Opportunities for growth lead to innovation.
As early back as 2007, Google rolled out its famous approach to innovation called the 80/20 rule, which allows employees to spend 20 percent of their time on side projects that interest them. At the time, this kind of growth mindset policy was unheard of, although since then, many companies have emulated this rule.
Deadlines and Production
The question on everyone’s mind: how were employees going to meet their deadlines and produce if they’re spending 20 percent of their time on whatever they want?
The reality is, an approach like this does require some risk-taking and trust, but taking a chance like this on your talent can reap huge benefits. Case in point: some of the Google’s most successful products have come out of the company’s 80/20 policy.
The Reasoning is Simple
As imaginative as the growth mindset approach is, the reasoning behind it is simple. When employees are given opportunities for growth, moments of innovation are also possible. When employees can work on projects that excite them, and are given time and support to do just that, they’re invigorated. This carries over to their day-to-day responsibilities.
At the end of the day, it helps individuals be more productive in their current jobs, and organizations can prosper from a growth mindset culture. When entire companies encourage employees to tackle ideas that excite them—even if it’s never been done before—it trains employees to be okay with taking some risks. They’re not turned off by failure. In fact, they’re energized by it. The organization becomes full with better learners, grows over time, and stays viable.
When entire companies encourage employees to tackle ideas that excite them—even if it’s never been done before—it trains employees to be okay with taking some risks.
This is the key to business success for today’s companies. The smartest companies understand that our ever-evolving business structures have resulted in the changing natures of careers.
The New Career Path
Yesterday’s 30-year lifelong career no longer exists. In fact, only 19 percent of companies today have traditional career models. The best organizations understand that most people will only stay for a few years.
The smartest organizations realize that if we only have you for a few years, they’ll do everything in their power to have you for the best years. If they do a good job at this, maybe you’ll stay. At worst, you leave but because the company focused on you, you go out into the ecosystem as an ambassador, someone who encourages other people to go work for the brand.
For all those reasons, the most innovative companies understand that helping the individual employee feel like they actually have a future—and a ramp, that they can go somewhere, that they can do something, that they can grow with your organization—is important.
Today’s Top Talent
We’re seeing over and over again that today’s talent, especially younger talent, care about coaching and development more than they do compensation. When organizations show that they care about their employees’ careers and are willing to offer opportunities for that growth through career models that support continuous learning, they can end up attracting the best talent.
And because these organizations have fostered a growth mindset kind of culture, they’re also able to get the most out of their existing employees—no matter how long they stay for. These are the organizations that will continue to reinvent and recreate and as a result, stay most competitive.
David is the Head of Research at Bersin by Deloitte and sets strategy, ensures high-quality efforts, and drives continuous innovation for Bersin’s research team. He is the former steward for Bersin’s Learning and Development research practice and has been the primary force behind their work in continuous learning, learning cultures, high-impact learning organization maturity, and learning management systems. He is also central to Bersin’s thought leadership related to HR’s operating models, governance, and the evolution of key roles such as the HR business partner.