The Thing about the Right Mindset(ting)

Shot in the dark here, but what’s up with all the mindset-changing buzz? It’s definitely not a grab-a-coffee-get-it-done-move-on thing, is it? Speaking of which,     since the coffee machine has blessed us with a second and maybe third cup today, let’s dig deeper and get to the bottom of this (pun intended!).

First and foremost, let’s lay our cards on the table. We’re not trying to look into why companies are searching for means of successfully facing change, because that is already a generally accepted reality. However, if you’re in an environment that is stable and fully predictable, look away now. And share your location. Please? 

As from where we stand, change is a part of the day-to-day. When it comes to handling it, by looking at our people and their reactions, the one thing that’s harder to submit to change – is definitely their mindset, than the situation itself. But is it all worth tackling the tall order?

Companies that have looked towards changing the status quo and setting the right mindset for their people achieve figures like*:

  • People trusting their companies: a 47% increase
  • People more likely to feel a sense of ownership and commitment to the future of their company: a 34% increase
  • People who agree that their company supports risk-taking: a 65% increase

Quite a picturesque tip of the iceberg, don’t you think? Well, buckle up your seatbelt because here’s another lesson in this area of glaciology.

Fixed vs. growth mindset

Keeping things as simple as possible, there are two types of individual mindsets, explained by how people react when facing problems

Fixed-mindset individuals perceive the problems they face as threats and their journey turns into a downward spiral of fear, avoidance, and self-doubt – which is obviously similar to what the Titanic taught us about icebergs – that is, avoid them at all costs.

On the other hand, some people have what is described as “a growth mindset”, which means they perceive problems as challenges and face them as such, as they look forward to going to the next level, whatever it may be, they’re ready for it. Their catchphrases are:

  • I can get better
  • I can and will improve
  • This is a cool chance to learn something new
  • One year ago, I wouldn’t have done this so

Pff, some people, right?

But there is one thing that’s kryptonite even for growthmindset people they can only express themselves in an environment that’s safe.

Psychological safety is the one thing that you can focus on to attract and nurture a growth mindset for people. It can be expressed as the ability of an environment to make members feel safe to take risks and to be vulnerable in front of each other.

But wait, the story continues: in such an environment, it’s actually necessary to unlock other catalysts of performance like Dependability, Clarity, Meaning, and Impact. Yaaaay for psychological safety- what a great concept! But let’s pause for a bit.

We’re still in the same story, right? The one in which the changing environment pushes leaders to influence their people to adopt a growth mindset and increase overall business performance, and we’ve just found out that an environment that is not safe is definitely a no-no.

So we’re facing a challenge right now – the lack of safety creeps in and it’s time to flex that growth mindset muscle.

Start with what impacts your people throughout their experience: Onboarding, Performance Management, High Potential Development, and feel free to experiment.

Scalability and a company-wide approach can be enabled through Mirro, which brings people together and is available at every step of their experience. It aligns all your team processes and reduces friction points, as it covers everything and transforms team performance into a habit.

Is this model right for your company? As there’s no general recipe for success, Mirro is one possible setup for you that works in this direction. Mix and match with current systems, and feel free to experiment.

You’re in a growth mindset now, aren’t you?

Drop us a line and let us know your experience on the matter.

A Deep-Dive into the OKR Framework

It’s quite possible that some of you are here because of the buzz created around OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, currently featured in numerous modern team performance tools. However, are OKRs enough to ensure usability? Perhaps. Is it also enough to ensure growth solely based on the successful use of OKRs? Read on and let’s reach that conclusion together.

John Doerr is recognized as the main figure behind this goal-setting approach, and his book –  “Measure What Matters  – can certainly be held responsible for all the companies deciding to experiment with OKRs themselves.

Since we fully support these initiatives to the best of our abilities we have also  implemented OKRs in the Mirro platform so that other companies can easily adopt them as well.

But first things first Let’s start by breaking down the two main ideas behind OKRs:

OBJECTIVES are:

  • Significant – this aspect is what separates an objective from a task – it will show you where you want to go. If your objective is to merely cross the street, you’ll surely get no further.
  • Action-oriented  – groups or individuals can align with an objective and ideate the means to conquer the feat, the timing, and the specific milestones that pave the road ahead.
  • Inspiring – objectives should represent the directions that the company should always follow, the zenith if you will. Therefore, they should speak to each and every one of your people in order for them to join you on this

Objectives are the WHAT of our purpose. They bring people together and call for action. A “What” is measured in “achieved” or “not achieved”, nothing else really matters. Don’t focus on metrics just yet.

KEY RESULTS are:

  • Specific – the right people for the job will always know if these are up to them, and, subsequently, how they can contribute.
  • Time-bound – key results ensure a certain rhythm and remind people of the bigger picture.
  • Realistic but aggressive – again, an OKR is not a task. A key result should be reachable, but the feeling of achieving it shouldn’t compare to a minor day-to-day accomplishment
  • Measurable – numbers, percentages, growth factors, pin them down here – they belong in key results.

The Key Results show HOW I’m going to get my WHAT done.

As Steve Jobs once (or twice) said, ‘one more  …

Here they are, easily explained. OKRs, made simple and clear.

So, are you now ready to get to work and implement your OKRs to start experimenting with different setups, and reach stretch goals in no-time? Ready to fire up your shiny brand – new OKR tool and rock-and-roll?

