April 06, 2020
The Growth Mindset: Hope Springs Eternal
By Tom Kaneshige
"Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blest.
The soul, uneasy, and confin’d from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come."
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
Forebodings tell us the worst is yet to come. We’re bracing for a deadly spike in coronavirus victims this month. Millions of jobs have already been lost with more on the way. And now a New York Times headline echoes what we know in our hearts: “U.S. Is Nowhere Close To Reopening The Economy, Experts Say.”
Yet, as the early 18th century poet Alexander Pope reminds us, it is not in our nature to despair.
It’s time we tap into our capacity to hope for a better future, even plan for it. Through action, we can free ourselves from the debilitating trappings of fear and dread. We can change our mindset to one of growth, says Mark Simoncelli, senior global growth acceleration, strategy and value creation executive at Frost & Sullivan.
"Growth isn’t always about business growth, rather it’s about not being limited by our talent or circumstance," Simoncelli says. "We’re going to constantly learn, put in the hard work, adjust. The more people who have a growth mindset, the more we’re going to see a rebound."
Hard to see, though, isn’t it?
But the signs are there, acts of cooperation even in the cut-throat worlds of business and politics. Countries are coming together to crack the vaccine at a pace unseen in modern history. GE working with Ford to transform factories into making respirators. Competitors forming partnerships and pooling resources to save industries.
And if you look hard enough, through the fog and bleakness, you’ll see a few bright lights in the not-too-distant future. The U.S. government plans to reinvest in infrastructure and intelligent mobility systems. Companies will come up with sterilization products, virus tracking and patient monitoring. New ecosystems will emerge, because no one wants to go through this again.
"There’s suffering and pain, but also heroic efforts every day," Simoncelli says. "Out of this, there will be new industries, new business models, new ways of working, new entrepreneurial ideas. And there will be lots of jobs created as the infrastructure kicks in."
[Related: Frost & Sullivan’s webinar on April 9, 2020, “Market Impact of COVID-19: How to Respond, Reset, and Rebound.” Register here.]
Simoncelli’s optimism lies at the heart of the growth mindset. In action, the growth mindset confronts today’s pandemic in three ways, according to Frost & Sullivan.
It starts with creating a crisis management team (not unlike the military) to tackle immediate problems, such as cash flow, liquidity and cutbacks. Next step is for companies to undergo a reset, that is, prepare for a rebound or a pivot to a new business model. Lastly, a rebound may take the form of a quick "V" or slow "U," which will determine what activities to focus on.
Companies that took digital transformation seriously are in a better position to make a successful rebound. Digital transformation connects a business across human capital, revenue engine, operations, IT and business steering, according to Frost & Sullivan. This leads to speed, agility and smart decisions based on data insights, which are great advantages in these uncertain times.
"The crisis is really accelerating the need to transform your organization across the ecosystem," Simoncelli says.
Digitally transformed healthcare providers, for instance, will be able to execute on telehealth — the ability to offer health-related services via electronic information and communication technologies. They can better take advantage of the Federal Communications Commission’s recently announced $200 million COVID-19 telehealth program.
The big idea is that the ability to rebound relies on people having a growth mindset. And a growth mindset is all about hope, a belief that better days lie ahead, and that we should be preparing for them.
"To get out of a crisis, we can never lose hope," Simoncelli says.
About the Author
Tom Kaneshige is the Chief Content Officer at the CMO Council and editor of Growth Monitor. He creates all forms of digital thought leadership content that helps growth and revenue officers, line of business leaders, and chief marketers succeed in their rapidly evolving roles. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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