I Assume You Have Core Assumptions....Or Not?

You have assumptions. Probably some core assumptions. You're making decisions based on some set of information driving your actions. So what are they? You're making bets on your time, your resources, your team, the strategic plays you're running, but are they clearly identified?

Personal Example:  "If I work out at least 30 minutes, three times a week and eat, on average, 2,000 calories a day, my health will be fine."

Business Example:  "Our sales and marketing strategy will land 40 new clients monthly, averaging $350 in monthly income, while retaining 90% of them annually."

Church Example:  "If we can get attendees to connect to a small group, they'll continue to take steps in faith, be connected with others, and over 90% will stay at the church."

When working with individuals and teams, I hear these statements emerge. If not proven wrong, these assumptions begin to shape strategies and action steps. You can hear them emerge in leadership meetings or around the kitchen table. Particularly, in our Strategic Planning sessions and LifePlans, it's critical to note them, and more importantly, validate them.


Some Questions to ask yourself or your team:

  • What beliefs or assumptions are driving your actions?
  • What is it you're assuming in the marketplace or community that may or may not be true?
  • What beliefs about your customers are impacting your messaging and marketing?
  • How much capacity do you assume your employees are able to handle?
  • What percentage of revenue allocated to customer service is sufficient to maintain strong referrals?
  • What investments drive increased revenue and bring the greatest return on investment? How do you know? 
  • Where are you making decisions without tangible data or information to help you make that choice? Where are you winging it and your "gut" is really making the call?

Action Step:  Identify and write down the core assumptions driving your actions in any domain of your life or organization. Work to make them measurable so you can reevaluate them for truth or accuracy later. Were they right? What assumptions do you need to revisit because you missed badly? Where don't you really have a clue? What have you learned to better reset your strategies?

Apparently the Dallas Cowboys are making a core assumption they'll be able to find a back-up quarterback to Tony Romo in the draft and avoid another 4-12 nightmare season (OK, that was a side bar).   : )