This article first appeared on the CEOWorld Magazine.
People often use mindset to refer to a core belief about oneself. But that’s far too narrow a focus. The biggest lever for change is not a change merely in self-belief but a fundamental change in the way people see and regard their connections and obligations to others. The mutual impact people have on one another turns on whether they carry a self-focused inward mindset or an impact-focused outward mindset. In organizations, changing from an inward to an outward mindset unlocks a whole new level of collaboration, innovation, and responsiveness among individuals, teams, and the organization itself.
A McKinsey & Company study found that organizations that identify and address pervasive mindsets at the outset are “four times more likely to succeed in organizational-change efforts than are companies that overlook this stage.” Leaders are critical to this effort: when leaders shift to an outward mindset, they naturally invite the rest of the organization to follow. When an organization is operating from an outward mindset, the dynamic shifts from individual to collective results and from singular gain to mutual reciprocity, resulting in a far better and sustained performance.
To start shifting mindset and jumpstart this transformation, leaders should ask themselves questions in four essential areas. Each plays a key role in leading organizational change.
Asking these questions gives you the knowledge and understanding you need to shift to an outward mindset as a leader. Then you’re equipped to make a game plan and start the process of changing mindsets in your organization. The power of an outward mindset is that it generates the kind of trust, transparency and cohesion — between people and between teams — that helps organizations grow over the long term. Rather than being a quick fix, it’s a total approach to change. Far more than about behavior, it gets to the heart of what truly drives remarkable creativity and performance.
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