Dancing with Disruption Newsletter: March 2017

Mindsets Matter!
Are you a victim of 5 Thinking Distortions that Lead to Irrelevance and Failure?

Did you know that the behaviors you exhibit on a daily basis are the manifestation of how you see the world?

Everyone has “worldviews.” Worldviews are natural filters ingrained in us that cause us to perceive the world the way we do. Our background - from how we were parented, where we were raised in the world, religion, education level, and significant emotional experiences—have shaped our worldviews and mindsets.

Although it is important to respect all mindsets, it is true that some mindsets tend to create better results in today’s Age of Disruption.

What happens when leaders, teams, and organizations (even societies) operate with distorted and outdated mindsets? Nothing good. Research shows that both tangibles (financials) and intangibles (morale) drop. Competing in the 21st century business ecosystem with faulty mindsets is a sure path to irrelevance and failure.

We’ve identified five thinking distortions that many of us fall victim to. As you read through this list, evaluate whether you, your team, or your peers battle with these:

  • Distorted Mindset 1: What got us here will get us there. “Sticking to our knitting has always worked for us. We’ve been around forever, and there is a certain way we do things. There is no need to do things differently.”
  • Distorted Mindset 2: We know all there is to know. “I’ve gone from the shop floor to my current executive position. I’ve seen everything there is to see, believe me!”
  • Distorted Mindset 3: Employees should feel lucky to have a job. “You mean Joe feels he should have a promotion and pay raise? I know he’s one of our best performers and a high potential, but he should feel lucky to have a job.”
  • Distorted Mindset 4: Our competitor’s success is pure luck. “There’s no way our top competitor can continue their lucky streak. Their success is luck. They were at the right place at the right time.”
  • Distorted Mindset 5: We know what’s best for our customers and stakeholders. “It’s great to receive feedback from customers and stakeholders. And we should listen. But we have a better understanding of product possibilities than they do.”

All five mindsets have a few things in common: they are outdated, distorted, and misaligned to the realities of today’s Age of Disruption. They can be found at the individual, team, organization, and societal level. They can be found in all walks of life. And they are agnostic in terms of global region or culture.

The good news is that we can shift our unhealthy mindsets to those that produce better outcomes. The key is having an awareness of our flawed thinking. You can’t work on something you are unaware of. Some distorted thinking patterns might be blind to us, but, if you ask others that know you, they can give you a helpful reality check.

Stephen R. Covey once stated a powerful and true principle: if you want to help others change their behavior, you must help them see things differently and as they truly are. And the same goes for each of us.

Take time to evaluate current worldviews and mindsets that seem to be producing not only poor results, but positive results.

Become aware, because mindsets matter!