By Tamara Carleton. One feature of great innovation cultures is an abundance mindset.
An abundance mindset is a way of thinking expansively about future opportunities. People with an abundance mindset believe that there are limitless opportunities for everyone to train for, pursue, and propose. An abundance mindset leads to feelings of empowerment, commitment, and generosity. It is the updated version of Steven Covey’s “abundance mentality,” which focused on the benefits of a win-win model.
Great leaders establish the broader conditions for an abundance mindset to flourish within a corporate culture. They can do this in three ways: by creating a multitude of opportunities that help teams learn, advance, and suggest new ideas.
Opportunities to learn create an abundance of potential; opportunities to advance create an abundance of initiative, and opportunities to suggest create an abundance of creativity—which together reinforce the abundance mindset.
- Opportunities to learn encourage employees to break limited perceptions and think in new ways—which helps instill good innovation habits. Employees can take advantage of different options in learning tools and education, thus bringing new skills to their current roles and preparing them for their next career shift.
- Opportunities to advance allow people to find outlets that let them grow professionally and personally. They may even step sideways in the organization by creating more flexible roles, while retaining an unquenchable curiosity about what is possible.
- Opportunities to suggest new ideas help channel employees’ creative input. An abundance of new ideas provides the kindling for the bigger fire of innovation.
Creating an abundance mindset takes time. It also does not imply a fixed or excessive outlook. Depending on current business goals, a smart leader selects an appropriate mix of work values, practices, and elements to affect corporate culture and then adjusts that mix over time.
By adopting an abundance mindset, leaders create an innovative corporate culture that allows everyone to find and increase potential future opportunities for everyone involved. An opportunity today becomes an innovation tomorrow that, in turn, leads to more opportunities in a self-generating cycle. This is the ceaseless bounty an abundance mindset produces.
An expanded version of this article will be available in the next issue of Business Horizon Quarterly magazine.