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  • Writer's pictureEquitable Evaluation Initiative

EEF Expansion: Elements of the EEF—Mindsets

Mindsets are a set of mental attitudes to be shifted toward. These can provide support in traversing the Orthodoxies identified in the Equitable Evaluation Framework™.

A graphic representation of the EEF. The Principles are shown as three guideposts in the foreground with bright red circles at the top, skinny posts to the ground, and roots connecting each of them underground. The Orthodoxies are ever-present as greyish purple vines. The Mindsets are a series of golden icons, representing shifts.

A Mindset is an established set of mental attitudes held by someone. They play a significant role in how one interprets and responds to situations—whether consciously or unconsciously. Thoughtfully assessing and shifting mindsets allows one to fundamentally (and intentionally) change how they interpret and respond to situations. Examining and shifting mindsets offers an entry point for creativity, innovation, and opens up new pathways toward desired change.

An important note is the inclusion of the directionality moving from an existing mindset toward a new mindset. The aim here is to surface ongoing movement, potential, and expansion through continual practice.
A dashed circle holds the words of the Mindsets along with small golden icons, which include: Doing To Being, Scarcity to Abundance, Fixed to Growth, Revolutionary to Evolutionary, Judgment to Curiosity, Rigidity to Fluidity, Binary to Multiplicity, Extraction to Offering, Participatory to Reciprocity, and All or Nothing to Possibilities

Being is represented by a golden circle.

from Doing toward Being

  • How might you pause, invite reflection, question urgency?

  • How might you move from transactional toward relational?

  • What are the ways in which tendency towards action/reacting impedes responding?


Abundance is represented by multiple, tiny golden dots that create a porous circle.

from Scarcity toward Abundance

  • What might be possible?

  • How might you seek entry points and realign resources?

  • What/where are the assets, joy, and potential?


Growth is represented by a golden plant that looks like it could also be fire.

from Fixed toward Growth*

  • What do you need to unlearn? Learn?

  • What might you try, play with, pilot?

  • How might you allow for complexity to unfold and emerge?


Fluidity is represented by a golden brushstroke moving from upper left to bottom right.

from Rigidity toward Fluidity

  • How might unsettling and setbacks allow space to create new ideas?

  • How might you invite flexibility (in timelines, strategy, etc.) to allow emergence?

  • How might you release the need for certainty and invite creativity and innovation?


Multiplicity is represented by a grouping of various golden items: honeycomb, thumbprint, blots, lines, circles, and leaves.

from Binary toward Multiplicity

  • What might be possible when you release “either/or” thinking and embrace “both/and”?

  • How might you explore different perspectives and options to expand ways of knowing?

  • How might you allow for diversity of opinion, contexts, social locations, backgrounds, etc. to inform your thinking?


Offering is represented by a golden flower or what could be multiple circles linked together.

from Extraction toward Offering

  • How might you transform ways of engaging that extract intellectual property/ownership toward reciprocal processes?

  • How might you disentangle our expectations that partners owe (data, participation, etc.) as uncompensated?

  • How might you move into relationship with partners, and create opportunities and access?


Reciprocity is represented by golden links intertwined.

from Participatory toward Reciprocity

  • How might you step into conversation that acknowledges interdependence?

  • How might you co-create accountability and allow for mutual benefit?

  • How might relationship, trust, and shared understanding be fostered?


Evolutionary is represented by a curly spiral that moves from bottom left to upper right.

from Revolutionary toward Evolutionary**

  • How might you allow movement and progression in alignment over time?

  • What if you allow ample time, space, and support needed to bring folks alongside?

  • What if you understand and accept that small changes over time sustained can lead to sustainable change?


Possibilities is represented by varying sizes of golden circles connected by golden lines.

from “All or Nothing” toward Possibilities

  • How might you disrupt beliefs that unless everyone is on board we cannot move forward?

  • How might you open space for wonder, creativity, vulnerability, playfulness and courage?

  • What if you let go of old patterns, processes, policies and allow new ways of being, thinking, and doing?


Curiosity is represented by a golden galaxy with asterisks in place of stars.

from Judgment toward Curiosity

  • What if you let go of preconceived notions, expectations, and assumptions?

  • What might be possible when you invite conversation, connection, and shared sense-making?

  • How might you shift dynamics of power and “solving” toward puzzling together?



*Dweck, Carol S. Mindset. (2008). Ballantine Books.

**The Change Leader, Inc. Evolution vs. Revolution: Do You Know the Difference?

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