How Your Mindset Is Holding You Back…..(And What To Do About It)

In this blog we welcome guest blogger Fredrik Härén who will be speaking at the Innovation Tour Stockholm in March. Fredrik is an author and keynote speaker on business creativity, change and global business.

In our business lives, we’re used to regularly upgrading our IT systems. But when was the last time you upgraded your mindset? I’m guessing your answer is ‘rarely’ or ‘never’. You’re not alone. I spend a lot of time travelling the world delivering keynotes to all sorts of different audiences, and our mindset – as well as our language – is holding most of us back.

We’ve grown accustomed to new, disruptive technology, creating new markets and giving us new services and options in ways we’ve never considered or imagined. And that disruption has happened because someone chose to look at a solution or outcome differently. They changed their mindset.

I’m not suggesting we all need to become serial entrepreneurs, but our static, fixed mindset and the language we use to refer to the world around us is limiting our potential with new technology and tools. Take the internet for example. Years ago, everyone referred to ‘web pages’ because that’s how we thought of its structure. (Remember WAP?).

Today, we just see it as content, which the likes of Netflix, and a host of other companies are monetizing. Likewise, the rise and fall of early mobile phone companies had as much to do with their mindset as it did with their market share. Eriksson and Nokia looked at the mobile phone and thought, ‘how much computing power can we put in a phone’? It was the wrong question. Apple said, ‘how much of a phone can we put into a mini computer?’.

The same thing is going on today. Drones would never have gained traction so rapidly if we had referred to them as ‘micro helicopters’ because that kind of language and vocabulary automatically limits the way we think of their potential. By calling them drones (with no pre-existing frame of reference), we haven’t put them into a pigeon-hole.

    Fredrik Härén

My point in telling you this is to make you aware that you’re doing it. Just having simple awareness of the way we are thinking, the language we are using and the frame of reference we are imposing, can change things. It can help us look at the problems and desired outcomes around us with fresh eyes.

There’s so much more I’d like to tell you that I can’t cover in a single blog, but it is something I’ll be covering in greater depth at the upcoming OpenText Innovation Tour in Stockholm on 29 March. If you’re interested in learning how to take the blinders off and apply new ways of thinking to your own work and personal life, I’d love to see you there. You can register here.

Fredrik Härén has delivered more than 2,000 presentations in over 60 countries on six continents. He was voted Speaker of The Year in Sweden and selected as one of the “Sweden’s Top Ten Best Speakers Ever”. Fredrik is a Certified Speaking Professional (one of 700 globally) as well as GSP Global (one of only 30 globally). He is the author of nine books, including “The Idea Book”, which was included in “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time”. His latest book, “One World. One Company discusses what it means to be a truly global organisation. 

Sue Reynolds

Sue is Regional Northern Europe Marketing Director for OpenText.

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