What’s the formula for growing a business?

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Certainly, there are ingredients that create the potential for growing a company’s business. But underlying those things (…a really smart plan, top-to-bottom alignment, ruthless execution, accountability) is something much more vital and profound. Do you have, and does your company have a “growth mindset”?

The concept of a person’s mindset was developed by Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University. She maintains that people have one of two mindsets. One is a fixed mindset – people that believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits and can’t be developed over time. The other is a growth mindset – where people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

There’s no guarantee that every business owner has a growth mindset. But it’s safe to say that having a growth mindset is a prerequisite for creating successful and sustainable growth in your business. Why? Because growth is hard work, really hard work. You have to give yourself to the struggle of trying, failing, learning and trying again. Day in, day out. For months, maybe years. And on top of all that, you have to actually enjoy that struggle. Growth is a puzzle you’re trying to solve, or a lock you’re trying to pick.

So, do you have a growth mindset? And equally important, does the culture of your company reinforce a growth mindset? A couple of links to get you started:

  • Take a quick quiz to determine what mindset you have.
  • Investigate more. This article by Scott Jeffrey does a good job of summarizing the key aspects of fixed and growth mindset. (Caution – along the way he’s trying to sell you something. Just ignore that, the content is good.)
  • Check out this great TED talk from Dr. Dweck (she’s applied her work on mindsets mainly to improving elementary and secondary education