Cultivating a Growth Mindset

I came across an article and podcast that I’d like to share. For many years, I thought that if I didn’t do something right the first time, I was bad at it. That’s having a fixed mindset. Over time, I’ve learned that I can get better at things with practice. That’s having a growth mindset.

This episode of Deloitte’s Capital H podcast and this article from Harvard Business Review complement each other. If you’re interested in learning more about what a growth mindset is, I recommend checking these out. Listen to the podcast first, then read the article.

“The Value of Co-Creation”, Podcast Episode Recommendation

Sometimes HR podcasts can be a real snooze fest. But this guest was really engaging. I was struck by her skill in storytelling. She paints vivid pictures with her words, and it helps with relatability.

She gives tips on starting a new C-Level HR role (some counterintuitive) and stresses the need to reinvigorate the HUMAN part of Human Resources, a theme I’m hearing from other thought leaders in the space.

10/10 would recommend.

Prosci’s Tim Creasey on Measuring Change

Just under two years ago, I became a Certified Change Practitioner through Prosci, the “world’s most popular change management certification.” Used by 80% of Fortune 100 companies, their framework – ADKAR – can design and implement individual and organizational change programs.

Tim, their Chief Innovation Officer, is one of the most passionate people about OCM I’ve ever met. He loves getting the weeds and getting wonky about change. This podcast interview is no different and is probably best aimed at OCM professionals already doing the work.

That said, there were two concepts he raised that I think are widely applicable. First, he acknowledged that the shift to data-driven decisions is a step in the right direction, but that data without context – and data that doesn’t line up with what we see – is useless.

For example, your data could show that employee engagement is way up, but based on what you and your colleagues are observing, that doesn’t seem to be true. That can be a confusing place to be in. You’re not sure if you’re tripping or the data is wrong. The lack of alignment between what you feel and what’s reported impacts your buy-in to the change program.

The second point that stuck with me was making sure everyone’s working toward the same goal. He said something like, “empowerment without alignment is anarchy.” It had a slightly softer tone, but you get the idea. It’s so frustrating for a team to work hard, only to find out they’re working in different directions.

This was a solid podcast episode. If you’re into change and you’ve got 30 minutes, I think it’s work a listen.

Using Case Study Prep for Everyday Issues

I’ve shared before that I enjoy solving problems, but I felt like I could improve my skills in that area. Sometimes I’ll encounter a new problem that will totally baffle me. I’ve started approaching this situation like as if I was preparing for a case study interview. I use a framework to do a couple of things: make sure I understand the problem, develop a hypothesis, and design a test.

I can’t do this for every issue, and really every situation doesn’t need this approach, but it helps me be more efficient with my thinking time. These guys have a YouTube channel, too. I’m currently working through the “Toothbrush Test,” a method to determine how well you’ve tailored your structure to the specific problem.

This podcast episode and video may not be the best episode to start with if you’re brand new to case studies, but if you’re deep into case study prep, you might enjoy it.

There’s got to be a better way than back-to-back meetings.

I think we’ve all experienced days of back-to-back meetings, proceeded or followed by time when we actually “work.” This feels like the norm, but it doesn’t work.

In a typical workday, I need time to collaborate with groups and individuals; time to plan, monitor, and implement projects; time to reflect; and some time to respond to urgent requests. But I’m talking to dozens of people a day who have their own needs, and it’s hard to get aligned so that we can make the BEST decisions and do our BEST work. I’m not sure if we’re trying to do too much, if we have too few people, or if we don’t know how to use the tools we have (or maybe some mix of all three).

It’s a wicked problem, but I think the teams that figure it out can have more fun at work and will be able to get more done. It’s a win-win for organizations and individuals. I like how Cal Newport thinks about these things. The solutions still need to be designed, and he admits that they’re challenging to implement, but I think his ideas are worth a listen.