Why Some Businesses Turn Failure Into Growth Opportunities. And Others Don't.

Carol Dweck's 'growth mindset' concept has made it from the school bench into business, where it (knowingly or not) underpins the thinking & culture of the most adaptable companies. 

It's a growth mindset culture that helps the most successful companies to turn failure into growth opportunities. Sure, technology is changing the workplace and creating new revenue opportunities, too, but only because, at one point, some open-minded people gave new technologies a go in their own workplaces. Simply to see what could be achieved. Trial and error. Experimentation. Controlled failure. They bring clarity and, depending on the outcome, a directive for the future. Importantly, people are the true catalyst for transformation, and businesses with a ‘growth mindset’ culture tap into their people's potential more effectively, by encouraging employees to communicate openly, accept challenges, pitch innovative ideas and not to be scared to fail.

What's 'Growth Mindset'?

Society has conditioned us to fear failure from an early age and because of this people often develop a ‘fixed mindset’ and can’t accept criticism and are scared to get it wrong. Employees are fearful to make a mistake because they are accountable, and may even lose their job over it. CEOs and the Senior Managers need to support a ‘growth mindset’ outlook to withstand the workplace of tomorrow.

Growth mindset was first conceptualised by Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Business leaders that adopt this mindset are open to feedback, place high value on learning and cultivate their own and others’ abilities.

Setting a Vision

CEOs must set a vision for the company so everyone knows where they are, where they want to get to, and what values underpin this vision.  It is vital that they champion corporate values and all employees buy into it for success to occur. By empowering employees and ensuring that they are all on the same page this helps achieve ‘growth mindset’.

One of the biggest challenges in IT is often a case of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. A Solutions Provider will guide you on what is possible, helping you to align your technology requirements with your objectives, strategy and vision. They will also have the expertise to guide you through a change management process enabling you to adapt to a new culture and environment.

Don’t be Scared to Fail

Encourage employees to share ideas about the different ways technology can be used, discovering new ways of working, new products and services. Giving them the courage to speak out with confidence and autonomy to see if their ideas will succeed or not, and not be diminished if it does fail. As Winston Churchill said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm.”

Listen to employees when selecting new technology to see what they require to improve their jobs and customer service. A Solutions Provider will work closely with different business units to ask them what their needs are, and what will empower them to do their jobs more effectively.

When rolling technology out it is then advised that you select innovators to champion the technology to ensure that everyone uses it to its full potential. It requires a careful change management process and a coherent user adoption programme to ensure that everyone uses it to its full potential.

Job Roles are Blurring

Support a culture of open communication by encouraging employees to work with different business units to share ideas and collaborate with each other. This promotes a culture of innovation, learning and development.

HR departments can really help with creating such an environment, from recruiting right through to employee development, if HR officers and Senior Managers can identify 'growth mindset' attributes in candidates, such as relishing challenges, the ability to adapt and overcome, and a desire to continually learn and develop.

Closer collaboration and open-mindedness can also help to flatten hierarchies and allow all employees, regardless of position, to get more involved in different departments. With less pigeonholing and people invested beyond the edges of their own desks, you're on a good path to producing happier, better-rounded, commercially aware employees.

The End Goal

“Be patient. Fostering a ‘growth mindset’ culture that requires behaviour changes among your staff takes time. However, the rewards are considerable as everyone perseveres, learns, grows and accepts that potential is nurtured, not predetermined,” Aashish Gupta, Research Analyst, Gartner, recently said.

I agree. Growth mindset makes the difference. It's why some businesses successfully turn failure into growth opportunities. And others don't. 

Jonathan Sharp

Jonathan Sharp is a communications visionary and established technology business leader with 20 years’ proven excellence in driving business innovation and transformation. Sales & Marketing Director at Britannic Technologies, he puts enthusiasm into technology adoption, helping businesses to connect with their customers and staff in the most efficient and intuitive ways.

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