Every Tuesday we think some thinks and round up some top tips.
“But you already have an MBA! You’re a mum! You’re running a growing business! Where will you ever find the time to study for your altMBA?” – these are a few of the comments I’ve received when mentioning to friends and family that I’m embarking on an intensive study course over the next 4 weeks.
Whilst it’s part of my personality to tackle many big challenges at once (it’s where I get my energy from) it’s also an intentional culture we’ve built at Perq Studio. A culture of leaning into challenges because we support each other. While I do my course, I know the team will have my back (and accept I’ll probably be a little tired as I juggle everything). But we’re all confident that the experience will help me #LevelUp and that I’ll bring new ideas and energy back to the team for everyone to enjoy. Time may be precious, but it’s not as valuable as new knowledge. In business, if you don’t pursue new thinking, you’ll become extinct.
My daughter Alessia is being taught to embrace a growth mindset at school – the idea that you might not know something yet and good mistakes are a thing. And while this terminology is new to me – the idea of life being one big learning opportunity has been ingrained in me from a young age.
Growing up my dad would always remind me that “la curiosità è un segno d’intelligenza” (curiosity is a sign of intelligence) and that “nella vita non si smette mai di studiare” (in life you never stop studying). I’m so grateful that my family encouraged a mindset that you never arrive; you never stop learning. That’s why I’ve never pretended when I don’t know what someone is talking about. I’ve always been the first to pipe up and ask ‘the stupid question’ because then I have absolute clarity about what we’re all working towards and what my contribution can be. You can’t build success if you don’t understand.
So, as I embark on my studies I thought I’d share some thoughts on how to embody a growth mindset:
1. Be proactive in your learning: “We only know what we know”. I say this to the team all the time. We may be ‘experts’ but claiming you know everything is ignorance in action. If you stay in one job too long without looking beyond your day-to-day, you’ll become irrelevant. Make it your job to learn, all the time, every day.
2. Leave your ego at the door: Always ask the ‘stupid question’. Chances are, everyone else is thinking it. Don’t be afraid to lose face, just make it your mission to understand. You’ll soon see that it’s the secret weapon to uncovering key insights you need to accelerate your work.
3. Model life-long learning: If you’re a leader, make sure you ask your team to do as you do not simply do as you say. If you celebrate curiosity, failure and a thirst for knowledge your team will follow because they will see how it leads to success. Build a culture of trust where people are not afraid to admit when they feel out of their depth or have made a mistake. It’s vital to fostering growth at an organisational level.
Agile methodologies are a great way to bring a culture of learning, growth and curiosity into your workplace. Check out the work we did for Mars Inc. to bring the power of Agile to life.