Does it make corporate sense to recruit business students who gained the highest marks at University and who shine out as stars? According to Professor Carol Dweck being successful in the business world is not just about ability but is more about applying the right kind of mindset towards work: a mindset which views setbacks and challenges as learning opportunities and which sees people as having a huge potential for growth (rather than those adopting the less helpful fixed mindset which views failure as a lack of the smarts and people as fixed in their ability levels)
Adopting this growth mindset means that people will listen to and assimilate constructive feedback and recover quickly from setbacks because they believe they can get better at the job. Not only this, but they will thrive, and take on challenging tasks and believe in the application of effort when reaching for success. In addition to this, previous studies have shown that managers with this kind of mindset are much more likely to coach their staff because they believe that they can change and improve.
Carol Dweck says that the growth mindset of certain chief executives, such as Louis V. Gerstner Jr. of I.B.M or Anne Mulcahy of Xerox, has brought success to their high profile companies and energy to their staff. According to Dweck, and the research, people can change and learn to adopt more of a growth mindset. Most recently Apple have been in communication with Dweck and are applying her work within their business.
The theory has huge potential for application, and also for more research ideas not only in business but also in education, sport and health.
To read a New York Times article on mindset click here, and to go to our section on mindsets click here (we have some useful tools for application)