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For any business, success hinges on two things: creating value for your customers and retaining them over time. To consistently create value, you need to have a growth mindset – a mindset that encourages challenge, resilience, and resilience towards failure. This mindset is essential for businesses of all sizes, as it leads to faster learning and better adaptation to changing environments. By adopting a growth mindset in your business, you can enable your team to reach their full potential, drive sales, and achieve greater success overall. Follow these recommendations on how to develop a growth mindset and see the powerful benefits it can have on business!
Carol Dweck initially coined the phrase growth mindset to describe an individual’s perspective and belief that success is achievable, possible, and just within reach. Having a growth mindset is more than being flexible or open-minded or having a positive outlook. It’s an active and energetic belief that success and improvement are achievable with dedicated time, effort, and energy.
Individuals with a growth mindset view mistakes and direction as opportunities to improve and get closer to the goal. Individuals with a fixed mindset believe innate talents and skills determine and limit our level of success. Achievement is fixed and predetermined, limited to those lucky few born to succeed.
A growth mindset is about believing that you can achieve your goals and objectives, and that success is possible. It starts with challenging yourself to think bigger, imagine greater possibilities, and be open to new challenges. A growth mindset can only exist in an environment in which employees feel supported and encouraged to stretch themselves beyond their current abilities.
A growth mindset is based on the belief that people can and will learn, grow, and achieve their goals. This mindset is KEY to businesses because it allows them to see failures as learning opportunities, which leads to creativity and innovation. It also boosts motivation and commitment, which keeps workers focused and motivated throughout the business journey.
Having a growth mindset not only helps businesses succeed in the short term but also sets them up for long-term success. So, if you want to achieve success both now and in the future, start adopting a growth mindset.
Leaders demonstrate the organization’s mindset in their words and actions, and employees tend to adopt it. For example, leaders with a fixed mindset behave in ways that communicate that they don’t believe their team can grow. In that case, their team will need more motivation to innovate or stretch beyond their current abilities. Conversely, leaders with a growth mindset believe their team can learn and grow, increasing their teams’ ability to innovate and improve.
According to Ryan Gottfredson and Chris Reina, leaders generally adopt three additional pairs of mindsets or lenses. These include:
A learning mindset with a bias toward competency and skill mastery or a performance mindset focused on positive reviews.
A deliberative mindset, seeking information to optimize thoughts and actions, or an implemental mindset, focuses on implementing decisions.
A promotion mindset is set to win in a specific area or to achieve a defined goal, while a prevention mindset focuses on avoiding losses and problems
Organizations with a growth mindset are empowered, customer focused, engaged, and innovative. Leaders adopt a coaching role to encourage employees to test their solutions without fear of reprimand. As a result, employees are laser-focused on customers, driven by a sense of purpose.
Sayta Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, implemented a ‘learn it all’ environment to inspire a growth mindset throughout his organization. As a result, in addition to increased trust and teamwork, Microsoft’s market capitalization and stock price tripled!
1- Empowers employees and inspires learning
According to Carol Dweck, one sign of an organization with a growth mindset are tools for employees to develop new skills, take risks, and meet new challenges. In addition, teams with a wide range of individual skills are more creative and search for innovative solutions.
2- Establishes a culture of trust
Shirzad Chamine, NY Times Best Selling author and CEO of Positive Intelligence®, provides mental fitness training to establish a positive, growth-oriented operating system in organizations. “A shared, positive mindset gives teams self-awareness and a framework to achieve their true potential,” he says. “As individuals build their mental muscles, they can be vulnerable with each other. Vulnerability is the currency of earned trust. Earned trust creates a safe place for people to be transparent, authentic, and admit mistakes.” Leaders build trust for teams to thrive by establishing a growth mindset culture.
3- Increases resilience and wellness
The Neuroleadership Institute studied five Fortune 500 companies during a growth mindset initiative. Follow-up surveys reported that as employees shifted from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, they were “prepared and inspired to thrive through change, felt a greater sense of belonging at work, and were able to recognize their negative mindset and shift to a positive one.”
4- Inspires innovation
Shifting to a growth mindset moved Microsoft from a culture filled with bureaucracy and internal politics to one of teamwork and innovation. A growth mindset frees employees to meet new challenges and take risks with greater creativity and energy.
5- Drives performance to stay ahead of the competition
A growth mindset encourages and directs employees’ focus to the customer, tests new ideas, products, or markets, and focuses on finding solutions for the customer. Building customer loyalty and referrals build the business. Employees feel more engaged and find greater purpose in their work. Organizations that actively remove judgment and fear of failure leverage the intelligence and imagination of their employees. It prepares an organization to embrace new ideas and shift skill sets to stay ahead of the competition.
While mindsets can be hidden and ingrained, recent neuroscience research proves that retraining these thought patterns – called neural pathways – is possible. Positive Intelligence used MRI technology to confirm increased neural activity in the positive mindset region of the brain when individuals are operating from a growth mindset. As positive neural pathways are built and strengthened, those in the negative part (the amygdala) shrink! Scans reflect changes with eight weeks of consistent work. Still, Shirzad Chamine recommends daily mental fitness training, similar to physical fitness, to redirect years of negative thoughts and to build and strengthen paths to positive ones.
Ashford, Susan, et al. “5 Ways a Crisis Can Help You Cultivate a Growth Mindset.” Harvard Business Review, 13 Sept. 2021
Childs, Stephen. “Why a Growth Mindset Should Be A Part of Your Overall Business Strategy.” Forbes, Forbes Human Resources Council, 16 Sept. 2019
Derler, Andrea. Edited by Chris Weller, NeuroLeadership Institute, 2020, Growth Mindset Master Class | Leadership. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.
Dweck, Carol, and Kathleen Hogan. “How Microsoft Uses a Growth Mindset to Develop Leaders.” Harvard Business Review, 13 Sept. 2021.
Dweck, Carol. “What Having a ‘Growth Mindset’ Actually Means.” Harvard Business Review, 13 Jan. 2026.
Gottfredson, Ryan, and Chris Reina. “To Be a Great Leader, You Need the Right Mindset.” Harvard Business Review, 13 Sept. 2021.
“What Can We Learn from Microsoft’s Growth Mindset Culture.” Adecco Group, Adecco Group, 2020, . Accessed 29 Oct. 2022.