Monday, April 23, 2007

Givens and Assumptions

Working on a brainstorm recently with a client, we asked the question "What would happen to our industry if our givens became assumptions and our assumptions became givens?" For example, what would happen if we took for granted that each business or homeowner would generate their own electricity rather than purchase it from a utility? Suppose we went back to the past and placed a windmill or some other generation device at each home or place of business. Now, what changes about the business landscape?

Well, for one, the people who own the transmission equipment had better figure out how to stay in business - probably buying excess electricity from people who can generate more than they need and distributing it to people who can't generate enough. Except in certain circumstances, large generation plants become a thing of the past, since small generation facilities powered by the sun, or wind, or natural gas, can be established at the home. Perhaps we'll even move from AC to DC?

One of the challenges in looking forward and trying to create new ideas is the concept that we have a hard time shaking our assumptions. These tend to get carried along and become barriers to our thinking, so we project a future that is only slightly different from the present. In some cases, those assumptions may be true, but in other cases the assumptions are totally wrong. There are several famous pronouncements from those who probably should have known better about the future of the PC. The head of DEC once said that no one needed a personal computer, and Bill Gates is on the record in the early 80s wondering why anyone would need more than 1MB of memory in a PC. These guys and plenty of others never forced themselves to turn their assumptions and givens inside out and look at the world in that light.

In your business right now, what are the "givens" that you operate on? Perhaps a technological constraint, or legal or regulatory constraint, or some cost constraint. What are your assumptions? What would happen if the "givens" were somehow overturned? How would that change your market or industry? You can bank on the fact that sometime in your working life, one or two of the "givens" you held dear will be overturned. Whether it is something like open source or Software as a Service versus licensed software, or some dramatic change in federal regulations, or the introduction of an automobile engine based on something other than internal combustion, it will happen. The question will be whether or not you've considered the possibilities and how you react to the changes.

If you have an innovation team, they should be doing this exercise every year. What givens do we hold as sacred? If they were repealed or overturned, what would happen to our business? Someone, somewhere is working to overcome your givens. Some competitor somewhere sees your givens as assumptions that can be violated or changed. Will your firm be ready when the change comes?
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 11:26 AM

50 Comments:

Anonymous Height Increasing Tips - Get Your Optimum Results said...

nice sharing..

How To Get A Taller - Get You Optimum Results in Weeks
Exercises To Get Taller – Grow Taller Fast
Natural Ways To Get Taller - 100% Naturally
How To Look Tall - Tips On How You Can look Tall 2-3 inches Now!

6:29 AM  
Anonymous how to stay erect said...

thanks for share..

9:55 AM  
Anonymous wisata kuliner bandung said...

thanks for share..

9:56 AM  
Anonymous belajar internet marketing said...

thanks for share..

9:56 AM  
Anonymous delaying ejaculation said...

thanks for share..

10:09 AM  
Anonymous how to last longer in bed said...

thanks for share..

10:10 AM  
Anonymous how to prevent premature ejaculation said...

thanks for share..

10:10 AM  
Anonymous how to avoid premature ejaculation said...

thanks for share..

10:10 AM  
Anonymous how to prolong ejaculation said...

thanks for share..

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Inversiones en oro said...

hello, this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Inversiones en petroleo said...

Hello, i would like to know more about this topic because i think that could help me in personal projects.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Invertir en oro said...

I think that this post is very good, i would like to read more information about this topic.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous ko said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

3:41 AM  
Anonymous konsultan seo said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

3:41 AM  
Anonymous asuransi pendidikan said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

3:42 AM  
Anonymous action coach said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

3:42 AM  
Anonymous jadi artis said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

3:42 AM  
Anonymous cara dapat duit said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

3:43 AM  
Anonymous kerja sama investasi said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

3:43 AM  
Anonymous coach indonesia said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

3:44 AM  
Anonymous jajanan bandung said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

3:45 AM  
Anonymous coklat valentine said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

3:45 AM  
Anonymous Panduan SEO said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.
Invertir en plata

3:45 AM  
Anonymous penis enlargement exercises said...

We're a bunch of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community. Your blog provided us precious data to work on. You've got finished a marvellous job!

11:21 PM  
Anonymous erectile dysfunction cure said...

We're a bunch of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community. Your blog provided us precious data to work on. You've got finished a marvellous job!

11:22 PM  
Anonymous depression cure said...

The closing paragraph tells it all in my opinion. I must say that I agree with it, and the most great factor about it's that you just left it open ended…this shows that you're prepared to draw in new and completely different opinions and that you're ultimately very interested to see people getting involved within the subject. So, any alternative opinions?

