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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Switch #7--Motivate the Elephant and Grow your People

Motivate the Elephant and Grow your People: According to Stanford Professor James March, most of us make decisions based on consequences (what’s the impact on me) or on identity (what kind of person am I, thus what should I do). In a great example the authors show the value of having someone signing a petition and then weeks later advancing their commitment significantly (p. 158-160). Carol Dwek, also a professor at Stanford, has studied fixed vs. growth mindsets (see p. 163-68). In essence, fixed mindset people believe that they have a fixed amount of talent. Growth people see themselves as more plastic and able to develop. In a fascinating study, she proved that students taught the growth model (the brain is like a muscle to be conditioned) were immensely more successful as ranked by teachers in a double blind experiment. Bottom line: During times of change, teach people that the mind is not fixed, but rather like a muscle that can learn new things, grow and adapt—at any age.

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