How Microsoft Instills Growth Mindsets in employees
Learning leader of the moment, Microsoft, is deliberately creating a growth mindset culture, by fully embracing the view that "talent should be developed in everyone, not viewed as a fixed, innate gift that some have and others don’t.” Rather than using a traditional model for identifying and growing potential leaders, Microsoft gives anyone in the company a chance to demonstrate their leadership skills through annual hackathons, where employees with new ideas can create a business plan and prototype, and pitch their project. Colleagues can join teams to collaborate on projects, and winners receive funding to bring their projects into fruition. The hackathons allow employees who may not normally be identified as leaders to utilize leadership skills and work with colleagues across departments. In conjunction with the hackathons, Microsoft created a program called “Talent Talks,” where the CEO and senior members of leadership meet with heads of every department to review employees and discuss potentially moving them up through the company. The departure from the traditional method of determining groups of potential leaders gives leadership a wider scope of employee talent, and by rethinking its overall approach to learning and development, Microsoft aims to offer a leadership opportunity to any employee with the potential and ability to grow. Your newest hire just might be your next CEO.