Hi there and welcome. My name is Kerstin Jatho from 4Seeds Consulting, a transformational coach that assists organisations and individuals to shift from languishing to flourishing. In this audio, I want to share with you how utilising a growth mindset can increase innovation. A growth mindset is a concept which was developed by a researcher called Carol Dweck.

She distinguished between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. And I’m sure a fixed mindset is something we are all familiar with. So, it’s having quite limited beliefs about things that we can’t achieve. Why bother, why even start, nothing’s going to change. So it’s all this negative talk that is very limiting to us and we do it in multiple areas in our lives.

But what it does, it hinders us really from trying. A growth mindset is quite the opposite. And it is about putting an effort to achieve goals for self-development for growth, but really looking at how to do this process ongoingly. So with the growth mindset, you won’t try something once and if you didn’t achieve it, give up. It’s a continuous dance that happens, knowing that it’s a journey that you are going to go on to actually achieve self-mastery. I mean, if you look at JK Rowling who wrote the Harry Potter books, she was rejected 12 times by publishing houses about this beautiful story, about the wizard at the age of 12 who really took the world by storm. And once these books were published, look what all these books did and all the movies that came out of it.

So, she had a growth mindset because she believed in her stories and she didn’t take no for an answer. She just carried on, improving on those stories, going back, filing away and just kept on saying, okay, so how can I learn from this? What’s the opportunity here for me to grow and shift more and more into mastery?

So, that is really where a growth mindset comes in, and with the growth mindset, you really develop becoming more smarter, more intelligent, and more talented as you put in more effort. And you might think, but my brain is really not malleable. It is what it is. And that is where science has proven us so wrong because our brains are very malleable.

Neuroplasticity has shown us that our brains are made of plastic. You can change and wire new thoughts, new skills. Even as an adult, you can change the way you improve. It just takes a lot more effort, a lot more practice, and a lot more patience, but you certainly can. I mean Einstein didn’t give up the first time round when he did his relativity theory and he didn’t consider himself lucky when he actually established the theory. It was something he tinkered away with over and over.

And every time he failed, he sat back and said, okay, so what’s the opportunity here for me to learn what is here, the opportunity for me to grow. You might be wondering, so how does this growth mindset now work and fit into innovation? And it’s exactly the same thing. When you start thinking about innovation, we very quickly limit or fix going to a fixed mindset, where we go; “it can’t happen”, “nobody’s interested”, “We can’t change things”.

So we use a lot of that negative language. And if we want to apply growth mindset for innovation, especially in a working environment, and especially in this time where we have to come up with new ideas because we know the old way of doing things are no longer possible, we need to bring in that lens of shifting what’s possible here. What are opportunities? What strengths can we apply? And we’ve really got to give ourselves permission to take away all these limiting thoughts that we have of it can’t happen and so on and so forth, but actually giving us permission to dream big and just see what’s possible and what can be done and asking yourself, what if. So really becoming curious and saying, ‘what if, what if I do this?’

What if I contract try this? And two, the two quickest ways to increase your level of innovation is to surround yourself with very creative people who really are big picture thinkers and see any limitation in their thoughts. So that’s very often very inspiring and liberating to be around very creative people.

And the second one is to just buddy with people and start conversations about an idea, a thought, and receiving their contribution or input often results in another thought or another idea. And so before you know it, you’ve got new innovative ideas. So becoming innovative is really about shifting your mindset from ‘I can’t’ to ‘not yet’, I haven’t mastered it yet and I haven’t come up with the ideal solution yet, or the perfect idea. And it’s really just ploughing away with it. Seeing every step back as an opportunity to try again. What I want to encourage you to do is to reflect on your work tasks and actually think of them without limitations. Sitting back and looking at your work tasks and thinking if I had no limitations such as time, money, personal, and yes, even fear.

What would I change here? What would I change in the process? What would I change in the way I do it? The routine or anything. And just starting to notice what comes up for you. So, giving yourself that permission to dream, to be creative, without bringing in any rational limitations of ‘I can’t’. The benefit for you is that you’ll definitely bypass your logical brain and tap into your innovation and hopefully through that come up with very inspiring and unique ideas for your own tasks in your team objectives. And with that, just enhancing performance and productivity within your organisation.

Thank you for listening. I look forward to connecting with you in the next audio.

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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