11:22 PM  
Anonymous natural hemorrhoids cures said...

I’ve learn among the content material articles in your site now, and I absolutely like your fashion of website. I included it to my favorites web site listing and must be coming back quickly. Keep in mind to take a look at my web site too and inform me what you think.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous asthma symptoms said...

Greetings everyone, This webpage is excellent and so is how the matter was expanded. I like among the comments as properly though I would prefer we all maintain it on subject so as add worth to the subject. Will probably be also encouraging to the author if all of us could share it (for some of us who use bookmarking providers such as a digg, twitter,..).

11:23 PM  
Anonymous lower back pain treatment said...

Fairly nice write-up. I just Digging your site and desired to say that I’ve truly enjoyed reading your blogpost. Any means I’ll be signing as much as your feed and I feel you’ll publish once more in the near future.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous stop smoking said...

Thanks very a lot for this flawless put up;that is the words that keeps me on track by way of out the day. I've been wanting around on your website after I heard about them from a buddy and was thrilled when I was able to find it after searching for long time. Being a avid blogger, I’m glad to see others taking initivative and contributing to the community. Simply wanted to remark to show my appreciation in your website as it is vitally difficult to do, and lots of writers do not get credit score they deserve. I am sure I’ll visit again and will spread the word to my friends.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous cures for insomnia said...

Its Pleasure to undergo your weblog.The above content articles is very excellent, and I genuinely loved reading your weblog and points which you expressed. I enjoy to seem back on the standard basis,submit far more in regards to the topic.Thanks for sharing…preserve writing!!!

11:23 PM  
Anonymous anxiety attacks treatment said...

Good data, a lot of thanks to the author. It’s puzzling to me now, basically, the usefulness in addition to significance is overpowering. Vastly thanks again and better of luck!

11:24 PM  
Anonymous eczema cream said...

Thank you for this post, I've been always searching for this useful articels in all places however couldn't find full data provided here. thank you. and I will simply reference a few of you phrases .

11:24 PM  
Anonymous tendonitis remedy said...

We are a bunch of volunteers and beginning a new initiative in a community. Your blog supplied us helpful info to work on. You may have finished a marvellous job!

11:24 PM  
Anonymous natural hemorrhoids remedies said...

Excellent post from professional also it is going to most likely be a beautiful know-the right way to us and thank you a lot for posting this invaluable info with us all.

11:24 PM  
Anonymous insomnia treatment said...

Its Pleasure to go through your weblog.The above content material articles is very outstanding, and I genuinely loved studying your blog and points which you expressed. I take pleasure in to seem again on the standard foundation,submit way more about the topic.Thanks for sharing…preserve writing!!!

11:25 PM  
Anonymous premature ejaculation cure said...

What an ridiculous collection of well completed articles, it seems like now-a-days everyone is simply copy/pasting and stealing content on a regular basis, however I assume there's nonetheless hope in trustworthy blogging.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous konsultan perusahaan said...

I think people fear idea management and innovation because there's a significant number of ideas that simply won't plan out.......Nice statement.....keep posting

8:20 PM  
Anonymous belajar internet marketing said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous parcel lebaran said...

I think that this post is one of the best that i have read in my life, congrats you did a great job,.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous delayed orgasm said...

the difference between the content spammers and most corporate innovators is that the smaller

8:21 PM  
Anonymous how to avoid premature ejaculation said...

I'm writing to you because I just came across a business that I think has great potential. It lets you save money on almost everything. Make money from almost everything,

8:22 PM  
Anonymous konsultan seo said...

If growth is important to a firm, and if growth is dependent on offering existing products and services to new customers

8:23 PM  
Anonymous konsultan seo said...

If growth is important to a firm, and if growth is dependent on offering existing products and services to new customers

8:23 PM  
Anonymous tabungan pendidikan said...

innovation is very natural and happens in the "real world" as new plants and animals colonize new ecological niches.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous mengecilkan perut said...

I wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect

8:24 PM  
Anonymous how to teach dogs tricks said...

We generally think most specifically about the risk associated with a new product introduction

8:24 PM  
Anonymous easy way to get pregnant said...

I would be aware that as somebody who really doesn’t comment to blogs a lot (in actual fact, this may be my first put up), I don’t think the time period “lurker” is very flattering to a non-posting reader.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous stop pre ejaculation said...

Thanks a lot for this time sharing of innovation about GIVENS AND ASSUMPTIONS. This is really the best website about innovation i have ever read.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous inversiones en oro said...

hello, this post is amazing, i would like to read more about it, because think that this information is very interesting.

12:01 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home