starts with the fundamental belief that we can improve and we have room for boundless improvement.
It requires deliberate and conscious reflection on our mistakes and experiences.
It requires an attitude of "curiosity" and a willingness to understand and overcome our blindspots.
Deliberately Developmental Organisations (see Professor Robert Kegan's book "An Everyone Culture") focus on helping people to learn from their mistakes and blindspots and have shown that this is key to their success in riding the waves of change and uncertainty. In DDOs, there is constant pressure to learn new skills, but there is also a trusting environment where people accept and give feedback, thus broadening their own and each other's perspectives on the truth.
Tony Schwartz recently gave a real example (below) of how his colleague demonstrated the kind of self-awareness that comes from cultivating a growth mind-set. Further, he showed how crucial an environment of psychological safety was for this colleague to jump in and share her reflection.
Cultivating a growth mind-set is important because being capable is not just about being intelligent, talented or having expert knowledge. It is about being a conduit for change. By mobilising our collective intelligence we can identify new behaviours and ways of working that will help us pick the most successful path.
One of my colleagues jumped in courageously, owning her inclination to be controlling and harsh at times, and reflecting on what in her past influenced that self-protective behavior. She made no excuses, and her vulnerability set the tone for the rest of us. We followed by sharing the toughest feedback we’d each received, what felt most significant about it, and where we thought it came from, and what behaving differently would look like