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Change your mindset

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Recently I have spent much time hearing and reading opinions on the APM 2020 vision a world in which all projects succeed.

I have listened to both sides of the debate, from those who argue that it is essential to take the lead and create real change, and others who claim that the vision could be detrimental and stifle innovation.

It is an interesting discussion, and one that formed the topic of conversation at the recent Project magazine round table event in London.
Those discussing the vision came up with some compelling points, but one has stuck with me.

This is that in order to achieve real change, you need to be open to changing your mindset.

Founder of Pentacle Virtual Business School Professor Eddie Obeng, one of the attendees at the round table event, said: It can be possible to change your mindset. A large number of people have got to believe in the dream and then change their behaviour to have an impact.

In a separate conversation, Project interview Professor Richard Wiseman reinforced Eddies point, stressing the difference between people with a fixed mindset and a flexible mindset.

He explained: With the right mindset, we can achieve things beyond what we currently believe is possible. His research has revealed that people with flexible mindsets see challenges, like that of the APM 2020 vision, as an opportunity, whereas those with fixed mindsets may struggle to adapt and make the change required to move towards such a world.

As the conversation about the vision continues, one thing I am already certain of is the need to adapt our thinking if we wish to make positive change.


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  1. Dasha Golubeva
    Dasha Golubeva 19 February 2014, 12:45 PM

    When talking about changing mindsets, I think a good place to start is to reconsider the project management "truths" you hold dear. In my experience, a lot of managers think they shouldn't do this, that, or anything because they believe, "That doesn't work for other people." But my company did some digging into common project management myths that hold people back and busted 5 common misconceptions. Here's one, for example: a lot of team leaders think that the more team meetings they organize - the better. However, almost 50% of workers think they waste too much time in meetings. In my opinion, understanding what isn't true - despite popular belief - is the perfect first step toward that positive change in PM that you talked about. 

  2. Adrian Pyne
    Adrian Pyne 31 October 2013, 09:32 AM

    Firstly, my view is that the Vision and Strategy are there. Whatever individuals think about it, and like any strategy it may change over time, we need to get on with it.APM has a fantastic history of endless chatter and little change. So if heads are above the parapet so be it. APM may do some of the wrong things, so be it, APM may do some right things not as well as it might. So be it.Seeing what I have of the change programmes, some stuff under way is long overdue, so lets go for it.And oh yes, I do not agree that a fixed mindset is always so - always. Some people may be persuaded. If not then I have been wasting 25 years doing stakeholder management!So, I do not take "change your mindset" as an order, but a call to help those whoh can engage with those who as yet do not embrace the change.For example, I would ask people to think about Agile and Lean thinking. This is not (just) process, e.g. project controls, its much, much more. Just a maybe.....change your mind?