Issue No. 6

August 8, 2013

Invisible Decisions-Part Two-Assumptions

We are often unaware of the assumptions we hold before we make a decision. It’s in hindsight we recognize them or when an event makes it clear. Even then, we may not realize their power over us.

When I was 10, I began to realize that some of the culinary traditions in my family were not universal. A childhood friend asked, “Why do you have lamb on Easter Sunday and not turkey?” The answer? My grandmother was from Australia and she made leg of lamb for special meals. My realization did not happen through insight. Even after the realization, I still like lamb on Easter.

Organizations are no less subject to ritualized behavior. I’ve seen a Fortune 500 company use a planning process so rigid and lacking in creativity, it would make you weep. Yet, their results were stunning. This company attributed their success to some things that actually were causal and others that were not. They believed, incorrectly, that their methodology was pivotal. It wasn’t. Success is not permanent.

When the stakes are high, we can ill afford to be intellectually passive. Even when they are low, it’s more interesting to know what assumptions and beliefs we hold.

Get Up and Go

A just released booklet available on CD Consulting Group website

Audio version included

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© Constance Dierickx 2013. All Rights Reserved.