Mindset is a peculiar phenomenon that is only now being recognised as a key component in the success or failure of any department, organisation or industry. To be successful a majority of people must have a success mindset. If we hear words like ‘we’ve always do it like this round here’ or ‘we need a period of stability’ or ‘it’ll never work’ we take these as warning signs that we are dealing with fixed Mindset.
Organisations can spend fortunes on restructuring or reengineering and produce wonderful structural charts that demonstrate massive benefits to the organisation. On implementation however, some of these benefits fail to materialise as they have not attended to the one essential component that will make a difference – the mindset of those responsible for delivering the change.
How many times have we been frustrated by the pace of change, by the reluctance in some to take up new ideas? Why do people react to new situations in different ways?
For example: how can football supporters from two teams go to the same game and see two different matches? “We won easily” vs. “We was robbed”. Or the management of your organisation see the latest change initiative delivering a real improvement to the way we work with our customers and some colleagues see it as something that will make it harder to put the customer’s first.
Our view of the world, like a television set, has different controls; brightness, contrast, colour, volume. All these controls affect the picture we see, the story we tell, they filter, distort, emphasise or minimise different aspects of what is happening around us. The funny thing is we have our own control stick; people are responsible for their own settings. Over time we reinforce our view of the world and the story we want to believe. This is mindset.
When a mindset becomes established it is very hard to change. How often do we find departments, teams, families all sharing the same view of the world? Peer group pressure ensures the status quo is maintained.
To make a real change, to shift to the next level of productivity, there has to be a change in Mindset. Alternatively organisations can throw huge amounts of effort, time, money and goodwill into the change process only to find that whilst some things are different (usually processes and structure) fundamentally the same attitudes and behaviours are still prevalent. The only way for change to be successful is for mindsets to adjust accordingly. It is the toughest aspect of the change process; it is frustrating and challenging. But when it starts to happen it is the most inspiring, satisfying and ultimately vital aspect of realising all the ambitions of a change programme.
(Thanks to Mike Rix for the inspiration)