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
- Beliefs are only models for a dynamic, changing, perfectly-unknowable reality. Each belief has its peculiar blind-spots.
- 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.
- 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”.
- But, your “culture” can become a sealed bubble of groupthink.
- If your beliefs are yielding weak results, do you question and change your beliefs? Or, do you find fault with reality and bad luck?
- If you don’t upgrade your beliefs, you will keep getting the same results at best.
- 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. firstname.lastname@example.org
I recently sat down with Randy MacLean of WayPoint Analytics to discuss these concepts and much more. CLICK HERE to watch the interview!