Your Conference Success Depends Upon An Adaptable Mindflex Not A Fixed Mindset

Growth or Safety?

Is your organization’s culture and leadership holding back your conference’s growth?

Let me ask that a different way.

Does your organization’s leadership avoid conference change because in their opinion it’s working so they don’t need to change anything? Maybe their beliefs are stuck in the mentality, “If it ain’t broke, don’t change it.”

Or perhaps they avoid change and expect that your next conference should look just like your last one. They have fixed beliefs that the 20th Century traditional conference experience does not need to change for the 21st century.

A Fixed Mindset Fails At Change

A fixed mindset sees talent as a fixed trait. This mindset believes that success is a product of natural ability and intelligence says Stanford Professor, author and cognitive psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck.

People with a fixed mindset have unconsciously bought into a belief that learning will not help them. Their fixed mindset says nothing can help them improve. Either they have the intelligence and talent or they don’t.

Conference Fixed Mindsets Hinder Growth

Conference leaders with fixed mindsets hire staff that are intelligent and also often have fixed mindsets. These meeting professionals and their supervisors believe that their qualities are carved in stone and that they know all there is to know about planning and implementing successful conferences. They believe in the power of routine and repeating the past.

This fixed mindset creates tough situations where people are afraid to try new challenges and do new things. They fear failure and believe that they constantly have to prove their worth to their boss…and everyone else too.

However, as Dweck is fond of saying, “A fixed mindset doesn’t tell you want to do next. It provides no recipe at recovering from failure.”

Fixed mindsets are actually a hindrance to growth and opportunities especially when facing a declining or plateaued attendance. Often fixed conference mindsets live in denial that they even need to change. They believe that their conference’s results are the product of the current economy and global environment.

An Adaptable Mindflex

Instead of fixed mindsets, we need to embrace adaptable mindflexs.

Dweck says you either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset, which I like to call an adaptable mindflex. Those with growth mindsets embrace learning and change.

Dweck’s research shows at the core of a growth mindset or adaptable mindflex is neuroplasticity-the ability of the brain to reorganize itself with learning. It’s what our brains naturally do when we embrace new things, new insights and new experiences. They change and reorganize.

People with an adaptable mindflex believe that their potential is unlimited and that years of toil, learning and passion can lead to amazing things. At the root of this mindflex is a belief that everyone can change and grow through application and experience.

Adaptable Mindflexs Lead To Conference Growth

Conference organizers with adaptable mindflexs are constantly looking for ways to improve the attendee experience. They keep pace with global trends and how they might affect the traditional conference. These leaders embrace and welcome change to stretch beyond last year’s event.

Conference leaders and organizers that have growth mindsets are more aware of mistakes, how they learn from them and how to think them through. They embrace critical feedback. Their esteem rests in their efforts and hard work. Therefore they are open to taking on new challenges and facing the unknown.

Conference leaders with growth mindsets are constantly monitoring what’s happening in their planning and implementation process. Their internal monologue is not about judgments or right and wrong. Instead their internal monologue is constantly asking, “What can I learn about this situation? How can I improve this? How can we do better?”

Your Choice: Mindset Or Mindflex

Conference organizers with fixed mindsets say, “If I don’t change or try, I can protect my conference and myself from failure. That way I can keep my dignity.”

Conference organizers with adaptable mindflexs say, “If I don’t change and try, I have already failed. Where’s the dignity in that? The only way we can grow is by trying new things and learning from mistakes.”

Sources: Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success by Dr. Carol Dweck

What steps do we need to take to move from fixed mindsets to adaptable mindflexs? How can we deal with the fear of failure when making changes to a conference?

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  1. Ton Soons says:

    I fully agree with this.
    Keep putting question marks behind all exclamation marks.
    Listen to the needs and dreams of your buyers but optimal is listening to the remarks, needs and dreams of your non-buyers.
    That is too often the major omission.

  2. […] “Kids that are born smart don’t make mistakes,” these kids said. These kids have a fixed mindset says […]

  3. […] Read more about Dweck’s thoughts as applied to conferences here and here. […]

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