What We Stand For
Our Core Beliefs
Our Core Beliefs Drive Everything We Do
Social Psychologists have identified Cognitive Consistency as a strong motivator of human behavior. In essence, people are strongly motivated to balance their own feelings, actions, and beliefs. If we behave in ways that conflict with our beliefs, we feel bad. That feeling nags at us until we change either our beliefs or our actions.
Our interactions with our clients are in harmony with our Core Beliefs. Understanding those Core Beliefs will give you a window into our motivations.
Business managers very often say to us with pride that their people are their company's most important asset. If those assertions were true, managers and executives would know much more about what makes people do what they do. If they were true, there would be no Dilbert, and Scott Adams would still be working for the phone company.
In our opinion, very few business managers understand the fundamentals of human behavior, the unconscious urges that cause people do what they do. Consequently, managers and executives are not getting the level of performance they should expect from their company's most important asset!
To understand what makes people do what they do, look to the psychologists and the sociologists. To say the least, they have researched human behavior far more broadly, more deeply and more accurately than most business managers, executives, and investors have.
More and more of the thought leaders in the leading business schools are psychologists and sociologists. Peter Drucker, Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Daniel Kahneman come quickly to mind as examples.
In our view, the primary reasons that business people don't read the huge body of research on human behavior are that the psychologists and sociologists write their results for each other, and they publish them in psychological journals. We have yet to see a copy of the American Psychological Assocation Journal (APA Journal) in the office of a business manager, executive, or investor.
We have met one manager who read Psychology Today. It's not a journal, but that is one small step forward. We are making small steps forward by assuming the role of applications engineer to select applicable elements from the research and help clients to applying them in ways that fit each client's unique situation.
Among the findings of these thought leaders and others are the following three bodies of knowledge, all vital to business success.
People are driven to balance their cognitions—their feelings, actions and beliefs. That leads people to behave in ways that are consistent with their beliefs to avoid feeling badly about the inconsistencies. Changing beliefs can also relieve the inconsistencies between actions and beliefs, but most people in positions of power strongly resist changing their beliefs. After all, those beliefs were responsible for their rise to power.
This mental rigidity has important adverse consequences in business organizations. A good example is business managers feel good about ignoring the facts and making quick decisions based on their established beliefs! It is seen by their managers as decisiveness, a valued attribute in business management.
Think about it. What was the biggest obstacle Columbus faced in getting backing for his voyage to prove the earth is round? Most of the people with the resources to fund his exploration believed the earth is flat! They were confident in that belief. Were they right?
Browse the About Learning section to get more information on how cognitive consistency can obstruct learning, and our views on how this very important business problem can be turned into a competitive advantage.
People are strongly influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people. Humans have a strong, basic urge to join together into groups. This has been one of the most important research findings of the social psychologists and sociologists.
Of primary interest to businesses is the concept of ingroups and outgroups. People will do heroic things to please ingroup members, and they will do even more heroic things to oppose outgroup members.
Browse the About Uniting section understand more about group dynamics and how to use that understanding to achieve breakthroughs in the performance of the people in your business.
Peter Drucker, Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky, Srully Blotnick and many other learned people have concluded through sound research that people behave in business organizations about the same way they behave in non-business organizations. Yet many business managers and executives still cling to the unfounded belief that people in businesses are rational actors who can operate most efficiently in isolated functional groups organized in vertical lines of authority. It's the same kind of rationalization that Columbus faced during his quest for funding to find another way around the earth—to reach India by going west instead of east.
We seek out the rare business people who can grasp the newer concepts—that businesses are social groups that exist at the mercy of their customers—and help them tap into the potential performance advantages that the deliberate, conscious development of social groups has to offer.
People who feel at home in hierarchical business organizations pretend that businesses are not social groups. They are sitting ducks. For example, the customers in the departmentally organized Montgomery Wards stores were easily wooed away by the open Walmart model.
Please Contact Us for more information about what we stand for and how that drives everything we do.