Changing To a Growth Mindset: Volume 2

Posted by The Icehouse on 16/05/2023 12:00:00 AM

Changing To a Growth Mindset part one asked what stagnating business owners can do to develop a new and positive growth mindset and how The Icehouse’s Owner Manager Programme can play a part in that process.

Changing To a Growth Mindset Volume 2_ Blog_Image

But what about going back to absolute basics and answering some fundamental questions around why you want to grow in the first place? Do you even want growth? Does it matter? Can you pass your growth mindset to others?

A growth mindset in business refers to the belief that an individual or organisation can develop and improve their abilities, skills, and intelligence over time through hard work, learning, and dedication. People with a growth mindset tend to embrace challenges more readily, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as necessary for success, and learn from criticism. 

But why grow in the first place? And do you need to have a growth mindset to build a successful business? After all, plenty of business owners have made it through sheer grit, hard work and maybe a little slice of luck and, as a result, have a good life thanks to having a great business (which meets all their personal, professional and financial goals).

However, there’s enough evidence to suggest that a growth mindset is a prerequisite for business growth itself… and ‘better’, faster, and more sustainable growth at that. 

Gearing up leading your Kiwi business into the future by Darl Kolb, David Irving, Deb Shepherd and Chris Woods from the Business School of the University of Auckland and, of course, key players and trailblazers in the foundation and continued success of The Icehouse and OMP, puts the growth mindset in perspective by asking: ‘Why change the way you are doing things?... We are not suggesting that every business must grow; but good business should embrace change, and this often comes from growth and development.’

We were asked recently whether a growth mindset can be transferred, or passed on to others? There are many business owners who still have a growth mindset, but are coming to the end of their ownership cycle, and understand that ‘passing on’ that growth mentality can extend the lifespan and success of the business. 

As a result, we’re noticing some interesting trends around growth mindset demographics – especially in family businesses. 

“It’s almost a ‘growth mindset legacy’ for family businesses. The kids are smart and savvy, have degrees in different fields, but don’t necessarily have the wider skills because they know nothing other than working in the family business,” says then Customer Growth Partner, Rachael Wallis.

“Some owners are at a point in their lives where they don’t want to, or can’t, grow the business themselves anymore. They’re happy at the stage they’ve got to, but they understand that powering the next generation’s growth mindset through training and development will help future-proof the business.” 

“Others are looking to still grow themselves and the business, but also want their children, or the next generation of owners, to work alongside them, to speak the same language and bring something new to the table, which ties into other areas, such as exit strategies and succession planning.”

Many of our alumni feedback to us that they “believed” that they had a healthy growth mindset but, in reality, were going through the motions as business owners. Studies on the subject conclude that a growth mindset can help you become more resilient in the face of adversity, foster innovation, empower you to become more adaptable under pressure, and even enable you to cultivate a positive attitude – in all areas of life. 

“I'm actually at a bit of a crossroads at the moment. I've been doing this for nearly a quarter of a century now, so I'm at the point in life where I think I want to start giving a bit more back,” says Laurence Sherriff, the founder and Managing Director of Align and an OMP alumni. 

“I may be out of the business in 10 years’ time, and doing something new. I have a funny feeling it could have something to do with mental illness and helping people, with a focus on younger people.” 

Ultimately, a shift in mindset can be the difference between achieving all your goals and aspirations, you just may get there a whole lot quicker. Training and development can accelerate the process. And with a future guaranteed, owners find they discover a freedom and energy to take on more and positively impact the people around them.

“You end up holding a pretty privileged position [as a business owner]… but I think I've come to accept that I've earned the right,” says Hamish White, owner of NOW and another Owner Manager Programme alumni. 

“I'm surrounding myself with really, really good people and making sure that I'm not getting in the way of constraining our potential and growth. Learning to let go and having the people around you that give you that confidence to let go, is a key to unconstrained growth.”
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Topics: Owner Manager Programme