When things are going well, it’s easy to have shared beliefs throughout your company:

“We’re #1!”

“Everything we touch turns to gold!”

“People love us!”

But what happens when times are tough?

Fingers start pointing:

“Boy, our sales team is sure underperforming,” says the factory.

“Our product quality is the reason our customers don’t want to buy,” says the sales team.

“If our marketing team could come up with any new ideas, maybe people would notice us.” says management.

“If management was willing to invest in marketing, we might be able to interest new customers.” says the marketing team.

And, everyone has their own ideas about how to fix the situation:

“We should start a program that does X.”

We should start a program that does Y.”

“We should stop the program that does Z.”

“If we would just start doing A.”

If we would just stop doing A.”

One thing I believe emphatically: Your external brand can never be stronger than your internal brand. If you want to improve your company’s performance, you must start by addressing the set of internal beliefs running through your organization.

As a business advisor, I see this all the time. The more trouble a company is in, the more fragmented are the beliefs running throughout the company. You might ask, “What’s the cause and what’s the effect?” i.e., do fragmented beliefs cause poor performance or does poor performance lead to fragmented beliefs?  Well, it goes both ways. But, in either case, fragmented beliefs will hinder a company’s efforts to get on the right track.

So if you’re trying to improve performance, don’t neglect to look at the set of beliefs people in your company have. Shared beliefs, of the right kind, are critical to turning any ship around.

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