Kadar’s webinar recap: 10 key takeaways

A growth mindset is the talk of the town in the HR world.


Because it is the way to unlock business potential and embrace new opportunities; it supports continuous improvement and helps talent become growth-oriented.

Additionally, a growth mindset is an essential foundation for building a strong company culture, allowing employees to feel a sense of belonging and a positive perception of a company.

Having studied the growth mindset within Kadar, we recognized the importance of this inclination. We wanted to share our perspective on this matter with the broader audience.

So, we decided to host an hour-long webinar titled “Enabling a growth mindset culture”. The guest was the confident and eloquent Ann-Kathrin Heinemann-Becker. Heinemann-Becker is the Vice President of People & Culture for the Swedish multinational Atlas Copco Group. As a part of a global Management Team, she defines and drives people strategy in the mentioned organization.

Our team decided to chat with Heinemann-Becker precisely because there is one thing that separates her from all the other VPs of Culture: the growth mindset. She is the embodiment of this type of mindset and lives as she preaches. When agreeing to attend as a guest of this webinar, her goal was to encourage and inspire people to start thinking about the growth mindset without prejudice.

Summing up the entire webinar conversation, we listed ten ways to help you understand and introduce a growth mindset to your personal and professional life.

#1: We, as people, are constantly juggling between fixed and growth mindsets.

What does this mean?

Simply put: we are constantly debating staying or leaving our comfort zones.

As Heinemann-Becker mentioned, a fixed mindset is a mindset of people rarely leaving their comfort zones. They see constructive feedback as harsh criticism and always compare themselves to others. People with such a mindset go as far as being jealous of those more successful than them. What is dangerous about this mindset is that it’s based on the premise “there are people that are talented, and that talent makes them privileged, and if you don’t have any talent, you are doomed”.

Comparison is the thief of joy. – Theodore Roosevelt

Opposite to the fixed mindset, people practicing a growth mindset are always eager to acquire new skills, learn from their mistakes, are not afraid of feedback, and are driven by the success of others.

According to the articulate Heinemann-Becker, we are not born with a growth mindset. Some people are gifted and more inclined towards such a way of thinking, but it is not instilled in us. To be in the growth mindset, you have to work on yourself. If you want to grow, your job is to find when the fixed mindset appears and how to convert the situation into a growth mindset.

#2: There are many reasons why you can be primarily fixed-minded.

Many, MANY reasons. Most of those reasons are tied to how you were raised and the challenges you had to overcome as a child.

This is why the number one time when a fixed mindset appears is when you are faced with a challenge or novelty. You’ll have problems leaving your comfort zone and taking on a challenge if you were told during childhood that you are incapable or unfit in any way. Such a narrative can stick with you forever if you are not trying to change it. It even has the ability to overtake your brain and distort your self-image.

#3: You don’t simply jump from a fixed to a growth mindset.

Unfortunately, leaving the fixed mindset is not as easy as it may seem.

When you decide to leave your comfort zone (fixed mindset), you enter the “fear zone”, where you are affected by the opinion of others, all due to the lack of confidence. This zone can eat you up, or you can be strong and face your demons repeatedly, hoping to grow and improve. If and when you manage to move on from the “fear zone”, you enter the “learning zone”. Within this realm, your comfort zone enlarges as you learn new skills, gain knowledge, and become more open to dealing with challenges.

Once you have spent some time in the “learning zone”, the doors open to the “growth zone”. Within this zone, you will find your purpose, reach your goals, and your dreams will become reality.

#4: You can help yourself get out of your comfort zone.

And the secret to leaving the fixed mindset lies in one simple sentence: start viewing challenges as opportunities.

Heinemann-Becker mentioned that this is easier said than done, and that’s why she recommends using the following sentences to help you:

  • Set-backs are a part of growth. Never be afraid to try again.
  • Even the most successful people have failed. Numerous times.
  • When you are faced with criticism, don’t take it too personally.
  • If the success of others agitates you, remember that success is not a linear path, and those successful people have likely been where you are now.

#5: Good things happen when you start developing a growth mindset.

According to our optimistic guest, a growth mindset is a positive mindset that changes how you see the world and yourself.

When you become growth-minded, you also become more confident and resilient. You have an unleashed creative potential; you have no problem talking to the ones above you in hopes of learning from them. You are more willing to face uncertainty to achieve better results, feeling more powerful and like you have taken control of your own life.

#6: A manager with a growth mindset is a true leader.

We’ve all seen those images and memes that, with just one illustration, highlight the differences between managers and leaders. Something like the following image:

Are you a leader or a boss?

Source: JobStreet

What you probably didn’t know or were never told is that if managers began to foster a growth mindset, they could transform into leaders.

Leaders that operate within the growth mindset are comfortable with failure, encouraging, ready to delegate, open to feedback, happy for the success of others, and hire people that are more skillful than them. Heinemann-Becker mentioned that the last trait of a leader (hiring people that are more knowledgeable than them) is essential, as it is a crucial trait that separates managers from leaders. Managers are threatened by people more knowledgeable than them, while leaders are eager to learn from the ones that are, in any way, superior to them.

#7: Feedback should flow in all ways, not just top-down.

According to the talented VP, a growth mindset culture is also a culture of feedback.

When employees practice a growth mindset, they operate from a place of self-awareness, which leads to healthy communication and openness at work. The goal is to create a culture where communication/feedback flows continuously, so it’s a good practice to add daily feedback to your employees’ routines and normalize the process of sharing opinions, not just top-down.

#8: Take time to celebrate success but don’t be stagnant.

A growth mindset culture is all about celebrating an individual’s success, as well as the success of teams and the entire organization. But this mindset also highlights the importance of not “letting the fame get into your head”, or becoming lazy once you reach success.

Heinemann-Becker also mentioned that you should be proud of the success your organization has reached but should also ask yourself, “was there a better way to accomplish what we’ve just accomplished?“. You can see room for improvement and reach innovation faster by constantly reevaluating your steps and processes.

#9: Mistakes are not mistakes; they are lessons.

Our enchanting guest stands behind the sentence “never a failure, always a lesson”.

She doesn’t believe in mistakes; she turns them into lessons and opportunities.

When talking about errors, she mentioned that it is essential to set clear goals within the organization. If talent can reach those goals or make mistakes, you should always share mistakes openly and turn them into valuable lessons.

#10: Company culture is what people practice when no one is watching.

Ugh. Reading this sentence made you sweat, didn’t it?

Heinemann-Becker firmly stands by these words, mentioning that your job in the organization is to build a culture in which you won’t be afraid of how people behave behind your back or when you are closing one eye. Building such a culture is not easy, but when it’s done right, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Are you ready to foster a growth mindset within your organization?

Now that you have learned the basics of the growth mindset and how it can help your organization flourish, we hope you are ready to make the necessary changes to your company culture and share what you’ve learned with your talent. And remember: with a growth mindset in mind, your talent will be motivated, productive, and fearless.