The three-minute rule

How communicators can awaken creative power in three minutes


Times of disruptive change call for professionals with agile mindsets, able to turn problems into opportunities, who can explore the world from different perspectives and who aren’t scared to fail fast, often and forward. Communication leaders are ideally placed to awaken this creative power. All it takes is three minutes. 

We live in very disturbing times. In most industries, the VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) has arrived. The only constant is change. This is very frightening for most people because change is happening all over the place, all the time. And the decisions that people make are dependent upon their mindset. What’s your view of the world? Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has done a lot of research around this mindset and has discovered that there are two basic mindsets that shape our lives. The fixed mindset assumes that our character, intelligence and creative ability are static characteristics which we can’t change in any meaningful way. People with a fixed mindset strive for success by comparing themselves with others and try to avoid failure at all costs. 

A growth mindset, on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of a lack of intelligence but as a springboard for growth and for extending our existing abilities. I call this the ‘change mindset’. People with this mindset have a deep passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. Mistakes are part of the path to learn new things. 

Carol Dweck has found evidence that these mindsets are manifested from a very early age and determine a great deal about our behaviours, relationships and capacity for happiness. The positive news is that it is possible to rewire these beliefs: if you can adapt your perspective of the world, you can adapt your mindset. If your view is mainly occupied with negative assumptions then the world is full of problems. If you can look from a more positive angle, you suddenly discover that a lot of these challenges can be turned into opportunities. What mindset do you choose when looking at the world? 

Communication has the power to steer people in a certain direction. As a communication professional, you play a key role in the way that people look at the world. You can help them to explore different perspectives and show them that there is no one right answer.