CHAPTER 3Growth‐Oriented Thinking – The Key to Anti‐Refraction

So, if managers whose thinking is dramatically different from that of the leaders above them creates refraction, what kind of thinking eliminates refraction or keeps refraction from forming in the first place? Growth‐oriented thinking among managers is the key. This chapter discusses the characteristics and behavior of growth‐oriented managers as they are the most adaptable and ready for change. These are as follows:

  1. Action over perfection
  2. Viewing failure as learning
  3. Desire for personal growth
  4. Comfort with ambiguity

These are all universal, and apply equally globally, including to Japan and the Japanese.

Action over Perfection

In working with several sales teams in a client company, with a brief to help them develop, many of the managers and staff talked of the need to “gather information” prior to taking any meaningful action. When different team members talked about new potential markets, customers, or applications for the company products, a frequent reason for not yet having taken action was “We don't have enough information.” This reasoning was perfectly acceptable to the mid‐level managers of the teams. When I asked specifically, “What information are you seeking? How will you use that information in determining the decision you make?”, no one could answer me. A state of perpetual stasis reigned as a result of this constant, unfulfilled need for more data.

In a different engagement, I was working with ...

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