So as I promote our company, ImPowerQ Associates, as a new, fresh and real way of maximizing talent, I have to admit that despite the excitement, I am getting some interesting blank stares when I ask…..”What is your Belief System?”…
You mean vision, Dave? Nope……Oh Mission?…..Nah…….Ah values! Heck NO already wrote about that in prior Qtip. Belief man!!! What the heck do you really believe in and therefore your employees also come behind it and believe in it. Not because it is on some wall art but because their personal belief system aligns to it and therefore they also believe. You have hired people that align to your success criteria right? (oh, boy topic for another post)
At many of my workshops I often ask this question and I am astounded at the response or lack thereof that I get.
Question: What makes a church a great church (synagogue, temple, worship center, etc…)? Common Answers: The preacher, the music, the facility, the resources, the people, the coffee, the donuts……No..no…no…
THE Answer: It is full of BELIEVERS and with that common belief is a force that makes it GREAT.
Kinda like horses….did you know that a horse can only pull its own weight but when you put more than two together they can pull six times their own collective weight. That is what having a company full of ‘believers” can do. It exponentially increases your potential for doing great things! So now some of you are rattling off a new constitution beginning with “We The People of Acme Co Believe”……. Nope it is not that complex, though getting a refined belief system in place may require big founding father type thinking.
Let me share with you a couple of smart beliefs that would be hard to find on wall art or in the employee handbook but inspired considerable success for these companies.
Apple: “Apple at the core, its core value, is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. That’s what we believe” - Steve Jobs
Ben and Jerrys: “The purpose of business is not to make money. The purpose of business is to meet a need in the society, and if you do that well, then you end up making a bunch of money. - Ben Cohen
An interesting application of Apple’s belief was when Steve Jobs was trying to convince John Scully (Pepsi CEO) to join Apple, he famously said: “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come work with me and change the world?”
So now here is the trap that I want no part of and nor should you……..Many will read this and think “Oh I get it…let’s create some fluffy BS that everyone can get behind. Maybe something involving puppies, mommies and babies. NO!!! If you lean that way you might want to consider politics for a career.
You see the cool thing about an effective belief system is that it rings true and is BELIEVED by your employees because it is true, conceivable, and it aligns to their belief system and therefore compels them to unlock the latent capacity that exists within them. It creates PURPOSE!
The reality is that we are not employing highly rational beings. We are employing people with emotions and values!!! Hugh MacLeod of gapingvoid.com (worth checking out for his daily doodles and cartoons about strategy and marketing) explores this more when he says: “We humans want to believe in our own species, and we want people, companies and products in our lives that make it easier to do so. That is human nature. It’s no longer just enough for people to believe that your product does what it says on the label. They want to believe in you and what you do”.
Every employee in your company comes to work each day with a set of beliefs they have crafted through years of life experience. Employees have their own individual belief systems, which encourage them to behave in certain ways at work. Most companies are inconsistent at best in delivering a productive work culture and profitable customer experiences. Why? Because most companies have not defined what it is that employees should believe each day at work.
By establishing a belief system for your company, you are able to set clear expectations for employees on what they are to “think” about your brand and what it means to the company, employees and customers. If you don’t define your company’s beliefs, you leave it up to each individual employee to define their own set of beliefs about your company and you lose the opportunity to guide their thoughts and actions. This ultimately leads to inconsistencies in employee behaviors (how employees DO your brand) and in the experiences delivered to employees and customers.
Think about companies you’ve interacted with that clearly don’t have a belief system that employees buy-in to…Now think about the companies that do enroll their employees in a belief system that unites and drives the entire organization…Ask yourself…who would you rather work for or do business with?
PS….My experience is that new millennial workforce doesn’t just desire this need for greater PURPOSE as old guys like me did but never really expected. This new workforce REQUIRES it and will vote with their feet if it is not available to them. Oh by the way this requirement has caused us old folks to see the light and now we want it to. Actually, as mentioned already, we always wanted it, just were afraid to ask. I’ll prove that we have always wanted it and some of us even got it in my next post.