A Growth Mindset for Innovation

March 24, 2021
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I recently joined a new community called Growth Blazers which is a new, global community of modern marketers and growth leaders sharing strategies, advice, and actionable tactics on how to navigate the challenges of elevating your career or business.So far, I haven’t seen anything that innovative from the community, but the networking has been fun, and the virtual event platform is excellent.As I reflect on this gap of innovation from a “growth” community, what I see is that people can say generally if they are growth-minded or innovative, but I wonder if they know what that means or what truly is the criteria of being growth-minded or innovative.Based on the science of evolution, here is how I think about growth mindset and what it takes to deliver innovation…DefinitionsGrowth

  1. the process of increasing in physical size. "the upward growth of plants"
  2. something that has grown or is growing. "a day's growth of unshaven stubble on his chin"


  1. the action or process of innovating. "a new method, product, process, idea, change of something"


  1. make different, modify, alter


  1. the act of changing something for a purpose

Essentially innovation means growth or changing, adapting something to better survive and thrive in any given environment.Conceptual ThinkingDiscovered by Unicist.org, Unicist Constructivism for Growth based on the science of evolution explains growth mindset is an evolutionary approach developed to foster adaptability and expansion in adaptive environments.This Unicist evolutionary approach utilizes a process that is based on the knowledge of the concepts and fundamentals that define the functionality and the knowledge of the concepts of the restricted and wide context in which the evolutionary process will take place.This ability to think conceptually is based on a ‘backward chaining” framework which approaches reality from the end to the beginning rather than from the beginning to the end. Generally, some people are better at this ‘backward chaining’ or ‘conceptual thinking’ than others. (Read more about conceptual thinking, Unicist language, and intelligence.)Ethical IntelligenceUnicist also details the correlation between conceptual thinking and ethical intelligence with the highest level of ethics being conceptual ethics:

  • Ethics of survival
  • Ethics of the earned value
  • Ethics of added value
  • Ethics of foundations
  • Conceptual ethics

And I quote (from www.unicist.org) “The Conceptual Ethics: This is the intelligence used to maximize the added value by using a high level of energy to materialize the need to give. Individuals behaving according to this type of ethics exert influence on the entire environment because of their energy. They manage universal time that is the time of the cycles, with no time limitations. They do not take into account their existence. They develop strategies using the available, possible, and expected forces. They focus on achieving the truth.”Individuals with the highest level of ethics- conceptual ethics- are growth-minded and most likely to foster innovation.Strategic IntelligenceAnother key criterion to consider for innovation is an individuals’ level of strategic intelligence. A person’s tendency toward strategic intelligence is mostly genetic but individuals can expand their strategic ability through knowledge and self-reflection. There are four categories of strategic intelligence:

  • Freedom fighters earn their place by breaking rules.
  • Flank defendants earn their place attacking the weaknesses of the members of the environment.
  • Frontal seeks to impose its own rules, exerting its power on the members of the environment.
  • Empty space occupiers establish the conditions so as to open a place among the members of the environment.

Empty space occupiers have a higher capacity for innovation and growth.Emotional IntelligenceThe ability to have empathy for others within the surrounding environment, to anticipate their needs is probably the most critical of all criteria for developing innovation and having a growth mindset.Specifically defined by Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence is defined as having:

  • Self-awareness.
  • Self-regulation.
  • Motivation.
  • Empathy.
  • Social skills.

Some individuals who do not have the capacity for true empathy can fake it. Survival is a strong motivator and these individuals who are not authentically empathic can, for example, “learn” about customer needs when operating in a business environment. In the long run, this deficit will, however, surface and limit the individual’s full ability for growth mindset and innovation.Learn more about improving emotional intelligence and emotional intelligence in leadership.In summary, growth-minded individuals just tend to be innovative and adaptive by nature. These tendencies may be enhanced with awareness and knowledge, but generally speaking, individuals who have low ethical intelligence, low strategic intelligence, and/or low emotional intelligence, would have a difficult time increasing their level of intelligence even with this awareness and knowledge.