When a team or an organization shares a common belief, incredible things can happen.
Belief is a sense of purpose and confidence in something, even if others doubt the credibility of it. Belief comes from the heart, and is usually aligned with an inner knowing or truth.
Perhaps one of the most inspiring examples of this is the NASA team that was tasked with getting the astronauts from the Apollo 13 space mission back to earth after the spaceship experienced significant system failure. The team on the ground was united by one common belief: they knew they could get the space crew back to earth safely – even though this situation had never occurred before.
Through that common belief, the NASA scientists then banded together, and, bringing their individual expertise areas to the table, developed a solution to bring the crew home. Several remarkable achievements were made during a 3-day period that normally would have taken months.
Even in non-crisis moments, teams that are aligned around a common belief can accomplish amazing things. Some examples include the Ford Motor Company, whose team members believed they make an affordable automobile for the masses; Google, who believed that they could help people around the world find and share information through the Internet; and Tesla, who believes that everyone should have access to green energy solutions.
So how can an organization help its employees bring their beliefs to a project?
Allow each team member to share and incorporate his or her beliefs into the overall objectives of the project. While this initial step may take a little time up front, it will help the entire team understand the perspective that the others are coming from, while also helping the full team “massage” each belief into a unifying team belief.
Have the team validate their actions and decisions against the beliefs throughout the project. This will help keep focus and alignment with the belief.
Encourage employees to “live” their belief throughout the project.
Continually “test” the team’s belief as new aspects, technologies, and issues arise.
~ Coach Jennifer Monahan