PLEASE DON’T, not yet! To spare you of an upcoming year of still-unachieved goals and of then ditching a potentially beneficial framework, read on for another couple of minutes.

We got to this point forgetting what might be the most important question thus far: WHY are we doing it?

Before you roll up your sleeves, ask yourself this: what’s your mission, what are your company values? Who and what do you stand for?

The goal is to think OKRs – not only to set and follow – think, feel, and live OKRs.

People adhere to inspiring goals when they live in that reality – don’t break OKRs from culture, from your values, don’t treat them as a standalone initiative.

Associate recognition with completed OKRs – remember that Mirro also links recognition to company values, and goes full circle, so apply that in your day-to-day business as well. Make success as visible and transparent as possible and let it inspire, all by using OKRs.

Setting OKRs top down or bottom, in 3s-or-4s-or-no-more-but-no-less-than(s) is, again, not the case.

Let’s think about  Agile and the different frameworks that fit the mindset. It’s the same with OKRs – they’re also a mindset and they’re better off in a company that sets them true in accordance with its values.

Moreover, they’re a mindset to take home with you and implement even in your private life, while staying true to your very own values.

To conclude, here’s Mirro’s WHY in terms of OKRs: making people perceive their work from a different perspective. One of cohesion. That has always been our WHY.

Setting OKRs top down or bottom, in 3s-or-4s-or-no-more-but-no-less-than(s) is, again, not the talk.

We referred to Agile and different frameworks that fit the mindset. It’s the same with OKRs – they’re a mindset and they’re better off in a company that sets them true to its values. 

They’re a mindset to take home with you and implement in your private life and true to your values. 

Here’s Mirro’s WHY in terms of OKRs: Making people perceive their work from a different perspective. One of cohesion. It’s always been our WHY.

Ratingless vs. Rating-Based Systems, on a Less Serious Note

Performance management is both a key part of employees’ experience and, also, companies regularly acknowledge the need for such systems to conduct profitable business. However, in order to achieve  better performance management, we must first go to its source, which is people’s performance – so here are two ways of looking at the latter:

A time-framed rating of past performance using precise evaluation systems that apply throughout the company. 

This offers a clear overview of all people in the company and allows for a general and transparent pay raise policy. It also adheres to the company’s budgeting and expenses policies. This is the type of system that takes large corporations abroad and lays the foundation for a quick and familiar setup for management.

But what about the people? How do they perceive this as fair, when their roles change and are directly impacted by the external environment and internal company culture? How are people with a growth-mindset supposed to want to adhere to a general set of rules, letting go of what makes them stand out?

Enter the continuous feedback-based approach – more descriptive of one’s performance and always context-aware.

This approach enables individual actions to ripple throughout the company, encourages people journeys to be positively different from one another, and instills an environment of psychological safety. This does require a lot of focus from managers, as they become a centerpiece of escalating decisions, who must also take into account the alignment of business results, with the help of a flexible and transparent OKR system.

As there are more types of performance management systems, there are certainly more ways for companies to look at such systems. So it’s not about the type of performance management system, but its impact. It’s not about the right rating, but the right discussion. It’s about accountability and development brought together, and the truth is that both aspects are needed, as they’re more rather co-dependent, than completely different from one another.

To sum up, it’s been a 3-minute read so far that it only made you a bit more unsure of what’s best for you. And that’s ok, the next part might make you question your current situation even more, but that’s always a good thing.

So, what have you tried already? And how do you know whether you’ve been successful or not?

Let’s see. If we measure success by the impact a performance management system has had on both the people in your company and the business itself, designing your system won’t start by measuring the effort of carrying out reviews, the duration of the process or how often it should take place, but by focusing on utility, or on what you may achieve.

As such, one way of looking at things is by finding the right attributes of your performance management system:

1. Is it business-driven?

Since HR is in charge of the performance management system ensuring that quality standards are aptly applied throughout the organization, but it creates an added layer between leaders and their people. And HR’s job is to facilitate, not to control. Leaders must be constantly in touch with their people in order to clearly set, align, and track goals, as well as to constantly oversee individual performance.

2. Who owns the process?

People have a pretty good idea over what’s best for themselves and their professional path, but a great performance management system aligns their goals with those of their company, teams, or even clients.

Successful organizations move towards allowing active employee ownership of performance management. They ensure that people know that their way of working is appreciated for what it is and for what value it brings, not for being similar to all their peers’.

3. Is it work-centered?

Moving from individual performance to team performance is a step in the right direction, bridging the gap between business drive and individual performance ownership.

Here’s how Mirro offers a continuous performance experience that ticks all three boxes:

  • We’re focused on performance managers that lead groups of people and are open to a mentoring-like system. Managers have a key role in leading performance reviews, recognizing individual and team merits, and facilitating continuous feedback flows for their people.
  • Employees can continuously fill in their performance reviews, using Mirro as a journal for highlighting their achievements as well as their lessons learned, and then share these freely with their managers as the duo sees fit. Their individual profiles reflect their skills, how they adhere to company values, and also their business drive.
  • Mirro uses OKR- based alignment, feedback, and recognition tools. It then brings all the elements together in a friendly manner, minding confidentiality, and psychological safety. Reviews offer the right insights over performance levels and job satisfaction alike.