When researching the concept of a growth mindset, Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, studied the behaviour of school students and their attitudes to failure. However, the concept of a growth mindset and the benefits that can come with it extend well beyond the classroom.
A growth mindset can have a number of benefits for small businesses. From employees feeling a stronger sense of commitment and ownership to the company, to them feeling more supported with risk taking and innovation1.
So how can business owners encourage a growth mindset amongst their team? As part of the AXA Growth Leaders Series, we produced the AXA Growth Leaders report in collaboration with The Supper Club. It explores the concept of leading with a growth mindset through insights and viewpoints from business leaders.
Build a great team
As with most things in business, your team is often the foundations of your success when it comes to creating a growth mindset. Ensuring that you have the right team on board from the outset and that each team member is invested in the vision and goals of the company can be hugely beneficial.
When discussing how he built his team to drive growth, Charlie Walker (Founder of Harmonic Finance) says, “A lot of it starts at the beginning: you have to make sure you’re recruiting people who are motivated by the right things. It’s more about finding the right people rather than trying to get the best out of people that don’t fit.”
Finding team members that not only have the relevant skills and experience to fulfil their particular role but who also work well together as a team can be one of the challenges with recruitment and growing a team. When it comes to creating a team, Edwina Dunn (co-founder of Dunnhumby and CEO of Starcount) says, “I’ve always really loved blending older experienced people with young skilled technologists – you need both. Getting that blend right and ensuring that egos don’t get in the way is really important. It’s also about letting people know that you need them because they are good at something you’re not good at. It helps them know they make a difference – that they matter.”
An effective way of ensuring that a team works well together is to develop a sense of friendship and camaraderie within the team in order to build up a level of trust. Celia Francis, CEO of Rated People, says, “It’s important to have great people in place that you can delegate to and trust to recruit the right people, but they have to work together as a team. That can be difficult if it’s a new team of people who don’t know each other very well. It can take years to build a sense of trust and mutual respect. You need a shared vision, mission, strategy and tactics, because the whole team needs to buy into the plan. To speed things up, you also need a sense of friendship to help build that trust. You need to create an environment where people feel confident so they can speak their mind without fear of being embarrassed or punished for speaking up. To do this, they have to get to know each other on a personal level.”