Maintaining a growth mindset in challenging times

29 May 2024 • 4 min read

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In many respects, we’re incredibly lucky. We’re a business that spends its days learning about other businesses, and then working out how to apply the latest technology to help that business do more, better and faster. You could say the building blocks of a growth mindset are baked into what we do. 

Yet these are challenging times. It’s not always easy to maintain a growth mindset personally, let alone within teams and organisations. So recently, we hosted a webinar on that very topic, and these are the distilled takeaways from the session.  


How to keep going (and growing) when the going gets tough

Embrace challenges

Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) matter. It’s where AND Digital began, with a BHAG of closing the world’s digital skills gap. Even when there’s a risk of failure, embracing challenge and attempting the (audaciously) ambitious can stretch thinking, drive growth and lead to progress - and certainly greater progress than not attempting an ambitious challenge at all. 

Ambitions need to be thought through and clearly articulated, but at an individual, team and organisational level, setting BHAGs can push a person or business to achieve more than they ever thought possible, and help set a course for personal or team development. Even an ambition which hasn’t been fully realised will often deliver significant advantages. 


Stay curious

What if…? These two words are the hallmark of the growth mindset. Staying curious in everyday life and in work keeps you receptive to opportunities for growth and innovation, and helps you navigate uncertainties with positivity. 

Continuously learn and adapt


When the digital landscape changes so frequently, a drive for continuous learning and the ability to adapt is what enables an individual to stay updated with new technologies and ideas. This might be through formal training programmes, but in an organisation with a growth mindset, it’s just as likely to be through informal knowledge sharing. 

Embrace AI and technological advances


A person or organisation with a growth mindset doesn’t fear technological advancement; they embrace its potential for enhancing productivity and learning. With a positive approach to data and AI, for example, you can harness the potential to drive decision-making, to innovate, and to impact outcomes, client conversations and business strategies. 


Take calculated risks


That word ‘calculated’ is important. There’s nothing in a growth mindset that is cavalier or reckless. But it is important -  for an individual or business - to recognise that you may never feel fully ready for opportunities or challenges that come your way. Waiting until you feel completely prepared might mean missing out on valuable experiences. Taking a calculated risk, then, is about seizing opportunities, while trusting your ability to learn and grow through the process. 


Be resilient in the face of challenges


The test of any mindset is its ability to withstand adversity. The session explored the need to stay resilient when faced with challenges, to view setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth, and to seek support from others.  
How do you instil resilience and persistence in the face of external challenges? By recognising that setbacks are temporary. They can lead to valuable learning experiences. In fact, adversity often leads to the most significant innovations and learning experiences, and helps build an individual’s, team’s and organisation’s capacity for problem-solving and creativity.   




The session emphasised collaboration and seeking support from others as essential elements of maintaining a growth mindset. A supportive network of colleagues, mentors, friends, and family members is what helps an individual navigate challenges. A similar support network (‘the wisdom of the crowd’), is what helps teams solve problems collectively.

At a departmental or organisational level, a growth mindset helps to foster collaboration between technology teams and business stakeholders, ensuring the relationship is focused on solving problems and improving outcomes for customers, rather than solely implementing technological change.


Create psychological safety


Risk, ambition, curiosity, learning: these are all parts of what powers a growth mindset. It stands to reason, then, that an organisation that wants to foster a growth mindset should welcome those who ask for help or who acknowledge they don’t know something. Psychological safety is crucial to fostering a culture where learning and growth are prioritised over appearing infallible. 


The difference a growth mindset makes


Ten years ago, AND Digital was one person with a dream. A decade later, we’re 1,600+ strong, a ‘Best Company To Work For’, and going full speed ahead in closing the world's digital skills gap and proving our unique offering around the world. We’re doing that my embracing the magic of collaboration with our clients, and by always asking... ‘what if…?’

If you want the full run-down of the conversation, you can check out the webinar here. And if you fancy understanding the "what if...?" of working with us, you could start here




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