Are Bad Assumptions Driving Your Actions?

Are Bad Assumptions Driving Your Actions?

You have assumptions. Probably some core assumptions. You’re making decisions based on some set of information. 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.”

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When working with individuals and teams, I hear core assumptions leak out. 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, it’s critical to note them, and more importantly, to validate or debunk 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 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 investments 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?

Our 4 Phase Process helps churches expose bad assumptions and build new strategies that will be more effective at accomplishing the vision. Learn how our process could help your church.


Photo Credit: Tomasz Zagórski via Unsplash CC0

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By |2017-02-09T13:52:24+00:00May 29th, 2016|Leadership|1 Comment

About the Author:

Mark has been part of Granger Community Church for 23 years leading various teams and currently is the leader for the Development Team. Previously, he served as the Chief Operations Officer for a technology/ consulting firm in South Bend, Indiana. He facilitates strategy for various organizations, believes the Church and businesses can learn a lot from each other, and thrives on maximizing team performance and culture.

One Comment

  1. David June 16, 2016 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    “What is it you’re assuming in the community that may or may not be true?” – that is one that I see time and again in my work with churches across the country! So many churches assume that the household structure in the surrounding community is identical to the household structure of attendees in the pews every Sunday – that is rarely true these days. And… “Where are you making decisions without tangible data or information to help you make that choice?” – I see many churches making decisions using little to no data, while sitting on five or more years of relevant data buried deep within their ChMS (Church Management System) that no one knows how to access. There is so much rich and deep information readily available from a multitude of sources (ChMS, US Census, Local Government, etc.) if people just knew to access it. And a lot of it is available at little to no cost. Great article, Mark!

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