A growth mindset will see your business through challenging times

Russell Longmuir
Camille Pissarro Exhibition Opening
If you are geared up to grow and improve, you have intrinsically built a platform from which it can be delivered. (Source: Getty)
he economic kaleidoscope was well and truly shaken in 2016.

The ongoing, protracted legal and political wrangling surrounding Article 50, combined with a seismic shock in the US Presidential election, makes predicting the future for businesses uniquely difficult.

So it is even more important that organisations are prepared, motivated and resourced to continue to grow, whatever the challenges we face at a macro level. Fortunately, there is a model at hand that provides just these skills.

Growth mindset relies on a recognition that your skills and capabilities can be continually improved. Embracing this mindset can help to unlock your potential, enhance your team’s productivity and ensure you stand out from the crowd in these challenging times.

Enhance your productivity

Matthew Syed, the growth mindset protagonist and author of Black Box Thinking, identifies in his most recent work that incremental improvements made continually over time can produce significant uplifts in performance.

Setting goals and undertaking new challenges, with regular review and assessment, will guide you from a fixed mindset (one where you believe your basic qualities, such as intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits) to a “growth mindset”.

When whole organisations embrace a growth mindset, it is well reported that employees feel far more empowered and committed; they also receive far greater organisational support for collaboration and innovation. The resultant effect on productivity, and in turn profitability, has a phenomenal impact on enhancing shareholder value.

Unlock your potential

Corporate training programmes have come a long way over the last ten years. Throughout the year at BQF, we hold a growing number of innovative training programmes looking at diversity in the workplace, gamification in employee engagement, and the role of psychological wellbeing and resilience on individual and organisational performance.

Training is key, but fundamental to future success is a root and branch analysis of the mindset within your organisation. If you are geared up to grow and improve, you have intrinsically built a platform from which it can be delivered.

Encourage investment

Despite some businesses already recognising the value of investing in innovative and thought-provoking programmes, it is evident that others need to invest more to ensure that their employees are appropriately skilled and empowered to continue to contribute to the UK’s track record in innovation, engineering and technology, among other sectors.

Learn from the best

Many of the world’s leading companies are recognising the importance of cultivating a growth mindset. Take Microsoft, which is recalibrating its approach to development and deliberately encouraging an internal growth mindset culture. Its annual “hackathon” enables employees to step outside their day jobs to work on projects that inspire them. The most successful receive funding to develop and build the projects, ultimately driving change within the organisation.

These uncertain times call for an ambitious and courageous approach to engaging and empowering your teams to maximise their potential. Instilling the right mindset is just the start, but there is no more powerful place to begin that journey.

Russell Longmuir is director general and chief executive of BQF (British Quality Foundation).

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