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Understanding Mindsets

Mindsets are an important tool through which the world is construed inside the mind. Mindsets are usually developed over the course of years, through either conscious or unconscious learning. A person’s mindset can greatly influence the way in which they interact with others, but most people are unaware of how to adjust their mental state in order to overcome more complex challenges.

When the attitudes, tenets, and actions based on the Agile Manifesto and Lean can be employed to solve problems on a daily basis in a variety of contexts, a Lean-Agile mindset can be used to provide solutions to existing problems through business agility-friendly company culture and the first building blocks towards a wider adoption of SAFe.

Stanford psychology professor and author Dr Carol S Dweek once said:

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

Research has proven that many adults spend most of their time in a fixed mind-set, especially when faced with a challenge. This is when your thoughts are structured as a direct reaction to the circumstances around you. This way of thinking can result in anxiety and stress over a fear of failure and not meeting other’s expectations.

On the other hand, a growth mind-set is the opposite. In a creative mind-set, the world is seen through the lens of the authentic self, your inner passion and drive. Problems are not seen as sources of worry but as challenges to be overcome through co-operation, empowerment and positivity.

The House of Lean and Agile Manifesto are both combined to form the Lean-Agile mindset, which in turn allows workplace culture to streamline and make a business more efficient.

Respect for People and Culture

Respect is a core principle for any functioning working environment and stands at the heart of Lean. Lean workplaces encourage team members to evolve beyond their past achievements and work more dynamically with one another.

Once leaders are able to adopt Lean practices, the rest of the workplace will surely follow before long, creating a more positive workplace where co-operation and continuous improvement enable workers to increase their productivity.


The idea behind Lean is to provide the maximum value in the shortest manageable lead time, while delivering the highest possible quality to consumers. Other advantages include a boost in morale, physical and psychological security, and increased customer satisfaction.


Lean-Agile workplaces thrive on creative new solutions to existing problems, encouraging collective brainstorming to plan innovative new strategies. Leaders should arrange for an educational working environment where they can personally observe and support workers as they research the market and user queries to come up with brand new business solutions.


A constant workflow where is feedback is delivered at consistent intervals is essential to establish SAFe. Working with WIP limits reduces waste and makes for a more efficient pipeline where the next iteration of the product is built upon the success of the last, until each problem is eliminated, and the customer is pleased.

Relentless Improvement

With regular feedback and reflection, a business’ development cycle can be greatly improved. Optimizing the development process by using prior knowledge and newly learned facts can greatly benefit an organization in the future.


For a leader, transforming an entire organization is no simple task. But if the leader begins by transforming themselves, starting with their way of thinking, the rest will follow before long. After all, whatever is on the leader’s mind is sure to impact the rest of the organization, so a creative mind-set is key to achieving an effective organization.

The Agile system was originally intended for self-regulating teams without formal management roles, however SAFe can be used to transfer Agile principles to a more traditionally structured enterprise. Lean, on the other hand, centres around leaders who teach and inspire Lean practices to their team members, actively involving themselves in the development process.

To see how your organization can encourage growth mindsets that coincide with SAFe, contact Arvind at The Agile Works at

(Sourced from SAFe Distilled: Achieving Business Agility With the Scaled Agile Framework by Knaster & Leffingwell)

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