THE term “growth mindset” was made popular by Stanford University’s Carol S. Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
Understanding what it is and what its opposite, a “fixed mindset” is, can set up students for greater success in finance and business.
People with a growth mindset look for challenges, they take criticism well and learn from it, and they believe their intelligence can be developed. They also have an ability to overcome obstacles.
As a result, research shows that students with a growth mindset tend to get better grades than those with a fixed mindset, who believe their basic abilities, their intelligence and their talents are fixed and cannot be developed.
For those in professional roles, such as management accountants, having a growth mindset is important for the future. Technology has revolutionised how people work and finance is no exception.
Everyone needs to embrace redefining roles.
Robotisation and artificial intelligence (AI) are making a huge impact – both in increasing the efficiency of basic processing tasks and removing errors.
However, according to experts, less than 5% of occupations can be automated in their entirety.
This means that AI will play a complementary role – it is no longer a case of humans versus machines.
Technology will increasingly work hand-in-hand with finance professionals to enhance rather than replace human thinking. This augmented intelligence requires accountants to develop under-used “human” skills alongside the technical ones.
These include creativity, emotional intelligence and the ability to negotiate.
Finance professionals also need to adapt through continuous and lifelong learning – to have an ability to learn, unlearn and then relearn.
When companies are hiring, they often look for a broad capability and mindset, rather than the ability to use certain tools and techniques.
This growth mindset allows people to challenge how things are usually done, adapt and make an impact when leading change.
It means having the ability to ask the right questions, to probe and to challenge existing answers.
One way to explain the role of chartered global management accountants (CGMA) is that they are transformation agents, steering organisations through the risks of the digital revolution.
Their understanding goes far beyond financial accounting.
They combine accounting and financial expertise with strategic insight to guide better business decisions.
They understand both financial and non-financial data and continually integrate information from across a business to help achieve its overall objectives.
For many, the challenges of entering the accounting profession in today’s digital economy may seem daunting, but the opportunities have never been greater.
The digital world will allow future accountants to apply their skills in newer ways.
To become a qualified management accountant (ACMA), you need to successfully complete the CIMA professional qualification and fulfil the practical experience requirement.
Then you are automatically entitled to hold the CGMA designation and add those additional letters to your name.
They are a demonstration of business skills, ethics and commitment, and add global power to your CV – research shows that employers around the world pay a premium to hire a CIMA-qualified member.
Everyone has a choice on which mindset to adopt, and a good way for students to develop a growth mindset is to develop self-awareness of when they are in each mindset.
See https://www.slideshare.net/AICPA-CIMA/go-beyond-selfawareness-96545210 for tips on how to do this.
Four further suggestions on how you can develop a growth mindset include:
• taking a look at CIMA’s Facebook Live series on Human Intelligence at https://www.facebook.com/pg/CIMAglobal/videos, which includes a discussion on mindsets, attitudes and behaviours,
• adopting useful techniques such as mindfulness and journaling/keeping a diary,
• stretching yourself to learn something new, and
• seeing setbacks as opportunities for learning.
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