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Good Assumptions are Essential to Success

Good Assumptions are Essential to Success

Good Assumptions are Essential to Success

In business, having assumptions is critical – you cannot “see”, much less verify, “everything” before making important business decisions. Particularly during strategic planning, assumptions about a company’s situation and its capacity to achieve significant change can influence implementation and eventual performance. If the assumptions are wrong, the plan’s chances for success can be seriously jeopardized.

This article explores the most common ways mistaken assumptions can trip up business leaders, and shows you how to recognize and avoid these assumptions before you launch future strategic plans.

The key to a great strategy is to have disciplines that make it easier and more likely that you will (1) focus your conscious attention and your work on the right things, (2) check out the assumptions that need scrutinizing, and (3) trust that the other assumptions were truly close enough. Let’s look at the key elements of a disciplined process that helps you avoid mistaken assumptions.

  • Don’t be blindsided by your assumptions
  • Remember the past
  • Update your understanding
  • Make it a team exercise
  • Evaluate assumptions holistically
  • Assess, categorize and rank assumptions
  • Set up an early warning system

Assumptions are an evolutionary necessity; we simply cannot function without them. This disciplined process establishes a sound foundation for the right strategy, which in turn helps you and your organization to focus on the right work. Take the time – it’s worth it.

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