The Arbinger Institute “The Outward Mindset”
Some books in the self-help vein, no matter their focus, will inspire their readers to think, “Well, that’s actually sort of obvious, why didn’t I think of things that way before?” The Arbinger Institute’s The Outward Mindset: How to Change Lives and Transform Organizations is one of these books. I don’t mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that the book doesn’t break new ground but, rather, it fills an ever present need in literature of its type for providing deeper insights into human interaction on a micro and macro level than we are accustomed to enjoying in the course of our harried everyday lives. Books like this are able to step back and, with the blessing of distance and reams of research buttressing their conclusions, see things that life and bustling schedules obscure for the average reader. We should value texts capable of illuminating new methods and approaches.
The primary focus of The Outward Mindset emphasizes that our take on the meaning of the term “mindset” is too limited and, as a result, does a disservice to our efforts to fully utilize our talents and potential in our personal and professional lives. Mindset is much more than an outwardly directed reflection of our inner selves; the term, in the eyes of The Arbinger Institute, likewise reveals a great deal about our connections to events, each other, and the world at large. This new edition of the book, first published in 2016, also examines what Western philosophical attitudes have gotten wrong about our views about mindset and the damage such errors wreak on our efforts to apply our talents in a comprehensive way.
It does this in clear and unambiguous language as the text alternates between extended passages of exposition examining the subject and non-fictional stories demonstrating the effects a widescreen approach to mindsets can have on our structural and interpersonal interactions. These stories, likewise, show us what happens when this approach is lacking. The Outward Mindset is even handed throughout and addresses the reader as an equal rather than adopting a professorial tone. This helps make the book all the more valuable for a large audience rather than limiting its reach to an academic or specialized group.
It isn’t a lengthy work. Experienced readers can make an initial reading of the book in a single setting, but I’d advise anyone taking the book and its subject matter seriously that delving into the text more than once is necessary to appreciate its impact in full. It gives readers a lot to chew on and self-reflection as you read and afterwards will help clarify its merits and arguments for discerning readers. The Arbinger Institute’s The Outward Mindset: How to Change Lives and Transform Organizations is a five star entry in the self-help tradition with wide usefulness transcending many lesser texts of its type. It is the latest product from an organization with a clear and socially beneficial agenda free from politics or self-aggrandizement of any kind and demands your attention throughout.