What did Henry Ford Believe?

Create we believe statements if you want to bond with your prospects and customers. You need to let them know what you stand for and what you stand against. You have to both attract and repel. You want to attract the prospects and customers that approach the world the same way as you do share the same values as you do. The best way to do that is to replace your about us page, or at the least add to it and share what you and your company deeply believe in.

We Believe Statements are a concept based up Simon Senek famous Ted Talk  about “It is not What you do but Why you do it that creates customer loyalty. Recently I came across a website with the statement We believe in efficiency.

I knew this was not great but it got me to thinking.  What would Henry Ford, the father of efficiency, have to say, as was his We Believe Statement?  Simon Senek says it is not about “what you do but why you do it”.

What was Henry Ford’s why?

His why was he believed that every working American household deserved to own an automobile.  To do this he needed to drop the cost of making a car by 90%.  This is why he studied automation.  He did not believe in efficiency, efficiency is what he did.  Why he did it, was the dream of every working class American having a car.

Henry Ford could have said

We believe in efficiency

Or he could have said

We believe every working class American should be able to own an automobile.

One describes a noble cause that creates benefits for society. The other other is soulless description of corporate goals that is proven on balance sheet.

One is a why.  The other is a what.

Use this example to help you craft We Believe Statement that have a heart and a soul.

We Believe Statements also have to be true. You know it is true when a person is willing to take action to defend it. Back to Henry Ford.

Henry Ford faced lawsuits from shareholders that wanted profits distributed in special dividends rather than be reinvested into more efficient plants and equipment.  Equipment needed to make the goal of an affordable car for all Americans possible. Dividends, that in fact, Ford would get the lion’s share of and would make him rich. He did not want the cash – he wanted the equipment.

Ford faced criticism from Wall Street for its hiring practises of doubling salaries and reducing the length of a shift.  A worker on the floor at Ford could buy a car a car on 4 months salary.

The result was an explosion of productivity and most importantly – affordable cars. Ford went from making 10,000 cars a year in 1909 to over 500,000 cars a year in 1914.  50x growth in 5 years!!!! To put this in perspective, a hundred years later Ford makes about 2,000,000 cars a year worldwide.

Why do you do what you do? Share that with the world.

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