Blindspot spotting tool
Identifying hidden assumptions
Duration: 3 hours
Most managerial failures are the consequence of building strategic plans on false assumptions. Unfortunately, false assumptions lead to failed projects mainly because they usually pass unnoticed by their authors. When presented with clearly articulated assumptions, managers are generally able to validate or reject them, either by testing, or by using their business acumen and common sense. While hidden, however, they remain unchecked, but they greatly influence our thinking and planning. Here is an example: pressured to scale rapidly, the CEO of a tech company which successfully launched an innovative service on a local market might be torn between launching it in the neighboring countries or directly in the US. However, that mindset might lead to unexploited opportunities just because the CEO has a hidden assumption that “to scale means to scale geographically”.
Methods. Working, individually, in pairs, in groups, and all together on a series of case studies and on the participants’ examples. Doing a series of pre-mortem exercises.
Outcomes. Participants will understand the tacit power of hidden assumptions and will gain the habit to ask, “what should be true for this plan to succeed?” and especially, “what should be true for my plan to succeed?”. They will know how to conduct a pre-mortem analysis before implementing a new project.