You are reading the blog of someone who once wore his Mack Weldons inside out for months. Yes, inside out and I was convinced I had them on right the whole time. So much so that every time CeCe put up the laundry, I flipped them back around after her. But one day CeCe caught me and asked what I was doing turning them the wrong way. “You have been wearing them inside out haven’t you?” she asked. After some laughs and a website search for confirmation, I realized that I was in fact wrong. I claimed they were my favorite brand yet I had been wearing them inside out for months.
Now I realize this might be too much information, but it is relevant because my embarrassment was the result of being quick to make assumptions, especially if they help fit my view of the world.
Today, we run the risk of making lots of assumptions that can be very embarrassing for us or even worse — be disruptive. Here are some of the easy assumptions we make today that could be embarrassing:
- We are moving too fast, we should slow down.
- We will have time to react to any big changes.
- This exponential change in technology will not affect our business model.
- My relationships are stronger than any disruptive competitor advantage.
- Learning new skills and knowledge is not necessary for what I do.
- It is riskier to make a mistake than to just cling to the status quo.
- Being distinctive is not necessary when you have strong relationships.
- Social media is not relevant to business.
- Social media presence is not necessary for a successful talent strategy.
- Our website is adequate.
- Our clients are not getting relevant information from our competitors.
Are we making too many assumptions today considering the exponential technology curve that we are facing? Just like my Mack Weldons, I believe that these broad assumptions will lead to some embarrassing moments and I am fearful that many will find them disruptive, also. It’s easy to make assumptions, and frankly, our brains are trained to help us do this so we can feel good about ourselves.
Speaking of feeling good about ourselves, I do feel better now that I’m wearing everything correctly. Their tagline: “Smart underwear for smart guys” was certainly put to the test in this embarrassing incident. Wonder what Mack Weldon would think about the fact I thought they were great inside out and love them even more now. Could be a great customer testimonial.
Which brings me to the scariest assumptions we might be making. What are we assuming about our client experience and their changing needs? Do we really know? Have we had conversations on what their experience is and what is changing in their business model? Our challenge is to be open-minded and challenge all of our assumptions to #anticipate the right direction forward. We might just be running around inside out!