Agile Marketing Mindset: Explained
In her 2012 bestseller ‘Mindset’ Dr Carol Dweck, one of the world’s leading researchers in the fields of personality, social psychology and developmental psychology, explained how changing the way people think can help fulfil their potential. She highlighted the two common mind-sets as:
- the growth mind-set
- the fixed mind-set
The difference between the two lies in how a person organizes their work and how they deal with errors and setbacks. These differences can clearly be aligned with the two approaches to marketing I discussed in the first article of this series: the principles of agile marketing. You will probably have guessed it: the fixed mind-set focuses on command and control and complements the waterfall approach well, whilst the growth mind-set is more flexible and applicable to the agile marketing approach. I present both of these in greater detail in the following sections.
Growth mind-set (Agile Marketing)
Dweck (2012) argues that the core of the growth mind-set lies in the belief that every person can cultivate their basic qualities through focused effort. People with a growth mind-set zero in on identifying the key qualities they have (or ones that they would like to possess) and exert concerted effort to develop these to the maximum. As a result, they become more skilled, more effective and more efficient in completing their tasks, they produce results faster and these are often of better quality. Growth-oriented individuals usually thrive during the most challenging times at work (rather than feeling intimidated) and do not get involved in the blame game but focus on coming up with solutions to current problems. People with a growth mind-set are intellectually curious, possess high emotional intelligence and will identify with the following statements:
- Failure is an opportunity to grow.
- I can learn to do anything I want.
- Challenges help me to grow.
- My effort and attitude determine my abilities.
- Feedback is constructive.
- I am inspired by the success of others.
- I like to try new things.
Marketers who employ a growth mind-set are passionate about learning new skills and developing their individual abilities. Hence, they are much more likely to embrace the agile approach because they will not be discouraged by failure while completing marketing tasks, but would likely view them as an important learning process that leads to ongoing improvements.
Fixed Mindset (Traditional Marketing - Waterfall)
Marketers with a fixed mind-set are often heavily involved in dirty office politics because they feel comfortable in their role and do not usually perceive a need to improve themselves by acquiring new skills. According to Dweck (2012), people with a fixed mind-set are confident in their existing skills and often feel compelled to prove these over and over again.
It is fair to conclude that marketers that actively resist adopting the agile marketing methodology have a high likelihood of possessing a fixed mind-set. Think about it: is there a person within your team who hoards information and keeps them from other members of the team? Is there someone within the team who gossips and spreads rumors or blocks creative ideas from materializing? These types of individuals hinder agile marketing adoption within teams. Bad bosses and toxic people most of us encounter in the work environment are perfect e