While on my commute this week, I stumbled onto a program on Stanford’s student radio station. It’s a series called “State of the Human” and it’s a brazen ripoff of Ira Glass’ “This American Life” style on public radio. You’ve probably heard that and found it as engrossing as I have.
Well, the Stanford storytellers are very nearly as good. I highly recommend this week’s program, which you can listen to in its entirety here.
Mostly I wanted to talk about the interview with psychologist Carol Dweck and it’s implication for any disrupted industry, including the news game. She presents a sort of dichotomy between a fixed and growth mindset.
She relates how, when she was in school, she was considered “smart.” Consequently, she sought to reinforce that impression by doing the same things that led adults to that conclusion in the first place. Over and over again. While that worked for her in the short term, it did not position her to do well in a new world that seems to change over night. For that, she argues, you need a “growth mindset.” …
The difference between fixed and growth mindset is essentially the difference between refining what you already do well and a commitment to learning something new. The latter is increasingly important for those of us who used to work at newspapers and now work at news organizations that operate newspapers, websites, social media, events and digital agencies. It’s simply not enough to be good at what you were hired to do five years ago; today you have to learn new things rapidly. You have to grow.
This all sounds so simple. Just adopt a growth mindset, right? Well, it turns out to be difficult and it takes an ongoing commitment to learning. It never ends and it’s often uncomfortable. The goal is to reach a place where you know you can handle a new process or a new social network or a new routine because you have done it before. Over and over again.
Start today by learning something new today. Watching the video from Khan Academy counts.