Earlier this year, Madgavkar et al at McKinsey & Co. explained why 2022 may be a year for CEOs to harness growth jolts. They pointed to several growth sectors, including e-commerce and virtual health care, that leveraged the upheaval of the pandemic to launch and develop new business models. While some businesses sought stability, others took advantage of the tailwinds and sped up. The result is that the gap between the high performers and the rest of the field has widened. Let’s take a look at some of the strategies that have enabled businesses to thrive amid upheaval.
Add Imagery to Mastery and Performance Goals
This type of goal must be accompanied by a performance goal — the aim to outperform others. When business leaders can align on an image of how they might achieve both of these goals, the chances of success are higher.
Action: Get the senior leadership team together. Address mastery and performance goals separately. Then, get aligned on how you imagine this might occur. Develop a strategy to engage everyone in the organization on this mission. Developing this mindset can boost the morale and performance of the organization.
Develop Widespread Psychological Momentum in the Organization
Psychological momentum is a key factor in success. There are three factors that boost psychological momentum: confidence, perceived competence, and internal (ability-skill) attributions. When doing performance evaluations, focus on how you can boost the confidence of individuals and teams. Provide positive feedback where it is deserved. Invest in training and reskilling to increase perceived competence. Where you can, match tasks with skills that people possess.
Action: Think of the spirit of a sports team that’s together at half-time. If they’re ahead, they’re fired up, and the captain or equivalent will use this “fire” to pump them up even further. If they are down, then they will use the break to reset. Do exactly this. Depending on where you are, share winning messages with the entire organization. And if you’re down, focus on a reset and how you will benchmark this to help people join you in your momentum shift.
Use Embodied Learning
Many learning programs ignore the importance of the body for the mind to develop. Yet, embodied learning is crucial to adopting new ways of being. Rather than espousing cognitive theories to people, help them to feel it in their bones. Well-being, self-awareness, and stress relief are enhanced when the learning is embodied. For any mindset intervention to work, people must have optimal stress (that is motivating, yet not debilitating), as well as self-awareness. Virtual reality experiences can help to embed learning. This can enhance real-world learning. It’s not just competencies, but mindsets that need to be embodied.
Action: Add virtual reality to your learning strategy to help embed learning. Remember that embodiment can help the learning of competencies as well as the implementation of a growth mindset. Trying to skip over aligning on mindsets may prove to be costly in the long run. Aligning on mindsets offers great competitive advantage, especially if you can do this for the entire organization.
This year will likely offer tremendous growth for business leaders willing to dig deep to implement strategies to achieve mastery and performance goals, enhance momentum and get the organization aligned deeply in these aspirations. Leaders who invest in these mindset strategies are likely to build more sustainable wins, especially if this investment is continuous and relevant to the changing circumstances at hand.