Carol Dweck is a Stanford psychology professor,well known for her work on the power of mindsets to promote or discourage academic achievement and innovation. She’s famously seen an important distinction between people who view success as an outgrowth of talent that is inborn and immutable – those with a fixed mindset – and people who view failure as a chance to learn from mistakes and develop new skills – those with a growth mindset.
Extending her work from individuals to companies, she conducted a survey of employees working for seven Fortune 1,000 companies. The survey results suggest that organizations similarly exhibit fixed or growth mindsets. Those in the fixed camp depend more on star workers, whom they tend to hire from outside, placing great stock on educational pedigree. Those with a growth mindset tend to hire from within, caring more about potential and less about past accomplishments. Although Dweck has not yet connected mindset to financial performance, she has found levels of worker satisfaction, innovation, collaboration, and even ethical behavior are higher in the growth-oriented companies.