I’ve observed that every team, organization, and country has certain assumptions that need to be regularly questioned to explore new ways of doing things. The idea that “this is the way we do it here” and we must continue to do it that way is now obsolete. While I am a staunch believer in following the laid down rules and regulations, I think now, much more than ever; it is more important to question those rules to discover new ways of looking at the world. It is dangerous to become a conformist and think and act like everyone else. We need to ask, “why not?” and “what if”
Uber, the ride-sharing company, was started because someone questioned the archaic and burdensome way of hailing taxis. They asked, what if you could catch a ride with just some clicks on your phone?
Airbnb created a platform where people can find short-term rentals, thereby disrupting the hotel industry. They question the assumption of going to traditional hotels as the only place for short term stay.
Cryptocurrencies started because some people questioned the assumptions that we have to depend on government-approved legal tenders to carry out transactions. Today, more people are adopting the use of cryptocurrency.
DocuSign made it possible to sign contracts electronically, you no longer need to print and sign hard copy papers. You are also protecting the environment in the process. An assumption was questioned.
Dropbox allows you to store your files in the cloud, making it available to you anywhere, without the use of jump drive and external hard drives.
In the post-COVID world, we all need to intellectually question those entrenched assumptions that we have come to accept as a way of doing business.
When I started my career, we used to travel to remote locations to perform daily plant routine operations. What if instead of making these risky trips, we instead did remote monitoring, and only travel when required? The company will save more money, and employees will have more time to focus on other aspects of the business.
In this new economy, what if, as a sales expert, you can present your products and close sales, right from the comfort of your homes or offices? It is an assumption that you must meet your customers face to face before you can close deals, we now need to fight the tyranny of such premises. We can make explainer videos that detail the features and benefits of our products, send such information to customers, and let them go through before we schedule a meeting to answer questions and discuss a path forward. By so doing, organizations will save cost, save time, and will be able to democratize knowledge by allowing customers to learn more about their products.
Are you ready to start questioning assumptions?
1. You need to keep an open mind
2. You need to look for things that other people are overlooking.
3. You need to ask the question, “Are there other ways we can do this”?