FYI module 1 – entrepreneurial mindset

The FYI workshop started with the module from Patrick Rammerstorfer this week. He was showing us how entrepreneurs can change their mindset through positive psychology. Patrick explained it with many theories/models and team exercises. Our group consists of twelve creative young entrepreneurs, selected by the Creative Region Linz.

I will briefly summarize the first part of the workshop.

X-Y theory

Douglas McGregor’s X-Y theory refers to the management of a company. X and Y represent two completely different human images. McGregor coined theory X for the first time in 1960 and saw it as a basis for traditional hierarchical management.

Theory X says that people are lazy and need strong external incentives to do their work. Without penalties or rewards, these people are not to be motivated.

In contrast, theory Y assumes that the human being wants to make good contributions on his own and is quite willing to apply strict self-discipline and self-control in order to achieve meaningful goals. People of this type are creative, responsible and see their work as a source of satisfaction.

It is amazing that the people who act according to the theory X have not always been like this and are often driven to this behavior by external circumstances, because, for example, they have never been given responsibility and may be under strict management instructions. But if the boss gives them every little instruction and does not demand self-responsible action, these people will soon show the theory of X behavior.

When asked which of the two types we experience most frequently (> 50%) in our professional environment, we came to an astonishing conclusion. While most of our group are currently almost only in contact with the type Y, in previous, employed circumstances we had to deal more often with the type X.

McGregors Forschungen zufolge werden Menschen wohl nicht mit dem X Verhalten geboren, sondern erwerben dieses im Laufe ihres Lebens. So ziehen stark hierarchisch-bürokratische Organisationen Rückstände des XMenschenbilds nach sich.

Conclusion: Only those who trust 100% the other their Y can create organizations that really sustainably raise human potential and work agile.

Growth Mindset

The theory of growth mindset was developed by psychologist Carol Dweck from Stanford. It shows the effects of people’s beliefs about their intelligence and other personality traits on their learning. Dweck was able to show in an extensive research work that growth mindset beliefs lead to greater success in learning and thus to better results.


VUCA is an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

In the entrepreneurial context, VUCA describes difficult framework conditions. The strategy for overcoming these obstacles can be derived from the same acronym: V for vision, U for understanding , C for clarity and A for agility.

Practically this means that an entrepreneur should have 3-4 scenarios for his/her future. This also includes a worst-case scenario, which aims to create a positive force from negative thinking. So it also makes sense to intentionally make a business model worse to be driven against the wall, so that ultimately a final business model is created that is generated as adaptably as possible.


This Japanese concept deals with the meaning of life, which consists of the intersection of four areas (see figure on the right).

4 questions are raised:

  1. What do I really love?
  2. What am I really good at?
  3. What can I do for a living?
  4. What does the world need?

Most people spend their time doing activities in which no more than one of the four criteria is met. This concept, however, says that the deeper meaning only arises when people devote themselves to something in their lives that unites all four aspects.

Dealing with these questions should help to find out what it is worth getting up for every day.