Tag Archives: Mindsets

Learning Mindsets Enable Employee Development at Work

David Perkins

David Perkins

People adopt differing mindsets when trying to achieve quality results and increase learning at work, according to Harvard’s David Perkins, Michele Rigolizzo, and Marga Biller.

They expanded the distinction between fixed mindset and growth mindset described by Stanford’s Carol Dweck, and assessed with a brief questionnaire.

  • Michele Rigolizzo

    Michele Rigolizzo

    Completion mindset focuses on finishing a routine task with little mental investment.
    Accidental learning occurs with this stance, and employees who experience fear of failure, impersonal work environments, and monotonous tasks usually operate with this mindset.

  • Performance mindset aims to complete a task  without reflecting on how to can re-apply the process in the future.
    Marga Biller

    Marga Biller

    An example is temporarily using a technology but not investing attention to become an expert user.
    Incidental learning is a by-product of this mindset, described by Columbia’s Victoria Marsick and Karen Watkins of University of Georgia.

  • Development mindset seeks to complete a task and to learn applicable approaches when completing similar future tasks.
    An example is leading an effective kickoff meeting to set the tone for productive work sessions.

    Victoria Marsick

    Victoria Marsick

    Intentional learning occurs with active involvement in observing, analyzing, and reflecting on the process.

To move beyond a Completion stance, Perkins and team suggested that organizational leaders  encourage quality work and active reflection on that work to set the expectation of a Development mindset.
In addition, leaders can also implement collaboration and feedback systems with time for reflection on completed tasks.

-*How do you enable team members to adopt a Development Mindset?

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New Questions, “Senses” for Innovative Thinking and Problem-Solving

Tim Hurson

Tim Hurson

Canadian creativity theorist Tim Hurson developed the Productive Thinking Model (“ThinkX”), a structured approach to solving problems or generating creative ideas, outlined in Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking.

It incorporates structured questioning approaches similar to those found in Design Thinking and Innovation laboratories:

  • What’s Going On?” defines the problem’s context and potential solution structure
  • What’s the Itch?” generates an extensive list of perceived problems or opportunities, then distills these into problem clusters, which reveal highest priority issues
  • What’s the Impact?” analyzes the issue and its implications
  • What’s the Information?” provides problem details
  • Who’s Involved?” identifies involved stakeholders
  • What’s the Vision?” and “What’s Success?” specify desired changes in the future state using the mnemonic “DRIVE“:
  1. Do – What must the solution do?
  2. Restrictions – What must the solution not do?
  3. Investment – What resources can be invested?
  4. Values – What values must the solution fulfill?
  5. Essential outcomes – What are other elements specify the required future state?
  • What’s the Question?” defines the problem as a question through brainstorming, clustering and prioritizing
  • What are Answers?” generates possible solutions through the same approach of brainstorming, clustering, and prioritizing
  • What’s the Solution?” develops the suggested solution into a more robust approach using the mnemonic POWER:
  1. Positives – What’s good about the idea?
  2. Objections – What’s sub-optimal about the recommendation?
  3. What else? – What else does the solution suggest?
  4. Enhancements – How can the solution’s benefits be improved?
  5. Remedies – How can the idea’s drawbacks be corrected?
  • How are Resources Aligned?” specified tasks, timelines, milestones, deliverables, issues, mitigations, stakeholders, and project team members who execute plan.
    TED Talk
Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future outlines required innovation thinking skills to solve problems using approaches like Hurson’s Productive Thinking.

A Whole New MindHe argues that contemporary world economic conditions require six conceptual, subjective, holistic “senses” to transform abundant information into meaningful and actionable implications:

  • Design is more important than function
  • Story eclipses argument
  • Symphony” (collaborative integration) surpasses focus
  • Empathy is more relevant than logic
  • Play trumps seriousness
  • Meaning is valued above accumulation.
Seymour Epstein

Seymour Epstein

Seymour Epstein of University of Massachusetts supports Pink’s argument by positing two thinking styles in Constructive Thinking: The Key to Emotional Intelligence:Constructive Thinking

  • Rational-analytical mind, measured by intelligence tests
  • Intuitive-experiential mind, associated with emotions and more intuitive ways of knowing, and measured by Epstein’s Constructive Thinking Inventory (CTI)

This “bicameral mind” model is similar to earlier notions of “Left-brain, Right-

Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck

brain”, and Dweck’s Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner

Like Howard Gardner of Harvard’s theory of multiple intelligences in Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Epstein suggests that both “minds” demonstrate unique types of intelligent knowing, and the Intuitive-experiential mind can be developed to support Emotional Intelligence competences of self-awareness and self-regulation.Frames of Mind

These authors and their findings suggest the value of cultivating less analytic and conscious modes of knowing to enhance:

  • Creative problem solving
  • Emotional Intelligence skills: Self-awareness, social insight, self-regulation, managing conflict, collaboration, influence in interpersonal relationships.

-*What skills and techniques help you innovate problem solutions?

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