Today, I reflect on a big event in the corporate world: Microsoft’s recent overtaking of Apple as the world’s most valuable company. This landmark achievement, a decade in the making under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, is not just a testament to strategic business acumen but a resounding endorsement of the power of a ‘growth mindset’.

Ten years ago, when Nadella stepped in as Microsoft’s CEO, the company was valued at $300 billion. Today, that number has skyrocketed to an astounding $2.9 trillion. This nearly tenfold increase in a decade is remarkable and warrants a closer look, especially for us at TEG, where fostering growth and development is our raison d’être.

What strikes us most profoundly is not just the financial growth, but the cultural transformation Nadella championed at Microsoft.

He shifted the company’s ethos from a ‘know-it-all’ to a ‘learn-it-all’ culture.

This may seem like a subtle change in wording, but its implications are vast and deeply rooted in the concept of the ‘growth mindset’, a term coined by Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck in her 2007 book ‘Mindset’.

Dweck’s groundbreaking work differentiates between a fixed mindset – where individuals aim to appear smart at all costs – and a growth mindset – where the goal is to learn at all costs. This philosophy resonates deeply with us at TEG. The ability to continuously learn and adapt is not just a nice-to-have; it’s an essential survival skill.

Nadella’s approach at Microsoft exemplifies growth mindset at scale. By encouraging his team to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others, he transformed Microsoft into a learning organisation. This culture shift played a pivotal role in their staggering growth and market success.

At TEG, we believe this is a crucial lesson for our clients. Embracing a growth mindset is crucial to staying relevant and competitive. We encourage our clients to adopt this approach, not just for individual growth but for the collective development of your organisations.

Imagine saying to your team, “We don’t understand this technology… yet,” or “We haven’t mastered this process… yet.” The addition of ‘yet’ is a powerful motivator, a reminder that growth and learning are ongoing processes. It’s a small word with a big impact, turning challenges into opportunities for development.

In the context of our client base, where innovation is paramount, adopting a growth mindset is not just about personal or organisational development; it’s about leading the charge in a fiercely competitive industry. It’s about being adaptable, resilient, and open to continuous learning. This mindset can drive innovation, foster a culture of continuous improvement, and ultimately lead to groundbreaking advancements.

At TEG, our goal is to support our clients in this journey of transformation. We provide learning and development solutions tailored to the unique needs of each client, helping firms to cultivate a culture of learning and growth. Our programs are designed to inspire and empower individuals and teams, enabling them to unlock their full potential and drive your organisations forward.

As we reflect on Microsoft’s incredible journey under Nadella’s leadership, let’s not just marvel at their financial success. Let’s take inspiration from their cultural shift and the profound impact of a growth mindset. It’s a lesson that’s applicable not just in the tech world, but across all industries.

In the spirit of continuous learning and growth, I encourage you to explore Dweck’s work, especially her TED Talk, which has been an inspiration to millions. Let’s embrace the mindset of ‘not yet’ and see where it can take us. For in the words of Satya Nadella, “Don’t be a know-it-all; be a learn-it-all.”

Together, let’s embark on this journey of growth and transformation, driving innovation and success. 

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