Catherine Zhu is the managing partner of Egon Zehnder in Hong Kong.
Developing a growth mindset can help you soar even when the economy doesn’t
Forecasters expect economic growth to remain stagnant in 2017, both in China and globally – and a new threat of protectionism around the world could stifle development for years to come. But don’t let that depress your career. Now more than ever, it’s time to adopt a growth mindset.
That starts with being open to change – whether you’re at the start of your career or already in the C-suite. For example, the CEO of a long-established Hong Kong company recently told me he’d been in denial about the impact of digital disruption on his business. He now recognises that digital is transforming his customers’ experience and expectations, as well as every aspect of his operations – from supply chain to product development.
This CEO has undergone a mindset shift and is embracing new growth possibilities from digital. To realise that growth, though, he’ll have to be open to change in the way he leads. To attract and energise digital talent, he’ll need to make the company culture faster-moving, less hierarchical and more collaborative. The next big growth idea might come from a new joiner in her 20s; the CEO must be ready to hear it and nurture it.
A growth mindset is important not only in business, but also in the public and social sectors – and even in politics. Look at the creative use of social media by some politicians in Hong Kong and around the world. By streaming frequent messages to masses of followers via Facebook and Twitter, they have sidestepped the constraints of traditional media, and often outsmarted their opponents.
A growth mindset also applies to parenting. As the mother of a nine-year-old, I often wonder if I’m doing enough to open my son’s eyes to the full range of possibilities that life offers him. I take inspiration from Richard Branson: last year he joined his adult children on a 2,000km trek from the top to the toe of Italy.
Don’t let challenging times narrow your outlook. Rather, broaden your horizons and seek out new opportunities to grow – personally and professionally.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as It's grow time.