Let’s talk fitness.
Physical fitness builds a strong body, endurance, and stamina. Commitment to training goals ensures athletes will push through training challenges – each achievement creating more energy, focus, and confidence.
In my work leading agile transformation for Cisco’s Customer & Partner Experience Engineering (CPXE) organization, I have seen firsthand how the concept of fitness translates to organizational health, too – I call it transformational fitness.
Transformational fitness is the ability to sustain energy and focus in the face of challenges, over time. It requires the same heart, stamina, and endurance an elite athlete needs to run a marathon. And like that athlete, building transformational fitness necessitates commitment and practice. In this three-part series, I’ll share strategies & resources to understand the concept and build the muscle memory & stamina to be fit for transformation.
Just like physical fitness, transformational fitness starts with mindsets. Minds are a powerful override when we experience fatigue or frustration. On the opposite end, if we’re committed to something, regardless of how difficult, our mindsets will help us see the benefit & outcome of the work. A growth mindset focuses our energy on learning & embracing challenges– demonstrating these qualities can be a powerful influence on team motivation.
I love Carol Dweck’s TED talk, connecting a growth mindset to the possibilities of improvement. Nurturing a growth mindset ignites engagement & motivation to pursue a path, especially when it’s challenging. In our transformation efforts, we model a growth mindset through three key behaviors for exactly that reason. Key examples include:
- Fail forward to accelerate mistakes and subsequent learning, adapt quickly and keep moving,
- View feedback as a gift so constructive & positive feedback are encouraged & actioned,
- Embrace non-linear paths to unlock and develop individual & team potential.
Adopting a growth mindset and demonstrating behaviors such as these will perpetually build & enhance confidence across the organization, ensuring we persevere when the going gets tough. Just like that marathon runner.
In my next article, I’ll shed some light on cultural conditions that hinder, or enable teams undergoing transformation to build confidence throughout the journey.
If you’ve ever connected the importance of physical fitness and transformational fitness, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
How Retrospectives Build a Growth Mindset at Microsoft
Truly written Marcy. It’s always important to consider transformation as one of the major goal in ones life. Have always learnt that agile is not just a framework which we can put up in place to succeed in any org. It’s foundation starts with “Change of mindset” and until we are committed towards transformation. One can not incorporate the changes easily.
Will wait for other blogs Marcy 🙂
Thanks, Anoop! Seeing opportunity in the journey is the first step.
Transformation starts with a shift in MINDSET, and for fitness or organizational transformation it requires the 2 P’s – Practice and Patience.
There will be lots of hiccups towards the end goal, Change the plan NOT THE GOAL 🙂
#Business Agility #Business Outcomes #Growth Mindset #Transformation Mindsets
Great point, Nikunj! I’d add perseverance as the 3rd “P”. It goes hand in hand with patience.
“Transformational fitness starts with mindsets” … Very nicely written article Marcy.
“Positive feedback are encouraged” …
Feedback means need to feed it back to our system.
Do we need to feed only positive and ignore negative feedbacks?
How one can differentiate positive and negative feedback?
Waiting for your next blog..
Thanks, Madhan! All types of feedback can result in learning & growth. Instead of negative, consider rethinking about the feedback as constructive; or something to build upon.
Mental strength and improving your EQ require constant coaching, conditioning, and practice. You’re absolutely right about conditioning our minds to adapt and embrace agile transformation with transformational fitness. Let’s keep building our muscles for a strong growth mindset and agile-friendly team!
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