Adventure Mindset: The New Power Skill for Employees?
By Tom Caulfield, Co-Founder of The Tempest Two & Dose
There is no question, we are living through the greatest realignment the world-of-work has ever witnessed. In 2020, the world was thrown into COVID turmoil and forced to adapt at pace, and with conviction. Kitchens were transformed into offices, microphones perpetually on mute and the dreaded commute was simply forgotten.
Since then, businesses and the people within them have been trying to stick the pieces of the puzzle back together, creating a new image altogether.
Now in 2023, the wave of AI has sent tremors across industries, posing questions which haven’t been asked since the industrial revolution: “Will this role exist in 5 years?”
During these monumental shifts, one thing that remains a vital constant is the training and development of employees. But is skill development keeping up with the pace?
Over the past decade, I have been fortunate enough to have trained, coached and collaborated with leaders from Silicon Valley stalwarts to the most conventional of corporations. The best leaders within them are putting time, resource, and considerable effort into preparing their people for this new world of work. They are building companies that have an ‘adventure mindset’, a collection of soft skills that are required to thrive in modern work.
Every year, we have a new buzzword that becomes the focus of HR & People teams. Creativity had its moment, then resilience came in hot, followed by storytelling and empathy. Each of these are of course, important, but to truly make change within an organisation, a way of thinking needs to be adopted, a mindset that becomes part of the culture.
SO, WHAT IS THE ADVENTURE MINDSET, AND WHAT EFFECT DOES IT HAVE?
Let's break down the four traits and dive into each:
- Mental resilience: Resilience has many forms, so let’s define it properly in this context. Being mentally resilient in the workplace, is to have the ability to turn obstacles into opportunities, to react to change in a positive manner, and to thrive in unstable situations.
Training this is hard. A single workshop once a quarter does not develop resilience. To see results, you need to create an environment in which employees are pushed to work outside of their comfort zone and fail. Many companies jump on the ‘failure is good’ bandwagon, few actually mean it.
- Bold decision making: The pace and conviction of decision making within a company can literally mean life or death. If employees lack the confidence or autonomy to make decisions without sending it up the bureaucratic ladder, innovation is impossible. Meetings upon meetings, outdated sign-off processes and micromanaging are symptoms of an underperforming team.
- Big vision thinking: Vision differs from goal-setting or OKRs. It focuses on having an understanding of where you want to be in the future. what type of person will you be? What impact will you have on the business? What will the business look like? Jeff Bezos recently said he works three years in the future, this is a leader with vision.
- Collaboration: This trait combines a number of well-known soft skills. Communication, storytelling, empathy. A true collaborator has the ability to bring people together, united on a common path, and motivate them to work as a cohesive unit.
Writing and defining an adventure mindset is the easy bit, making it a reality is the challenge. At The Tempest Two, we have seen clients who have achieved great success and those who have missed the mark. The common thread across those who perform well is strong buy-in from the top. Senior leaders make it a priority to focus on these skills and give departments the autonomy to make it happen through training programmes, and more importantly to put those learnings into practice within their work.
The next few years are full of excitement and change, so maybe it's time to put some adventure into your teams and enjoy the ride.