By Renee Tan
In my role as a Senior Director, Organizational Development, I am able to build programs that impact the employee experience and help the organization and achieve greater effectiveness.
Trailblazing the GROW Bootcamp
A growth mindset is one of our three cultural attributes that we aspire to make the lived experience at Wind River. I recognized that the concept needed some elevated attention and started with an approach that was "one size fits all." I failed fast and learned from the feedback I received. GROW Bootcamp is the result of early learning. GROW Bootcamp acknowledges that a growth mindset is a complex concept that requires reflection, self-awareness, and practice over time.
While pioneering the program, one of the challenges led us to enlist a partner- the Growth Mindset Institute(GMI). Their research validated that we fell into the same trap as many who misconstrue the complexity of the growth mindset. GMI partners with Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychologist who coined the terms fixed and growth mindset to describe people's underlying beliefs about learning and intelligence. GMI's toolset and workshops allow you to recognize and acknowledge the growth and fixed mindsets in all of us, introduce you to a common set of triggers that invoke a fixed mindset and provide strategies to help overcome those triggers. This experience comes complete with GMI's diagnostic tool to give awareness of what triggers a fixed mindset for you.
GROW Bootcamp 101
The GROW Bootcamp is a journey like no other most employees have experienced professionally. It challenges everyone to be introspective and honest, make life-changing commitments, and practice habit-building to promote a growth mindset. Over the course of 12 weeks, we take cohorts through a multi-faceted development experience designed to provide the tools we need to lean into a growth mindset. It is a very personal journey that begins with self-awareness of fixed mindset triggers. We learn to recognize what a fixed and growth mindset looks like, ways to prepare body, mind, and spirit, and strategies to use when one recognizes a trigger causing you to have a fixed mindset. Though the journey does not end when the GROW Bootcamp experience is complete, toward the end of the bootcamp, we expect participants to ask peers for feedback- a key component for learning and see how they have progressed over time.
Purpose of GROW Bootcamp
GROW Bootcamp is designed to meet employees where they are in their journey to the Growth Mindset. There is a toolkit that they have access to - an experience designed to give options to explore and keep participants accountable. All participants receive a GROW Pack that includes a workbook, habit tracking forms and learning journals, and James Clear’s Atomic Habits. We pair that with weekly content in our Learning Management System, which includes videos, articles, and action items. We pair this with a peer coach for support and accountability and bring intact teams through this journey together to add another layer of support and comradery. The entire cohort gathers every few weeks to reflect and share the learnings up to that point. The ask along the way is to experiment and try new things. It’s hard to embrace that uncertainty without a great support system around you, and we give our employees many layers of support.
Beyond the GROW Bootcamp
The GROW Bootcamp journey is very personal, and everyone takes away something slightly different from this program. We provide a system and a set of resources to set graduates of the program up for success - the rest is up to the individual. We ask that they strive to get 1% better every day - learning and personal growth is a journey. As cohorts move through the program, we see a positive impact in how they are acting and impacting - someone who feared public speaking took the opportunity to do so for the first time because of this journey. One of our teams came forward to recognize the positive changes in how their leader managed the team. This evidence of seeking a challenge will have a lasting positive impact. These are proud moments for me, as GROW Bootcamp challenges us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Learning and growth come from being stretched, not from the status quo.