Creating a culture of learning and growth is a leader’s most important job. Doing so drives employee engagement, attracts and retains talent, and pushes the business forward; this is how leaders lead for growth. But, how many leaders lead their organizations this way?
Who knows. But, while scrolling through my Twitter feed I stumbled on this tweet from Teddy Mitrosilis about the two types of cultures organizations have:
A study of Fortune 500 companies found something fascinating.
Organizations generally have two cultures:
• A culture of “genius”
• A culture of “development”
Orgs with a fixed mindset tend to prioritize genius.
Orgs with a growth mindset tend to prioritize development.
— Teddy Mitrosilis (@TMitrosilis) May 4, 2023
Here’s the part that caught my attention:
Why this matters:
When talent is put on a pedestal, it encourages selfish behavior.
Everyone is trying to impress.
When growth is put on a pedestal, it encourages curiosity and collaboration.
Everyone wants to improve.
The terminology is the same as fixed and growth mindsets found in people. An organization that values, attracts, and nurtures a growth mindset is built to evolve and last. While an organization that values a fixed mindset is built to eventually stagnate and become irrelevant.
Why? Because stagnation happens when you stop trying stuff and stop learning, believing you know it all. Progress happens when you continually challenge yourself, experiment and keep learning.
What does this look like in practice?
Leaders must create an environment where people are encouraged to question, explore, experiment, and make mistakes; this is how learning happens. The opposite is stagnation. Look at it this way, organizations that value only genius value correct answers. There is nothing wrong with genius when you’re focused on making incremental improvements. But, the further you look into the future the less you know what is right; curiosity, in the form of asking questions, becomes more important.
To me, culture is what you celebrate and won’t tolerate.
With that said, value talent but celebrate growth, and learn-it-alls.
Bottom line: The future is created by the learn-it-alls; not know-it-alls. Create a culture that values talent but celebrates growth.