Reflecting on the work of Carol Dweck on the growth v fixed mindset,–initially focused on improving education–we find that a growth mindset can disrupt some of the most significant barriers to just and equitable cultures.
The fixed mindset is deeply rooted in White supremacist tenets, such as: I make my way alone. I am who I am, the ideas I believe are right and unchangeable.. Others are competitors, not guides or partners. I focus on pedigree when hiring…people with the same backgrounds as mine.
The measure of my success is what I make of myself.
By contrast, the growth mindset dismantles this belief system and supports an anti-oppression, anti-racist agenda by:
- Applying curiosity and the assumption of differences as positive thus reducing stereotyping and othering
- Avoiding confirmation bias by supporting critical, creative thinking and recognizing there is more than one “right” answer.
- Actively soliciting marginalized voices to develop new ways of operating
- Regarding mistakes as opportunities to learn both individually and organizationally
- Bringing cultural humility to work and relationships. Recognizing there are multiple valid ways to relate, solve problems and conduct work.
- Going a little slower to make space for relationships and culture/community building, believing that enduring success is based on a healthy, inclusive culture.
When companies embrace a growth mindset, employees report feeling far more empowered and committed; they also receive greater organizational support for collaboration and innovation.
How have you applied a growth mindset in your life and work? Share your story or learn more by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org