In disruptive, challenging times, your business’s mindset becomes a pivotal element, helping initiate the changes your business needs to survive or even thrive. Even when the operating environment is more stable, adopting the right mindset allows you to maintain competitiveness and achieve growth. 

So what constitutes your business mindset? What do businesses need to change and how can they implement these changes? The right mindset comes down to managerial and organizational culture. 

What is meant by a business mindset?

Your business mindset can be defined as your assumptions, biases, and beliefs about your organization and its position in the world. It can include particular attitudes your organization holds. 

An organization with a mindset that looks for opportunity in adversity looks to the future and plans for weathering disruptive events like the current coronavirus pandemic and emerging from them stronger than before. Your mindset can also be specific to certain elements or factors in your business. 

For example, you might rethink the role of business process outsourcing in your organization and see an economic disruption as an opportunity to rearrange your functions and incorporate more outsourced processes for operational cost savings

Change unproductive mindsets

What are some of the more unproductive mindsets of organizations? To start, individuals, teams, and organizations stuck in a rut might have a reactive, “victim” perspective. This fixed mindset could see team members shirking challenges, abandoning goals easily, and ignoring constructive feedback. 

People with a fixed mindset often feel powerless to change things. This type of mindset also sees other people’s success as a threat and refuses to see any point in making an effort. The scarcity mindset is another perspective organizations need to work to overcome. This type of mindset arises from a place of fear and is focused on the negative and seeing oneself as the victim. 

With this perspective, the individual, team, or organization never has enough resources, time, or know-how to achieve something. Another potentially negative mindset is the saboteur or “judge” mindset, whereby individuals quickly jump to judgment and close themselves off to new ideas. 

How to change your mindset

Before attempting to effect a change in mindset, encourage your teams to accept an adjustment in thinking is necessary and positive for the organization. Other ways to drive your teams forward include fostering an infinite mindset focused on improvement rather than winning. 

Your organization’s leadership should reinforce the type of mindset that galvanizes your teams, departments, or functions into a common mission. Obtaining this buy-in is essential for a real shift in the organizational mindset.

Organizations can shift from the scarcity mindset to one of abundance by adopting the idea of limitless opportunities and possibilities in life. Emphasizing the positive aspects of any situation and focusing on what’s working rather than what’s not working is another aspect of the abundance mindset. 

Further, in contrast to the judgmental mindset is the learning mindset. This type of viewpoint is open to the perspectives of others, to learning, and to asking and listening. Nurture curiosity, openness in your employees to encourage learning and continuous improvement. 

Redefining vision and strategy

Redefining your organization’s vision and strategy is crucial for a mindset change at the organizational level. Instead of a fixed or “victim” mindset, advocate, and implement a growth mindset.

Teams with growth mindsets are keen to learn, inspired by others’ success, enthusiastic about overcoming challenges, persevering, and accepting of constructive criticism. 

An empathic mindset approach can drive a better customer experience as well as measurable improvements in aspects like UX design and product quality. By learning to understand your customers, your organization can differentiate itself, engage with its customers, and build a trustworthy brand.

The importance of training employees

Encourage and train individuals and teams to review their own thinking, changing their own beliefs to empower themselves through better attitudes and perspectives.

For example, enshrine in your organizational culture the idea anyone can innovate to release the full potential of what appears to be scarce resources and know-how. 

Also, provide your teams with practical techniques like learning to “flip the switch.” This technique involves catching negative mindsets and flipping them to their positive opposites. 

An unstoppable mindset can be based on a sense of serving the world, of providing solutions to unique or widespread problems consumers are facing. This can create drive and motivation for your teams to push forward and achieve their goals. 

Finally, an unbeatable mindset can be characterized by regularly questioning how you’re doing things. From everyday operations to strategic initiatives, periodically taking a step back and reassessing how things can be improved is a surefire way to achieve constant improvement. 

Summing up

The economic environment in 2020 demands new ways of thinking and new approaches from businesses, and the solution could be as simple as a mindset shift. 

At a fundamental level, your business mindset is about how you see things. It can be written into and reflected in your company strategy, culture, and everyday operational processes. 

A change in mindset can result in innovative solutions you hadn’t considered before. Changing the mindset of your employees, teams, and whole organization might not happen overnight, but it is possible to effect a cultural shift to make your organization more dynamic, agile, and successful in a disruptive operating environment.