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Mark Kelly, Director of Computer Futures Ireland, spoke at the HRDISRUPT Conference which took place on Thursday 5th October at the NDRC. It was a fantastic event with a lot of thought provoking topics, innovative ideas, and a community who wanted to share their experiences with others. His talk focused on the two mindsets and how they affect business. We spoke with him to find out more.

Mindset trumps talent
Mark spoke about how mindset trumps talent and how having a constructive feedback session with your management team proves to be a valuable process of discovering what makes people tick and what doesn’t. Referring to Carol Dweck’s book, Mark discussed how people can either have a fixed or growth mindset, which determines whether or not you’ll reach your potential.

Individuals with a fixed mindset have a desire to portray themselves as smart and feel threatened by the success of others. Whereas individuals with a growth mindset love the process of learning, looks at the bigger picture, seeks solutions, and embraces challenges. Companies can also have these mindsets.

Mark stressed that organisations should embrace a growth mindset. This will positively impact employee performance and engagement, reduce churn, increase profits, improve innovation, and create an environment of transparency.

Four questions to determine mindset
Mark also gave a brief overview of the research he accumulated by interviewing and surveying top level CEO’s, elite athletes, and top performers. He asked four questions and, depending on their answers, could determine if they had a fixed or growth mindset.

An example of a question Mark asks to determine an individual’s mind-set is as follows: 

“You came fourth in a race of eight other cyclists. Which statement most resonates you?

  1. You are too slow
  2. You need to speed up”

Those that chose A believe their ability is fixed and those that choose B believe their ability is something they can change and develop. An individual can change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. However, a company can’t move to a growth mindset company unless senior management have the same mindset themselves. They need to encourage the process of learning, rather than focus on the end results.

Key actions you can take
Mark set out three strategies a company can pursue, which are:

  1. Present skills as learnable
  2. Give feedback in a way that promotes learning & future success
  3. Position managers as resources for learning

It’s important to note that transitioning to a growth mindset is a daily journey which requires willpower. Employers should ask themselves how they and their colleagues are going to learn and grow each day.

Computer Futures and Mark would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Conor Kinsella, Arantza Gutierrez and Ivan Stojanovic for hosting and presenting HRDISRUPT. They’ve uncovered a unique conference format that will grow and develop, and we foresee very big things for this community. The content, delivery, and message shared on the day was innovative, disruptive and very inspiring.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Mark’s research into mindset and what he’s learned email him at m.kelly@computerfutures.ie.