Understanding the Growth Mindset
The inventor of the growth mindset, Carol Dweck, describes it as a belief that the key to growth is letting go of perfectionism, and allowing yourself to try, fail, and retry. It's about asking for help and accepting limitations.
The culture of a growth mindset oriented organization will avoid shaming and perfectionism in its practices and messages, as well as will allow people to be uncertain, test their assumptions, and admit their mistakes.
Crisis management with a growth mindset
It is important to note that during a crisis, our brain naturally shifts into survival mode, seeking shortcuts and conserving energy for essential functions. A person can be absent-minded or not be as engaged, creative, and productive as usual. However, leaders with a growth mindset recognize this and reorganize work accordingly; teams with a growth mindset support each other stronger than usual. We need the growth mindset during a crisis in order to strike a balance between survival, productivity, and development.
Why does it matter?
A rational approach in crisis situations is to manage expectations (lower them!) and place a high priority on rest and regeneration. The growth mindset helps an organization to see the bigger picture and slow down when necessary – to bounce back once the crisis has passed. Moments of crisis are not the time to build new projects or concepts. In essence, they require assessing what the organization needs to survive and cutting out anything else that doesn't contribute to sustainability of the organization.
In times of adversity, embracing a growth mindset helps to navigate through chaos with much more grace and ease. Instead of fixating on perfectionism, we learn to prioritize flexibility and adaptability.