150. Increase and Improve Your Beliefs

Humans are Belief Inventors

Human brains evolved to survive as a tribe in a hunter-gathering world. We accumulated both practical and magical beliefs through experience. If belief-guided actions worked (we didn’t die or got lucky), then we kept doing them. (Lucky Charms v Gremlins!)      

About 500 years ago man started using the scientific method to invent our present world. Today’s problem: most people resist data-dependent research, especially if “things are good enough”. But, what if simplistic, data-free beliefs rule at your firm? Then, you are already being niched alive by (new digital) competitors using better analytics and AI.    

Beliefs About Upgrading Beliefs           

  1. Beliefs are only models for a dynamic, changing, perfectly-unknowable reality. Each belief has its peculiar blind-spots.
  2. Having more, data-grounded beliefs reduces harmful blind spots. In the story of the six blind experts (touching different parts of an elephant) each had a different belief about the creature’s appearance. They argued vehemently over what was obviously right. “Right-or-wrong” and “either/or” are distractions from combining models to see, learn and do better.
  3. Beliefs are psychological constructs that allow us to get along and work together. Your firm’s collective beliefs and metrics are core to your “culture”.   
  4. But, your “culture” can become a sealed bubble of groupthink.   
  5. If your beliefs are yielding weak results, do you question and change your beliefs? Or, do you find fault with reality and bad luck?  
  6. If you don’t upgrade your beliefs, you will keep getting the same results at best. 
  7. For better results, seek new insights/models/analytics from high-performers. 

But, how then do you receive their advice?

  • With anger (like the blind experts), because the advice conflicts with core, ego-identity beliefs?
  • With delusional indifference: “We already do that”. (Equally well?)
  • With dismissal: “Doesn’t apply to our different situation” (Superficially! And, yet 95%+ may.)  
  • Or, with open-minded curiosity. “Interesting! Let’s test both old and new beliefs with new data and experiments”.  

Some Models/Analytics to Test  

I’ve had sensational, distributor-turnaround successes pursuing insights from customer (and SKU) net-profitability analytics. Have you applied scientific-method thinking to this area of analytics?

To dramatically improve both service-value for targeted, most-net-profitable customers; and personnel productivity to pay higher compensation, I’ve used Open Book Management.  

Any gut reactions to either of these analytics/models/beliefs? For a c-suite, virtual session on upgrading your company beliefs please be in touch.  bruce@merrifield.com     

I recently sat down with Randy MacLean of WayPoint Analytics to discuss these concepts and much more. CLICK HERE to watch the interview!

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