#215: If You Must Assume

Assume Loudly and Openly

Even though I should not, I’m going to assume that you know the saying, “Don’t assume, because you’ll make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.”

That’s just the way we are. (Another assumption?) Knowing about asses of all shapes and sizes does not stop us making assumptions about said asses.

For example, we make assumptions about what sort of asses get vaccinated or won’t.

(Caught you! Because I wrote “asses get vaccinated” first in that sentence, instead of leading with “asses won’t get vaccinated”, you assumed I am against being vaccinated. Yes, you did. Admit it.)

By the way, some people assume that Oscar Wilde said it first. About not assuming. Sitcom watchers might assume it was Felix Unger in the TV series The Odd Couple. There are other names on the list of who said it first, so we may safely assume that once again Anonymous said it first.


If You Must Assume, Assume Loudly and Openly

Thanks to Murphy, we know that if something can go wrong, it will. But that does not mean we should help Murphy.

One way to make it difficult for Murphy is to avoid making assumptions. I know, I know, in life and in business we must make assumptions because we don’t always have accurate knowledge about the future.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m suggesting is that you don’t make silent assumptions when working with or managing people. If you do that, it can cost you.

Here’s a classic example. In 1998, NASA’s $125m Mars Climate Orbiter crashed onto Mars. Why? Because one group of engineers assumed it was okay to use English units of measurement. Big mistake. All other engineers had already changed over to the more universal metric system.

When you must make assumptions, do so loudly and openly so that others know what you’re up to.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.


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