Yes the mindset of staff can either positively or negatively impact an organisation’s capacity to achieve its mission. The mindset is a collection of beliefs or principles acquired over time. The beliefs can tune the staff in either a positive or negative belief mode. Staff with a positive belief mode have open mindset and are willing to consider new innovative ideas which will make their organisation succeed. On the other hand staff with a negative mindset mode have fixed negative mental attitude that predetermines their responses to various situations. The organisation cannot achieve its mission if the staff are tuned in a negative mindset mode.
How does a negative mindset develop in an organisation?
Organisations are created to achieve a particular mission using various resources including people. The staff that join the organisation on the other hand have their individual missions to develop their personal career and not necessarily to work for the success of an organisation. They can only work for the success of an organisation if their individual missions of career development are aligned with that of the organisation. The win win formula for both the organisation and staff must be place to avoid the staff developing a negative mindset. The staff tend to develop a negative attitude towards management and the organisation once they realise the management is only interested in them as far as delivery of the company mission is concerned and not in their career development. Staff with a negative mindset mode cannot work for sustainable success of an organisation. The negative mindset can manifest itself in an organisation in different forms and the following are some of the examples;
Lack of application of a win win formula
Staff will only work with both their body and mind focused on the organisation when convinced that the organisation will make them achieve their individual career aspirations. Once they are convinced of their success they will work with all their effort to make sure that the organisation achieves its mission in order to achieve their individual missions.
Not Creating right work environment
Management not appreciating that staff spend more time in organisation they work for than in their individual homes. At the end of the day staff go back home very exhausted and tired and only to rest. The work environment should therefore be as conducive as possible to keep staff open minded.
Too much focusing on doing the rights things
Focusing only on doing the right things will inhibit the staff creative thinking on all situations including those situations currently believed as no go areas. Pythagoras differed from the belief then that the world was flat and came up with a different and correct principle that the world was round. In practice most people do not want to upset the current thinking in organisation for fear that it may negatively affect their career progression.
Logical thinking cannot work in all situations
Logical thinking which has some degree of consistency may not always work with life situations which have a degree of ambiguity. Real life situations are open to more than one interpretation. The aim of guidelines and rules in an organisation is to give one meaning to a situation in order to apply logical thinking. The one meaning may not always produce an optimal solution.
Guidelines and rules inhibit creative thinking
Following rules and guidelines of an organisation does not necessarily lead to the optimal results but to acceptable results. In organisation staff waste time trying to find ways of bending the rules in order to get what they want. The organisation should have only those rules and guidelines necessary to manage the key risk exposures and not every risk.
Focusing on easier opportunities to implement
Opportunities which are easier to implement do not necessarily lead to optimal results for organisations. Practicability which is vital at execution may stifle innovative ideas. At ideas level the images in the mind are still abstract. It is these abstract ideas which are prioritised and assessed and later put into practice.
Focusing on performance may imprison the mind
In an organisation everyone tend to be focused on performance in order to deliver on the mission of an organisation and there is no time to let the staff mind free for thinking outside the box. Things are done the way they have always been done with the aim of achieving consistency in delivery.
Specialisation can inhibit creative thinking
To discover new effective ideas or ways of doing things requires an explorer mentality. Creative thinking requires an open mindset about everything on the opportunities and challenges. Many organisations do not have room for an explorer mentality. I have heard staff being told you are employed to work in accordance with policies and guidelines of the organisation and not to think.
Fear of failure
In real life situation many people look at failure as a sign of incapability. Failure is not the end of the road but a feed back on solutions which do not work. I have found in real life situation that many of the solutions developed to address a challenge did not work on first attempt. I have only learnt lessons and became wise through experience which has been a collection of many failures in my life time which I have managed to overcome.
Avoiding ambiguity in life
Every life situation is subject to so many interpretations hence the ambiguity in life. The life without ambiguity does not exist. There are quite many ambiguities in all organisations which are to extent addressed through organisation policies and guidelines. Life is full of ambiguities which can be faced by staff that have been tuned in a positive mindset mode.
Thinking that you are not a creative human being
A human being is creative by nature and not accepting your creative ability is setting your own limits in life beyond which you do not want to go.
Thinking the current ways are the best
The current ways of doing things may have worked in the past but life may have changed and time has come to develop new ways of doing things.
The mindset of staff plays a key role in the success of any organisation. No organisation will overcome any challenge if its staff mindset is tuned in a negative mindset mode. For success to come to an organisation its staff mindset should be tuned in a positive mindset mode.
John Muhaise Bikalemesa
Director: Big Drum Advisory Services Limited