Keynote: Belief systems – “I believe that you believe that we believe.”


Quite often in business and in life, we come across what seems like very strong shared beliefs. Some of the common ones in organizations are: “Management won’t like this idea” “People are disengaged”, “People are resistant to change”. Interestingly, we hardly ever dare to question these beliefs and unpack where they came from – and whether they are actually justified. When we do, we often find that they are the result of mental algorithms.

The most basic “mental algorithm” is probably: “I believe – that you believe – that I believe”. Without having a conversation, I make assumptions about what you think I believe. But there’s also a social version of this: “I believe – that we believe – that everybody believes”. Can you see how this is relevant for organizations?

You can access the video via a downloadable Pdf.


We often assume that something is a common assumption, the general belief, whilst in reality, we might have just heard just one guy say something like that years ago. The dangerous thing is that these mental algorithms are strong because they are social. Soon, we think that everybody believes people are disengaged, leadership won’t like it, etc.

Bringing our “preconceived ideas” to the table can be one way of unpacking these created realities, of bursting the bubbles…