Can you build a collective belief?

David Meltzer discusses building a collective belief in a company.
Companies with a Collective Belief

My favorite days at Sports 1 Marketing are the first days for our interns or employees. They come into the office with aspirations of being a sports agent, sports marketer, sports journalist, or a publicist for athletes and celebrities, which are all great aspirations within the context of sports business. I try to shift their perspective about what they really learn in the office from the very first moment that they get into their very first Monday morning meeting. I let them know that the four things they will learn as a collective belief and an individual belief will be gratitude, empathy, accountability, and effective communication.

The reason I teach these four values and create the power of this collective belief is that according to a Columbia University study, the likelihood of job turnover in an organization with high company culture, like those four values, is around 14%, whereas the probability of job turnover in a company with low culture is just shy of 50%. Simply put, getting everyone on the same page at the start saves time and money.

Belief in a Mission

I’ve learned that ensuring employees have an opportunity to do what they do best every day and emphasizing the mission of the company, to make a lot of money, help a lot of people, and have a lot of fun, are strong factors for retaining, not only millennials, but generation Xers and even baby boomers. When the purpose of the company is to empower others, to empower others to be happy, people want to remain connected and engaged.

Collective Belief and Social Change

I believe there are five conditions of collective success, or collective belief, which need to be in place to create change in a social environment.  

The first of these necessary conditions is alignment. A common culture, common values, or a shared mission create alignment within an organization from top to bottom.

Secondly, having some sort of shared measurement system ensures that everyone knows what the ROI is on the projects they work on, what the reasons are for what they’re doing, the impact that it has, as well as helps to give a better understanding of the capabilities that they have, want, or need.

Third, you mutually reinforce all experiences in order to make sure everyone feels like a part of a whole. At Sports 1 Marketing, we accomplish this based upon two things: the previously mentioned four core values of the organization, as well as the mission of making a lot of money, helping a lot of people, and having a lot of fun.

Effective communication is the next important ingredient for creating collective belief. This is not only communicating with each person relative to us, (meaning other employees, our community, our state, our country, and even the world) but communicating effectively with that which inspires us.

Finally, it is important to put into place a structured process in your business to empower others to enjoy that pursuit of their potential. You want to empower those around you to do what makes them happy and work on projects that make them feel fulfilled. For those that display your core values and have aspirations outside of your business, it is important to use your relationship capital and situational knowledge to put them in the right position to the best of your ability.

We seek what human beings have always sought: to find what is best in ourselves and what is best in and for the group” – Alan Briskin in The Power of Collective Wisdom: And the Trap of Collective Folly

Togetherness and Team

In other words, we want to enjoy the pursuit of not only our individual potential but also our collective potential, which is what we can achieve together if we believe.  A key component to this belief is trust, which develops through the experience of working together, as they join as not only a physical cohesive unit but as a collective belief. Processes like collective conflict resolution, problem-solving, and decision making build unity through the inclusion of all team members.

We focus so much on the individual belief system and empowering individuals that sometimes we forget that there is a core individual, the collective. This “collective belief” is motivated by shared core values, which will help empower others to empower others to be happy, and shared experiences which help to bring unity.

By: Dave Meltzer

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