Training and Developing Growth Mindset

Two weeks ago, Taylor kicked off our new series on Growth Mindset: what is it?! Today we’re exploring a growth mindset in training & development. 

The Neuroleadership Institute (NLI) defines growth mindset as

…the belief that your skills and abilities can be improved, and that ongoing development is the goal of the work you do. However, creating a growth mindset culture isn’t just about having optimistic employees, but creating a space where employees strive to learn, enjoy being challenged, and feel encouraged to develop new skills.

Let’s look at a case study of NLI’s work with Microsoft. 

A few years ago, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella started a revolution from a revelation: the success of the company was dependent upon a culture of continuous learning and a workforce of “learn-it-alls” instead of “know-it-alls”. 

Training and development became the forefront of the Priorities, Habits, and Systems of the company. 

NLI’s growth mindset work follows a structure of Priorities → Habits → Systems. In the case of Microsoft, executive leadership adopted a growth mindset as a major priority to be supported through habitual training and learning activities and embedded into organizational systems like performance management and pulse surveys.  

Microsoft created “interactive online modules with rich storytelling and multimedia” for their employees to learn independently and on-demand about the why, what, and how of growth mindset. Managers were given conversation guides to help drive and facilitate meaningful discussion about growth mindset within departments and teams. When team members exhibited growth mindset habits, they were recognized and positively reinforced.











Graphic: NLI Growth Mindset Case Study Collection

Training is often thought of as sitting in a room (physical or virtual), facing forward, listening to a facilitator read words from slides. Training doesn’t have to – and shouldn’t – look and feel like that. 

Our team hosted an interactive workshop this week where participants sat around one large table with the facilitators, everyone facing inward and around at each other. Learning was facilitated through large group discussion, partner discussion, independent work, and even physical movement around the building and the block (we literally walked around the block during a break!). 

Is your training stale? How can you shift the paradigm to a Growth Mindset in your training and development priorities, habits, and systems? 



Jillian Miles Massey