Instilling a Growth Mindset to Drive Innovation
For the past year, as the head of innovation at and running our incubator, Lumenlab, I have been working with our teams to create disruptive business models that drive growth. Reimagining insurance — by moving beyond the current definition of what insurance could or should be — is our objective. In pursuing it, we have discovered that we can maximize our impact not just by building businesses, but also by affecting culture change.
Specifically, it has become clear that to achieve our objective, we need to instill a growth mindset in our people. As defined by Stanford Psychology Professor a growth mindset is an attitude about approaching challenges that embraces exploration, experimentation and collaboration. The research of Prof. Dweck and others shows that fostering this mindset helps innovators move an organization past an outmoded reliance on strict hierarchies and systems towards agility, bravery and inventive value creation. Per Prof. Dweck, individuals with a growth mindset have been found to possess four characteristics: • They are Hyper-curious; • They are Passionately Transparent; • They are Super-social; and • They are Adaptive.
Very few people exhibit all four of these traits — which is why it is so important to build a team that brings all of these qualities together. Anchored by these characteristics, a growth mindset fosters four behaviours that are essential to innovation:
The outmoded command-and-control style of management assumed that ‘the company knows best. A growth mindset requires reaching out to customers to enlist them in co-creating new products and solutions. One way in which we’ve cultivated this behaviour at Lumenlab is by building a customer communication platform called Misir, which we launched in Bangladesh. Akin to it is busting myths by directly asking customers what they really want. For example, it showed us that customers would pay more for a simpler insurance product.
Individuals who are Hyper-curious and Passionately Transparent tend to be strong in this domain.
This phrase was introduced by in his book of the same title, in which he describes an ‘open, generous, connected approach to work’. Stepper created a social collaboration platform for that is used by 60,000 employees and has helped to facilitate this work style. At Lumenlab, we’ve taken a page from his playbook and we encourage organizations to train employees to be more collaborative, sharing ideas and criticisms freely. Our own approach is exactly analogous to the Blockchain — a disruptive distributed public-ledger technology with which we are experimenting. Those who are Passionately Transparent and Super-social tend to be strong in this area.
At many companies, targets for the year are set in stone in the annual plan and teams compete for