Belief (noun): An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof
Belief. It’s a bit of a dirty word in business isn’t it?
No one really asks what you believe in anymore; what you value; which tenets of truth you hold onto, even if there can never be definitive proof.
Big data and analytics were meant to do away with such messy things as beliefs.
Except they haven’t, have they?
I believe that agile software development is superior to other methodologies.
I believe that the best organisational designs involve small, cross-functional teams of smart people, given space to do their jobs.
I believe in transparency; that businesses should default to open, rather than hoarding data and information.
I believe that teams should prioritise their own work but be held to account for why one feature is more important than another.
I believe that we often don’t know how customers will react to product ideas, so the best thing to do is ship early iterations to market as soon as possible.
I could go on, but I’m starting to sound a lot like a lay preacher, so I’ll stop.
The important thing about the statements above is that there’s no falsifiable proof they’re true. No double-blind clinical trials can be run to disprove the hypotheses at their core.
But, to me, that doesn’t stop them being fundamentally true.
Don’t shy away from being true to your beliefs in business. When someone accuses you of being religious or philosophical, first check whether you’re being blindly dogmatic and inflexible. Be humble and accept you might be wrong.
But if you’re not blinkered and your beliefs are core to your values, don’t waver in your convictions. Stand up for what you believe in. Be human and authentic. Business shouldn’t be emotionless. There’s room for messy.