As we continue our journey discussing how critical leadership, mindset, and culture are to success in Consumer-Centered Innovation (CCI), I was reminded of how important mindset is across all aspect of our lives. Govindarajan and Srinivas (2013) discuss innovation challenges and the importance of mindset, which they define as a way to ‘think different, act different, and achieve extraordinary success’.

The Story…

Working in Philadelphia allows us to spend time at Reading Terminal – yes, the same Reading many of us know from our Monopoly playing days. Today it is known as Reading Market, a thriving city-wide block of food vendors, farmer’s market, flower stores, and one of the best donut shops EVER!

Recently I was reminded about the Power of Yes! in achieving goals and how important mindset matters in achieving success over breakfast at the Market. Eddie was a seat down from me. We started with small talk and he mentioned that he just got off his second full-time job (3rd shift). Breakfast was a treat for him as he prepared to go to his primary full-time job. I asked, ‘why two jobs?’ He said that he was working hard to save and start his next business.

During the conversation, Eddie shared his business plan, goals and actions. I left thinking to myself that Eddie was going to win. Why? Eddie exhibited the innovation mindset qualities identified by Govindarajan and Srinivas (2013) in a second HBR article. These included the ability to see and act upon opportunities, the use of ‘And’ thinking, resourcefulness, and a focus on outcomes – not activities.

What I Learned And What You Can Learn…

As I considered the definition of mindset from Govindarajan and Srinivas, as well as my experience with Eddie, I now believe there are three important types of mindsets critical to success:

  1. Learning Mindset – Eddie failed in a previous business, however, he said that he now knows better and has learned. Learning is his ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card.
  2. Results Mindset – Too often, people have the right mindset yet never seize the opportunity. Eddie leveraged a key resource (his time) and committed to working two jobs to achieve his goals. Every time Eddie passes ‘Go’, he’s collecting a lot more than $200.
  3. Get S**t Done Mindset – As people and organizations say Yes! to the Power of Innovation and commit to the right mindset, it’s amazing what gets done. Organizational barriers are torn down, people challenge the way stuff has always been done. We stop accepting ‘No’, use ‘And’ thinking to deliver results for customers. To get s**t done, you have to be like Eddie and commit to rolling the dice and making the next move.

What You And I Can Do…

Like Eddie, choose every day to have the right mindset – the mindset to learn, get s**t done, and deliver results. Life may be a game; however, mindset – what you do to think and act differently to achieve extraordinary results is a choice.


 

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