Insights

Growing a growth mindset

Jeff Herrick 4 min read

I’ve never much enjoyed the experience of a “360” review…

It’s not because I’m overly sensitive to constructive criticism. Sadly, I’ve been around in business long enough that I feel like I’ve heard it all before. For instance, I know that I need to be more outgoing and I understand the benefits of being more engaging. It turns out that my mindset may have been somewhat limited. A newer and better approach to my leadership growth is known as vertical development. Whilst it is somewhat more challenging, it is much more applicable to my actual needs.

Competencies vs capabilities

Leadership development in organisations has been advancing in its application, particularly in the last fifteen years with the discovery that business and people performance is a result of more than just quantitatively measured skills and competencies.

Organisations are naturally good at measuring the “size of role” by matching the requirements of the job with the skills and competencies an individual brings using one dimensional testing. High-performing organisations now also determine qualitatively measured capability alongside competencies to ensure the size of role fits the “size of person” through the application of two or three-dimensional assessment, not just the simple “360” review any more.

Advances in this work provide organisations a richer and more holistic approach to growing individual and collective performance. Ask the question: “Tell me how you position yourself social-emotionally and how you think, and I will tell you what kind of work you can do and what your potential is for further mental growth.”

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence and ability, are fixed. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.

However, development does not equal change nor is it learning. Change and learning may have developmental effects, but they may not. There is no shortcut for achieving progression through the stages of development. Mental growth is a multi-dimensional issue as we do not develop in one single dimension alone, but in several intertwined dimensions.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed.

 This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for success.

A growth mindset leads to new insights

I love the work of Dr Otto Laske in the Constructive Developmental Framework (CDF) methodology. It’s changed the way I think! When I combine this with Professor Robert Kegan’s work on social-emotional development, I have reached a new insight, best expressed as: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer