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5 Mindsets for Effective Strategy Execution

A study by the University of Pennsylvania found that when team members have a positive mindset about the team's ability to succeed, they are more likely to put in the effort and work together effectively to achieve their goals.

Mindsets are mental maps that reflect and guide how people behave in organizations. These cognitive frameworks not only shape individual actions but also influence the collective momentum of teams and companies.

In this article, we delve into the critical mindsets that drive effective strategy execution and underpin success in today’s complex world.

1- Adaptive Strategic Mindset

A strategic mindset refers to a cognitive approach and thought process that emphasizes long-term planning, critical thinking, and a holistic perspective when dealing with complex situations and challenges. The adaptive part suggests an openness to continuous learning and experimentation, a focus on emerging opportunities, and a willingness to change direction. It might be “cliché” to start with this mindset, but using a strategic mindset is fundamental to better performance. Research shows that companies with adaptive strategic mindsets are more likely to successfully implement new strategies, survive in periods of industry disruption, and achieve their long-term financial goals

Professionals with an adaptive strategic mindset are proactive planners who embrace change as an opportunity. They constantly assess the landscape, adjust their strategies accordingly, and are quick to pivot when needed.

To foster an adaptive strategic mindset, encourage continuous learning, provide opportunities for cross-functional collaboration, and promote a culture of experimentation where employees feel safe to propose and implement new strategies.

Many of the leaders we’ve worked with raised concerns about predominant short-term thinking within their team, likely triggered by the rapid pace of change, especially amid the challenges that were brought about by the pandemic. The rush to handle immediate problems can make us deprioritize long-term perspective taking.

That's where our Leadership Training Program comes in. We worked with many clients to reinstate their team's strategic thinking skills along with adjacent skills like data analysis and visualization to help them make informed strategic decisions for long-term success.

2- Agile Mindset

The Agile manifesto created in 2001 presented four values that reflect agile development initiatives:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

  • Working software over comprehensive documentation

  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

  • Responding to change over following a plan

Organizations and teams that fulfill an agile mindset have more respect for people and culture, show more focus on delivering outcomes, are more willing to accept and adapt to change, and possess greater psychological safety.

In strategy execution, agile mindsets lead to proactive monitoring and agile adjustment of strategies in response to changing market conditions and unforeseen obstacles. The accelerated pace of change, global interconnectedness, uncertainty, and evolving consumer preferences make it challenging to foresee and adhere to 3, 5 or 10 years strategy plans without the need for adaptation.

Organizations that embrace a more flexible and responsive mindset are better equipped to thrive in the face of constant change and uncertainty. Teams with an agile mindset prioritize flexibility and responsiveness. They value collaboration, iterative development, and continuous improvement.

To nurture an agile mindset, organizations should invest in Agile training and coaching for teams, establish clear communication channels, and empower employees to make decisions at the appropriate level. Regular retrospectives and feedback loops can also aid in the development of agility.

Our Omnichannel Organization ​​™️ assessment is a great way to measure the flexibility of your organization and identify key problem areas before taking action. Reach out to learn more.

3- Growth Mindset

A Growth mindset is one characterized by a commitment to continuous learning and adaptability, both for the leader and their team, to drive personal and organizational growth and success. It involves fostering a culture of ongoing development and innovation. Most importantly, a growth mindset is a belief system that embraces challenges and sees failure as an opportunity for learning and growth.

While having a growth mindset is key to effectively implementing strategy, the responsibility falls on the organization's leader to exemplify and lead as a "Growth Leader”.

Individuals with a growth mindset thrive on challenges and view failures as opportunities to

learn and grow. They frequently express enthusiasm for taking on new challenges, seeking feedback, and embracing the idea that effort leads to mastery.

To promote a growth mindset, recognize and celebrate effort, resilience, and the pursuit of learning. Provide resources for skill development, offer mentorship programs, and create a culture that values the process of improvement over perfection.

4- The Builder’s Mindset

A Builder’s Mindset is an attitude focused on innovation, taking initiative, and creating positive change. Leaders with a Builder’s mindset are proactive, willing to take risks, and committed to bringing new ideas and improvements to the organization. A “Builder’s Mindset” is fundamental to achieve scalability.

According to Gallup “Builders” display high levels of knowledge, business instinct, determination, confidence, and independence. Importantly, they are both risk mitigators and disruptors. Individuals with a builder's mindset are visionaries who see opportunities where others see challenges. They are constantly brainstorming innovative solutions, eager to craft and refine their ideas into tangible results, and they often refer to "blueprints" and "experimentation" as part of their approach.

To encourage a builder's mindset, organizations should incentivize innovation, provide resources for experimentation, and create a supportive environment for employees to take calculated risks. Encouraging cross-functional collaboration can also help bring diverse perspectives to the creative process.

Through our work with scaleup organizations, we help leaders cultivate a builder's mindset within their teams, enabling them to embrace innovation, pursue creative solutions, and drive sustainable growth. We achieve this by providing tailored training, coaching, and strategic guidance that empowers leaders to take calculated risks, and translate their ideas into actionable initiatives.

5- Holistic Leadership

To lead in a complex world, you must become a holistic leader. As highlighted by Marilyn Zakhour the CEO & Founder of Cosmic Centaurs, “Holistic leaders understand that their role isn't just about making strategic decisions; it's about maintaining visibility and influence over the entire system, ensuring that it functions as a cohesive whole. Ensuring that they are managing the collective performance.” To learn more about “Leading Organizations that Deliver”, check out Marilyn’s keynote at the 2023 Cosmic Conference.

Holistic leadership is an approach that involves addressing several aspects of an organization concurrently, striving for comprehensive solutions.

People with a holistic mindset focus on the big picture and interconnectedness. They emphasize the importance of considering all aspects of a situation and often use terms like "systems thinking" and "balance" when discussing solutions or strategies.

To nurture a holistic mindset, promote a systems-thinking approach to problem-solving. Encourage employees to consider the broader implications of their decisions and provide training in systems thinking techniques.

When we start any consulting mission with a company or leader we run a full diagnosis covering the 5 dimensions of our Omnichannel Organization ​​™️ Framework: People, Culture, Structure, Process, Systems. This allows us to have a holistic view of the challenges the company is facing in order to come up with a solution that solves for all components of organizational strategy.

Overall, the evidence suggests that mindsets play a critical role in the success of organizations. By understanding and cultivating the right mindsets, leaders can create a culture where people are more likely to be engaged, innovative, and productive, leading to better strategic execution and overall organizational success.

For more help in delivering on your strategy, download our strategy brochure or book a 1-on-1 consultation with us.


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