I have always had fun with acronyms. Most people know CYA to mean something that I won’t spell out here. For my purposes, I’d like to redefine this acronym as Challenge Your Assumptions.”

For years I have been told (and I have often told others) “Never assume anything.” I’ve decided that this statement really makes NO sense. We MUST make assumptions all of the time, then move forward on our best judgment, instincts, etc. If we didn’t we would never get anywhere – at least not anywhere very fast.
It isn’t about ‘never’ assuming anything, it’s about challenging the assumptions that we make – especially key ones (i.e. the light just turned green, so all cross traffic will stop). When it comes to business, there are all sorts of key assumptions that should be challenged.

– My customers are happy (One of them told me so, and no one calls me with complaints)
– My product quality is high (We have QC processes and the products don’t get returned)
– I am selling a lot of stuff, so cash flow is not a problem (it has never been in the past)
– I don’t need a line of credit (I have money in the bank and debt is ‘bad’)
– I need a new computer system (I don’t get good information from the one I have)
– I know what’s best for my employees (I have age and wisdom, they are young and inexperienced) *

What assumptions are you making? Maybe it’s time to sit down and have a serious CYA session.
* These days you should be especially aware of ‘inter-generational’ dynamics in the work place. Anna Liotta shares some great information about this her Blog.
And… Check out the assumptions made by the judge panel in this video. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to share.


  1. Thanks for the reminder that we all need to hold up a mirror to our assumptions. Simon’s face (on the video) says it all.
    It’s uncomfortable to stand “in the not knowing”. I believe that is why we all have baggy knees from jumping to conclusions.

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