Growth mindset inspires creativity and productivity

The term growth mindset — the attitude that skills and abilities can be developed through a commitment to keep learning — was coined by Carol Dweck and her colleagues 30 years ago. It’s a belief that everyone can improve, despite differences in initial aptitudes, talents, intelligence scores or personality traits.

According to MindsetWorks®, a growth mindset leads to a desire to learn and accept challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism and find inspiration from the success of others.

Geben Communication, a firm specializing in public relations, social media and data insights, was founded by President Heather Whaling. Geben grew from four employees to more than 20 over the last four years, and revenue increased annually the past eight years.

Whaling attributes part of the growth to the House Rules, which exemplify a growth mindset. These guiding philosophies provide consistency and clear expectations, which creates an environment where people feel safe taking risks, see personal growth paths and work toward overarching goals:

Embrace the crazy. In a fast-paced world, even with the best plans in place, things will occasionally get chaotic. Instead of stressing about it, lean into it. Be nimble and embrace the challenge.

No jerks allowed. We have the freedom and flexibility to choose who we work with. There are too many opportunities and too many amazing people in our industry to waste time working with people who don’t follow The Golden Rule.

Celebrate success. Whether it’s a big win or a small moral victory, take time to pause and celebrate. Then get back to chasing the next one.

Do well by doing good. By giving back — through volunteer time, providing pro bono services or financial contributions — we’re rewarded in many meaningful ways. We believe that by doing good, businesses become better.

Design your day. Work when and where you’re most productive. Focus on delivering high-quality results instead of billable hours.

Plan smart, implement smarter. Once we define what success looks like for a specific project or client, make sure the day-to-day activities sync up with the big-picture goals.

Own it. Even if you don’t own it. Unleash your entrepreneurial spirit. Take pride, ownership and responsibility in everything you touch — from large projects to small details. Together, we’re on a journey to build something amazing.

Partnering and connecting is our competitive edge. Immense value lies in our ability to build committed partnerships and connect dots, people and opportunities.

Teamwork makes the dream work. We deliver better results through collaboration.

Innovate best practices. “The way it’s always been done” doesn’t have to be the way we do it now. Always look for opportunities to innovate and improve. Stay ahead of the curve. Nail the basics, then add some sizzle.

Geben also provides 10 weeks of paid leave for all new moms and dads, plus a two-week transition back to work.

Geben’s results show us that managers and employees who focus on continuous, collaborative learning, while having the freedom to balance life’s challenges, may be the highest achievers of all.

Whaling is a 2018 WELD Women WELDing the Way® Columbus Calendar honoree.