Survival Mindset

Carol Dweck talks about the power of a “growth mindset” in the context of mindsets that are centered around “fixed versus growth.” Designer Nigel Holmes once visualized these two mindsets in an infographic:

This connects directly to the anti-fragile framing of Nassim Taleb.

I’ve been thinking about Silicon Valley mindset which is entirely Growth Mindset. And then contrasting that to one of,

I want to keep going this way even though I know we’ll fall further behind but because I just need to make it to retirement, and then leave this problem for the next generation.

The anti-thesis of a Startup or Silicon Valley mindset

Let me call this “Survival Mindset” — which is more about:

How can I slow down the decay of what I’m managing so that I can safely jump to the next phase of my life with minimum wear on my psyche and body? Because I didn’t make the accrued problems over the past <insert relatively long timeframe>— and my past stewards didn’t make the necessary fixes for the future, so why should I?

Psyche of the leader who does not choose to digitally transform their business

I think Survival Mindset is a sound strategy for … survival. That’s why it’s so prevalent.

Yet I find it ironic that many Silicon Valley-ish startups wouldn’t mind being acquired by an end-up. And at the tail-end of their startup’s evolution, many of them can switch to a Survival Mindset. So, I think the Survival Mindset isn’t something to villify. It’s just … human nature!

Depending upon the containing organization, either Mindset can exist. The organization itself can have a dominant mindset that lives in Growth, Fixed, or Survival — so I agree with the caveat from @propcazhpm:

And love this related Tweet pointed out to me by Wendy Johansson: